Dear ASC colleagues and interested friends

Through the support of Stu Umpleby and Wafa Abou-Zaki at George Washington University, we recently sent a letter to ASC members with the ballot for the election of a new executive for the ASC. The letter also alerted members to the upcoming ASC conference in Santa Cruz in June.

This note is a reminder note to send in your membership fees and your ballot for the new officers. It is also intended to reach members who, for some reason, may not have received their mailed letter.

There has been a change of address of our office in Washington , DC. Please note and send member fees and your ballot to:

American Society for Cybernetics

2115 G Street NW, Suite 403

Washington, DC 20052

tel: 202-994-1681

fax: 202-994-3081

I have included a copy of the letter and the ballot with this email.

If you received this email in error, please accept my apologies as I have constructed this emailing list from a number of sources.


Kathleen Forsythe

Vice President, American Society for Cybernetics

Dear ASC Colleague

It has been nearly three years since the current Executive assumed office for the ASC and it is time for change once again.

We started our office with a Syntegration and Conference held at Falls Church which asked what cybernetics had to contribute to the 21st century. The outcome resolves of this event have served to provide a backdrop for the activities of the past three years and have continued as an open conversation as to what it is about the ASC that inspires our members and offers hope and possibility for the future.

This new century has already presented us with unprecedented challenges... cybernetics has so much to contribute to a deeper understanding of our humanity and how it is that we may bring forth worlds in the recursions of conversation. The challenges are formidable yet the creativity and vision that has co-inspired the ASC membership for 35 years is here, and it is needed more than ever.


With this letter you will be receiving ballots for a slate of new ASC officers for the term 2002-2004 inclusive. You will notice that a new position has been proposed for this term to reflect the enormous amount of work involved in developing, improving, and maintaining our technological capabilities. The VP for Electronic Publications will be adding content to our website, using it as a forum for publication and as an archive for reference materials, with public and administrative sections. Eventually, you will be able to pay fees, update your coordinates, register for conferences, and purchase videos and other materials.

We wish each of the successful candidates well in their work to continue the work of our Society.

Membership and Dues

At the May Annual general meeting held in Vancouver, 2001, it was decided to increase the membership dues. This will be the first raise in 20 years. In order to simplify our bookkeeping, and help you remember whether and when you have registered, the dues will be for a calendar year, and become payable on the first of January. Members: $80.00 Students: $35.00

You can now pay by cheque, money order, or major credit card. If you choose, you may authorize the secretary to deduct dues from your credit card annually, until further notice. Note also that a life membership category has been added. A membership form is available on the website, and has been attached in order to assist the incoming secretary to verify and update the membership list. Even if you have been a member for years, please provide your current data.

Note: To vote you need to be a paid up member. If you have not paid your dues for 2002, please return your membership form, dues and your ballot to the Washington office as soon as possible.

June Conference

We are pleased to announce the next conference and hope that you will be there with us! The program is being developed and will be based on conversational groups and small group sessions.

Ecological Understanding II

Design, Cybernetics, and Ecology

Baskin Visual Arts, University of California

Santa Cruz, California

June 14 to 16, 2002 with tutorials on June 13

Conference co-chairs: Frank Galuszka and Paul Pangaro

Please submit abstracts of papers, small group sessions and playshops to Frank Galuszka by March 31.

Watch our website for further details.

Follow-up from ASC 2001 Conference

The abstracts from the conference in Vancouver, Cybernetics of Praxis and Praxis of Cybernetics, remain available on the ASC website. We have received permission to post all the papers that are currently in review, pending publication in 2002, and you will find these on the website by February. Dr. Stuart Umpleby advises that he anticipates that the review process will be completed by late spring.

A summary of the ASC 2001 Annual General Meeting is available from any member of the executive.

The conference was considered successful by all participants and producers, and the public forum was well received. Dozens of letters of thanks were received, and the forum was reported in several local newspapers and one international periodical.

Cosponsoring IIIS Conference

The ASC is one of several systems organizations co-sponsoring the International Institute of Informatics and Systemics Conference in Florida next summer. Since the dates for this conference are so close to our own, we are primarily assisting with promotion and are not providing any substantive programming material. No financial commitment is involved.

6th World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics, and Infomatics

Orlando, Florida

July 14-18, 2002

General Chair: Nagib Callaos

For further details, visit the conference website at:


The website committee consisting of Dr. Pille Bunnell, Cecilie Scott, Ben Emerick, Dr. Scott Carley and Dr. Randall Whitaker met again in November and developed a plan to revise the website to be both more substantive and more accessible so that it can serve as the hub of the society. Over the next few months you will see these changes come in to effect. We urge you to check the website and to begin to use the functionality that is being developed for publishing pieces of interest to members.


Over the past three years, we have established a bookstore where it is possible to acquire reprints from many older ASC publications as well as video and audiotapes that the ASC has produced. A continuously expanding catalogue and an order form are available on the ASC website. Given the volunteer work involved, orders will be filled by the 15th of each month.

Overview of Term

As the current executive nears the end of our term we are pleased to report that we have completed most of the work we set out to do:

We will each continue to serve and be engaged with the society as we are able. This organization matters to us!

We wish you well, individually and as the collective with the unique identity of this organization.


Pille Bunnell, President

Kathleen Forsythe, Vice President

Election of ASC Executive and Trustees for the Years 2002- 2004

The ASC Nominating Committee, chaired by Dr. Klaus Krippendorff, Trustee of the ASC, has proposed a slate of candidates as listed on the attached ballot.

Statements from both the presidential candidates are attached.

Note the creation of a new position - Vice President of Information Services. This is a new position created by the current Executive, upon the recommendation of the Website Committee, to take responsibility for the website and electronic publications. Considerable professional time has been volunteered to create the ASC website which will also be extensively updated this next year.

Please complete the ballot and return it by mail with your membership dues by March 31, 2002.

Presidential Candidate Statements

Allenna Leonard, Ph.D.

I have been excited for a long time about the potential for cybernetics to making the world a better place by showing how related activities influence each other and by providing a way to integrate multiple perspectives without losing rigor or relevance.

My involvement with the ASC, over the past twenty years, has included serving two uneventful terms as ombudsperson and volunteering for various other projects, most recently, as co-organizer of the Syntegration held during the 1999 Conference.

My academic background includes a BA from St. John's College, a MA from George Washington University (administration) and a Ph.D. (also ''administration') but with a systems/cybernetics focus. My dissertation was on different perspectives on broadcast regulation.

Professionally, I have worked in the cybernetics of organizations and social systems, often either with Stafford Beer or using his Viable System Model or Team Syntegrity process. Two areas of special interest are employing a systems perspective to audit, especially improving the reliability of enquiry as a form of audit evidence and applying systems concepts to the understanding of social and power dynamics.

My wish would be to foster the role of the ASC as a contributor to the public debate on big picture social issues - especially those messy problems where the arguments fall far short of applying requisite variety to their circumstances. I would be pleased to engage in public speaking and writing toward these aims and would welcome dialogue with other ASC members on developing and disseminating such ideas. I would make it a priority to seek opportunities to speak or write to audiences of young people and people of color.

As well, I believe it is important to communicate with and cooperate with other professional societies, both those in the systems field and those that rely, sometimes unknowingly, on insights and initiatives from cybernetics.

If anyone should wish to know more about my work they could consult (that's article 12) or the September 2001 posting on

Kevin B Kreitman Ph.D.

Mission in life: To find out why systems that look like they should work, don't, and to design systems that do.

Educational and Professional background:

MS in Cybernetic Systems, San Jose State University 1986;

PhD in Systems Science/Industrial Engineering, SUNY Binghamton 1992;

Over six years teaching/curriculum development experience in undergrad/graduate cybernetics and systems programs.

Balance of professional work in cybernetics and systems applied to business, government, education and non-profit organizations, and additional experience in e-learning design and development; strategic planning, and organizational leadership.

What I would do in a leadership position at ASC:

ASC has tremendous potential, unique perspectives, and insights that are valuable to ourselves, our work, and our world. I believe that we need to bolster our memberships' understanding of the theoretical and historical bases of cybernetics, and create a resource for people to build on professionally and educationally. Creating value for people is the way to attract them to the society--from business, social services, education, and more, in the US and abroad. I see three themes for the ASC in the next few years.

1. Community and outreach:

We need to create the sense of community, not only intellectually, but also in everyday professional work and to share work and energy with other communities and societies where there is overlap or common interest. Alliances such as these can sharpen our perspectives, raise public interest, attract new members, and create synergistic projects.

2. Knowledge and education:

It has become increasingly difficult to get an education in cybernetics, or even to locate written materials. I suggest we bring education to e-learning contexts, including the Web--possibly in conjunction with distance learning degree programs. Our web site is a start. Second I suggest we bring resources in cybernetics into a knowledge management context, accessible via the ASC webpages. In this way, courses, core concepts, people, and both historical and current practice materials can be made readily available. This includes recovering materials that may have gone out of copyright, or where copyright permissions might be obtained for out of print material.

3. Conferences and publications:

I would like to encourage tracks in the conferences, tracks that support not only the informal sharing of ideas but also actionable, contributions in applied research. Utilizing online journals and publishing on demand avoids many of the problems and costs associated with traditional printed materials.

Organizing to support, staff, and fund these activities will be a major effort. Growing the ASC is itself an applied cybernetics problem, with both first and second-order components. I believe that if the Society can create value effectively, and turn that value back into support we can bring forth.

ASC Ballot

Please check beside your choice.

For President and Vice President ( The person with the highest vote is President and the other person becomes Vice President)

Dr. Kevin Kreitman

Dr. Allena Leonard

For Secretary - elect one

Dr. Robert Martin

For Treasurer - elect one

Dr. Ely Dorsey

Dr. Ern Reynolds

For Ombudspersons - elect two

Ben Emerick

Kathleen Forsythe

Burl Grey

Phil Lewin

For Vice President for Electronic Publications* - elect one

Dr. Randall Whittaker

* Note - this is a new position created by the current Executive to take responsibility for the website and electronic publications

For Trustee - elect 3

Dr. Mary Catherine Bateson

Dr. Pete Becker

Dr. Louis Kauffman


American Society for Cybernetics

2115 G Street NW, Suite 403

Washington, DC 20052

tel: 202-994-1681

fax: 202-994-3081