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News & Events

Past Events


External Events

Monday 19th June 2006

2nd John Beishon Memorial Lecture: John Naughton's Inaugural Lecture

Title:The Social Life of Networks
Held at Berrill Lecture Theatre, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes. 


SYSTEMS PRAXIS DAY - Learning by Doing

Tuesday 20th June 2006

Venue: Systems Seminar Room, Venables Building, The Open University, Milton Keynes
Systems praxis is the doing of systems; bringing together a holistic way of knowing in the world with a tradition of acting within it. The Open Systems Research Group has a strong history of researching with people: whether action research, stakeholder engagement or social justice.
In systems praxis day, we will share some of what we have learnt about the praxis of systems in four short workshops. Each workshop is led by an experienced facilitator, drawing on their own research and consultancy. 


Mary Catherine Bateson visited the Systems Discipline in 2004. More details...

The Systems Discipline hosted three events in 2003 as part of the LEARNing project. More Details



The First John Beishon Memorial Lecture

14 May 2004. In memory of the Founding Professor of the OU Systems Group.

Speaker Christopher Price (Labour MP 1966-1983 Formerly Principal of Leeds Metropolitan University): "Governance and management of public bodies in the 21st century: where do we go from here?".

To view the webcast, click here for a video recording of this lecture and follow these hyperlinks: past events; then The John Beishon Memorial Lecture.



A celebration of the life and work of Sir Geoffrey Vickers
Geoffrey Vickers 2004:contemporary applications and changing appreciative settings

This event was held on May 14, 2004 at the Open University. The day began with presentations from a number of academics talking about the relevance of Vickers' work to them today. Speakers included Peter Checkland (University of Lancester), Garrath Williams (University of Lancaster), Richard Varey (University of Waikato, Nick Winder (University of Newcastle), Margaret Blunden (University of Westminster) and Jim Whitman (University of Bradford). These presentations were followed by contributions from the Vickers family and his former colleagues, and the formal presentation of his papers to the Open University Library and Learning Resources Centre.



Forms, Learning Processes and the Environment - a one-day workshop

A visit to the UK in June 2004 by Professor David Waltner-Toews, a Canadian, systems practicing, veterinary epidemiologist and published poet, provided a unique opportunity to explore new forms of creative systems practice that merge systems thinking, art and learning. David has extensive experience of applying his form of creative systems practice in developing countries and these experiences also provide inspiration for his poetry. On the day, he was supported by other practitioners such as Tim Jackson (Climate Change / environmental stories on radio), Jaqui Lee (Climate change / popular drama), Tomomi Iguchi (director of CrossOver, work on art and water), and many others.
This was the first of a series of events over the next 18 months sponsored by SPMC and the newly formed Open Systems research group (OSRG) to celebrate the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development which starts in January 2005. Stressing the importance that education has in environmental debates and actions is not new. Where novelty blossoms, though, is through the creation of new types of learning and teaching processes as well as through the opening up of educational institutional boundaries. It is in this spirit that the event was hosted by SPMC and OSRG.



'Introducing Systems Thinking to Whitehall' (ppt, 268K)

This seminar was presented on 16 October 2003 by Jake Chapman, former Professor of Energy Systems at the OU. Jake has been working with a number of Government Departments (including the Cabinet Office) in conjunction with DEMOS, evangelising systems approaches to public sector reform.