September 18 is the twentieth meeting for Systems Thinking Ontario. The registration is on Eventbrite .

Theme: Systems Thinking ASC 2014 Debriefing -- Living in Cybernetics

The 50th Anniversary Conference of the American Society for Cybernetics was held at George Washington University, Washington, DC, August 3-9, 2014. Allenna Leonard, a past-president of the ASC, will lead a debriefing on the meeting.

As a bonus, she will also lead a debriefing of the IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century, held in Boston, MA, June 24-26, 2014.


The September (and October) sessions will be held at the Bahen Centre, Room BA5256, 40 St. George Street (fifth floor) at the University of Toronto, thanks to Steve Easterbrook. Here are some directions that he thought would be helpful.

  • The easiest way to find the room is to first find the CUBE cafe in the southwest corner of the ground floor of the building (If you enter from St George Street, walk through the Atrium and turn left after the main staircase). Take the elevators opposite CUBE to the fifth floor, and turn immediately to your left as you leave the elevator, and you’ll see BA5256.

Suggested pre-reading:

The theme for 2014 of Living In Cybernetics is described as follows:

Cybernetics, as the ASC practices it, has been called “a way of thinking”. It is both a field of study and a way of acting. It takes as a central point circularity—in its many forms that include circular causality, feedback, recursion, self-reference, designing and so on. It takes the observer in the system (such as the switch in a thermostat) to be part of that system rather than outside it, and considers this sort of observer involvement to be the norm. As a way of thinking it can change how we understand the world and our part in it. It is a subject we can live in, not only as observers, but in how we act and the understanding we create of our world, and our place in it.

The ASC meeting web site points to the program, with a lecture on web video.

  • Cybernetic in the Present was two days of paper presentations.
  • Cybernetics in the Past was a day featuring eleven ASC past presidents relating their oral histories.
  • Cybernetics in the Future was two days designing materials for a web site exploring relationships between cybernetics and education. This session featured an introduction by Mary Catherine Bateson, captured on video.

The 21st Century Wiener web site has extensive preconference content, with video recordings..

Participants should not feel limited to this suggested pre-reading, but should recognize that other attendees may have not read, or are reading differently, that article.


Post-meeting artifacts

Bloggers are encouraged to write about their learning and experiences at the meeting. Links will be added to this page.