Natures Enduring Patterns as a Path to Systems Literacy


  • Peter David Tuddenham College of Exploration


systems literacy, science, education, literacy, nature, NGSS, ocean, earth, atmosphere, climate, energy, network


Background and Year in Review Overview

This conference marks the end of my time as president of ISSS.  It has been a busy and interesting year. Time to review and look forward.


Unfortunately, I was unable to be at the 2018 annual meeting at the beginning of my year as president as I had a minor stroke. However as fall began I recovered well and launched into my time as president with energy and enthusiasm. I began to implement a plan to explore Systems Literacy with ISSS members, to explore contributions of the ISSS Special Integration Groups (SIGs) by holding weekly video conferences online, applying digital technologies and to exploring the purpose and practices of the Society.


Connections with ISSS Partners

Turning to the organization of ISSS I will review the year and the actions I have taken on behalf of the organization. We renewed and reinforced our relationship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and attended the Annual meeting in Washington DC in February 2019.

I will report on our connections with International Council for Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and the several presentations ISSS members made at INCOSE in California in January 2019.


ISSS Members Management, Communications, Organization Development and Members Website

Implementation of a membership management system and website called will be described. The SIG Sessions on Saturday have produced many new initiatives. By creating a program of meetings every Saturday online on a video conferencing system bluejeans we have begun to develop resources and understanding about each of the SIGs. The presentation will review the many surveys of members that have been completed including on the vision for system science, a request for suggestions for five-year action ideas for this society, opinions about annual conference location and developing models of relation between the SIGs and the relevance to ISSS society mission and purpose. 

As a result of my stroke I began to explore natural patterns and pathologies concerned with the role of the brain in human experience. I will explore these biological models and their relevance for organizations. and touch on developments and personal experience in brain training.


Member education and learning through Saturday SIG Sessions

I was curious to learn more about the nature and happenings of the Special Integration Groups and I developed a plan to showcase each SIG. Each Saturday morning and sometimes later in the evening to reach members in India, Australia and New Zealand. Over 74 members at one time or another joined the video conversation with a core group of about 20 participating every week. Each SIG Chair was offered the opportunity to summarize the activities of the SIG. A different SIG was featured each week. Recordings of the sessions are viewable by members at


This Years Conference Theme

Turning to the theme of the conference natures enduring patterns as a path to system literacy I will outline the work to date on systems literacy and identify the opportunities to develop systems literacy in the future.


Finally the presentation will give an outline of the conference in Corvallis in 2019 and introduce our plenary speakers and their relationship to systems approaches, natures enduring patterns, the ocean and to science education, and to the intent of this 2019 meeting to further develop approaches to systems literacy. I will also outline the hopes for the one hour workshop plenary session each day at the end of the morning and introduce the work of William Smith PhD who will assist me with these collaborative sessions to explore the relation between ISSS and Systems Literacy.          


Next steps towards Systems Literacy

Reflecting on my journey though life with an awareness of cybernetics and systems ideas I will encourage the continued co-development and research in both areas of inquiry and coordination between ISSS and the American Society for Cybernetics, INCOSE, IFSR, AAAS and Systems Dynamics Society.


Author Biography

Peter David Tuddenham, College of Exploration

Mr. Peter Tuddenham is a co-founder of the College of Exploration, Virginia, USA, which over the past 20 years has engaged over 15,000 learners worldwide in online collaborative learning environments. Participants from a wide variety of disciplines and countries meet online to explore, learn and create with each other on a variety of ecosystem topics especially ocean, earth and climate systems.  He has been a Co-Principal Investigator on a number of National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants researching and educating on the topics of ocean and earth science literacy, change and learning in complex adaptive systems.  He is Managing Director of CoExploration Ltd, Dorset, England which is a partner with 15 European organizations on an EU Horizon 2020 ocean literacy initiitive across Europe.   Mr. Tuddenham served for three years as guest faculty in Executive Development at the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle PA,  studying personal development for systems leadership. This action research was part of a research project at the U.S. Army Research Institute. Prior to that work he was Strategic Issues Manager for Arizona Public Service in Phoenix AZ,  and before that worked as Communications Systems Manager for the Adolph Coors Company in Golden, Colorado. Currently Mr. Tuddenham is serving as Vice-President of the International Society for Systems Sciences where he is coordinating a global effort to develop systems literacy. He has studied Systems Design and Systems Behaviour at Saybrook University in San Francisco and the Open University in England. He has a BS in Business from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Before moving to the USA he was commissioned as an officer in the British Army Corps of Royal Engineers from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.



How to Cite

Tuddenham, P. D. (2020). Natures Enduring Patterns as a Path to Systems Literacy. Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2019 Corvallis, OR, USA, 63(1). Retrieved from