At Syntony Quest we ground our work in systems research. We use systems thinking and systems methodologies to conduct action-research. We develop theoretical models and field studies to advance knowledge and understanding of human issues as they relate to society and the environment.
In this section we share research activities and opportunities. Please make sure you also visit our Publications section.
SIG on Evolutionary Development
We cordially invite you to join us at the 53rd annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS). Specifically, we hope you will consider contributing a paper and/or poster for presentation in the Evolutionary Development SIG (Special Integration Group) that it is our pleasure to co-chair. This will be the tenth year of productive meetings as an intact line of inquiry, the first four under the name of the Evolutionary Learning Community SIG, and the last six as the ED SIG. We will continue to focus our efforts on issues of timely relevance to which ELCs may best be dedicated.
The 53rd Conference and Annual Meeting of the ISSS will take place from 12-17 July 2009 and promises to be a grand event. It will be hosted by the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and co-hosted by the School of Natural and Rural Systems Management and the Australia and New Zealand Systems Group (ANZSYS). The theme of this year’s conference is: "Making Liveable, Sustainable Systems Unremarkable," and will address issues relating to the role of systems scientists in make liveable, sustainable systems unremarkable – especially in a society where Systems Thinking is often kept out of science and mainstream problem solving. The conference theme and focus on reconciling personal livability objectives with the liveability of whole neighborhoods and the community, and more widely with that of sustainable development, provides an exciting platform upon which to catalyze the collective explorations of the ED SIG.
Inquiry in the area of Evolutionary Development involves revision of development notions and strategies, from a systemic and evolutionary perspective, in order to integrate the often isolated areas of human, economic, social, cultural and sustainable development. Doing more with less, promoting living simply and meaningfully, and creating a sustainable economy where present and future human needs can be met without compromising the natural environment, are some of the concrete objectives of Evolutionary Development. Evolutionary Learning Communities, as learning environments where people can learn together about the interconnected nature of our world, the ecological impact of our individual and collective choices, and the joy of finding a meaningful way to contribute to the emergence of sustainable and evolutionary futures, are the social units where Evolutionary Development can be set in motion for the ongoing self-organization of human societies in syntony with the planetary life support systems upon which they depend.
We invite both theoretical analyses relating to the principles and constructs of Evolutionary Development, as well as presentation of explorations and practical applications that foster Evolutionary Development. This SIG welcomes treatment of themes that include, but are not limited to, consideration of the following topic areas:
- Human, social, and natural capital
- Self-directed sustainable development
- Community empowerment and participatory/anticipatory democracy
- Socio-ecological competence and the evolution of consciousness
- Design of ELCs as evolutionary guidance systems
- Evolutionary Systems Design as praxis
- Syntony as an organizing force in societal evolution
- Evolutionary Leadership for Sustainability
While all of the topics listed above will the considered in the ED SIG, this year special emphasis will be given to the question of "What lies beyond chronocentric and homocentric notions of sustainability?" This will involve an exploration of the pragmatic ideal of integrating the economic, ecological, social, cultural, and spiritual aspects of evolutionary development through considerations that include:
- evolutionary thinking and envisioning a sustainable society
- personal leadership and taking transformative stands
- systems thinking and understanding the dynamics of complexity
- sustainability principles and their application to organizations and communities
- language, metaphor, and narrative in service of strategic conversations that shape reality
The ED SIG will be run as follows: During the conference itself, no formal paper presentations will be made, even though acceptance of both abstracts and full papers and/or posters is required. In order to be congruent with the general theme of the conference and the specific focus of our inquiry, our sessions will be conducted as learning conversations. Participants will engage first in a generative conversation in which they will have the opportunity to share the core ideas of their work with each other. After the group has attained a basic collective cognitive map of the research and constructs represented in the room, we will to move into a strategic conversation to identify areas of synergy. Once common themes and directions have been identified, we will move into an evolutionary conversation to create new knowledge and insights, and propose further collaborations.
Of course, if there is anything we can help clarify for you with respect to the above, please do get in touch with us.
For historical background on the ED SIG, visit The ELC Archives, and for further information, please contact:
Alexander & Kathia Laszlo
- Co-Chairs, ISSS ED SIG