Dear Fellow Systems Scientists, Cyberneticists, Practitioners, Colleagues, and Friends!
Issac Newton (1676) is often quoted in academia as stating, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” In organizations like the IFSR, the same principle applies. After serving three terms and six years as President of the IFSR, Dr. Gary Metcalf has passed the leadership baton as of May 1, 2016. As an umbrella society of societies in the Systems Sciences and Cybernetics, the IFSR has continued to thrive and emerge as an evolving service organization under Gary’s leadership. Prior to 2010, Gary was also member of the Executive Committee, so it is with deep appreciation that I thank him for his steadfast service. Gary has agreed to stay on in a leadership role as Vice President of the Executive Committee (EC), so we will have the benefit of his insight into the organization and its members going forward into this 2016-2018 term.
In 2010, when Gary took office, he opened his President’s Message acknowledging the important role of the Executive Committee members. Likewise, I thank Vice Presidents Mag. Stefan Blachfellner and Dr. Nam Nguyen, as well as Secretary General, Prof. Gerhard Chroust, for their dedication to the IFSR’s initiatives during the last term. While Stefan focused on improving the visibility of the IFSR, Nam focused on improving the quality of service to members. Taking up their responsibilities for future development of the IFSR are Dr. Ray Ison and Dr. Jennifer Wilby as Vice Presidents on the EC. Prof. Gerhard Chroust continues in his role, faithfully minding the ship, as Secretary General. He is also, again, taking care of IFSR’s web-site, trying to make it more attractive and interactive. I am looking forward to working with each of them, along with Gary, as a team focused on continued development of the IFSR as a dynamic networking organization in service to its member societies and their members. The value of the IFSR is as the “go to” resource for everyone in the field of Cybernetics and the Systems Sciences. We look forward to serving you this term with the same level of commitment to building quality relationships that will keep the IFSR thriving.
As we look forward, we also need to attend to what has happened so far. In that spirit, an additional message (see concurrent IFSR Newsletter) will focus on updating you about current events and then discuss future developments.
Welcome New Members
In April the membership of the IFSR expanded. We now have 45 members, of which 40 are FULL members. At the biennial General Assembly, we accepted the applications of new members. They are:
INSTICC: The Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication (https://www.insticc.org/), represented by Joaquim Filipe (No. 55)
SCiO : Systems and Cybernetics in Organisation Ltd (www.scio.org.uk), represented by Patrick Hoverstadt (No. 56)
What lies ahead for the IFSR?
As we have witnessed in these early years of the 21st century, change at many levels (society, economics, politics, and climate to name just a few) is accelerating largely due to technological advances. Our institutions need to adapt to these new conditions by serving our constituencies with sound governance that is timely, yet not capricious. That presents the IFSR, like most service organizations, with challenges and opportunities. Our strength rests in our community of systems scientists and cyberneticians who approach problem solving holistically. Our challenge is to adapt and implement well-timed programs and processes that meet current needs of our membership. The Executive Committee recognizes the urgency of the problems in need of Cyber-systemic approaches and it is prepared to support initiatives that further research, education, program development, and implementation of these approaches through its platforms for communication, collaboration, and community action – especially using the biennial Conversation as an incubator for innovation of Cyber-systemic endeavors.
Communicating with the IFSR Member Societies
Since high performing systems rely on feedback, both reinforcing and balancing, we encourage our member societies and their members to engage with us to keep the IFSR relevant to you and your work in the Cybernetic and Systems Sciences. We are continually updating and improving the website, so check in regularly. Soon you will be able to exchange information and conveniently contact the Executive Committee with your ideas. We look forward to serving you in the term ahead.
Mary C. Edson, Ph.D.
Metcalf, G. S. (2010). IFSR President’s Message 2010. IFSR Newsletter, 27(2), 1. Retrieved from: http://www.ifsr.org/index.php/ifsr-presidents-message-2010/
Turnbull, H.W. ed., 1959. The Correspondence of Isaac Newton: 1661-1675, Volume 1, London, UK: Published for the Royal Society at the University Press. p. 416