A Call to Action for the Systems Sciences Community


  • Irma Wilson FutureSharp
  • Pamela Buckle Henning Adelphi University


anthropocene, change, systems community, commons, peer to peer, emergence, scaffolding, collaboration


The world’s systems scientists are crucial knowledge holders in this anthropocene era.  This paper will put forth a deep call to action to the systems community.  It is vital in this time that members of this community put themselves on more influential platforms, speaking in more audible ways.  The message must be about what this community can see about the degradation of the living organism that is our earth, and what must happen in order to enable its survival.

This paper frames the systems community as keepers of vital wisdom about the macro effects of how the earth has been altered by humans.  We will argue that such macro-level understanding must be joined with regional and local level meaning-making processes and actions already underway across the globe; it must inform those initiatives and be informed by them.  As important, micro-level activities must have more ways to inform and influence macro level perspectives on how human activity is responding to the imperatives of the anthropocene.  We will argue that this call to action is a call to develop fields of attraction – visible, plausible alternatives to the human behaviours that, in aggregate, jeopardize the likelihood that our future can be one wherein we can thrive.  We propose there must be attractors with a wide variety of design paths, presented as narratives that invite and entice participation. 

We will examine obstacles that members of the systems community face in taking up a call to action like this, along with ways to meet those obstacles, clearing the path to greater participation by systems experts in rising to the realities of life in the anthropocene age.

Author Biographies

Irma Wilson, FutureSharp


FutureSharp is affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation at the University of Pretoria.

Pamela Buckle Henning, Adelphi University

Associate Professor of Management



How to Cite

Wilson, I., & Buckle Henning, P. (2016). A Call to Action for the Systems Sciences Community. Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2015 Berlin, Germany, 1(1). Retrieved from https://journals.isss.org/index.php/proceedings59th/article/view/2609