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About the Journal

Purpose & Vision

This is the journal for “Systems Thinking World”, a LinkedIn community of over 15,000 consultants, managers, scientists, and concerned citizens united by an interest in the systems sciences.  We are convinced that systems thinking, including valuing multiple perspectives, is important for reasonably managing humankind’s affairs and to sustainably  exist within our planetary eco-system.

Our original purpose for the journal was simply to capture the extensive wisdom in the wide-ranging discussions within Systems Thinking World. We soon realized that STWJ could serve a much broader purpose, namely to improve the theory and practice of System Theory (the science), Systemic Perspectives (the methods and practices) and Systems Thinking (worldview or paradigm).

Our vision is to become a major contributor to the “reflection in action” of the systems practitioners of the world… and to thereby contribute to the continued survival of civilization.

Content Overview

We expect that STWJ will publish all of the following types of articles

  • Scholarly Articles: Systems Theory (the science), Systemic Perspectives (the methods and practices, process), and Systems Thinking (worldview, weltanschaung, the paradigm)
  • STW Gleanings: articles based primarily on discussions in the LinkedIn STW
  • Modeling & simulation, Insight Maker, System Dynamics
  • STW Blogs: short pieces by our staff or other members of the STW community
  • Reviews: Systems games, new books, classic systems works, key blogs, important websites.
  • Newbie’s Corner: Guides and resources for those new to systems
  • Civilization Survival Issues: Reports on the threats to civilization and responses to those threats.
  • News & Reports: Key items from others sources
  • Editorials: Opinion pieces by our staff or other members of the STW community.


Our staff operates primarily as a self-organizing community. Roles are fluid and shifting, with people taking the lead on tasks as interest and expertise leads them. Barry Clemson functions as a coordinator / facilitator.

Previous staff members who have gone on to other endeavors:

Anne Maguire,

Formal Structures

Decision Process Most of our policy decisions are reached by consensus or consent (from Sociocracy). In those situations where we need a decision and we are unable to come to consensus / consent in a timely manner, we vote.
New Staff The existing staff must approve, by simple majority vote, all proposed staff members.
Terms of Office Staff members serve indefinitely. We will review all staff members annually and decide which to retain and which to terminate by simple majority vote. Staff members can be terminated at times other than the annual review by a 2/3 vote of the staff, not counting the person being considered for termination.
STWJ Ownership The journal is conceived as being owned by the STW community, Therefore, all staff members, individually or as a group, may be fired by a majority vote of the members of the STW community (the procedural details for such a vote are not yet specified).
Reviewers Reviewers are selected for a given submission either via staff members volunteering or at the discretion of the editor for that submission.


Selection of Staff

Selection of new staff members is an ongoing process. The following sections describe our procedures and what you should do if you want to become a staff member. Please keep in mind that System Thinking World Journal is new and most of our policies and procedures are still in flux.

If you want to volunteer for a staff position or nominate someone for a staff position, please send a letter to Barry Clemson at The rest of this document provides guidance on what to include in your letter.

The Instructions sections, under the “About” tab include guidance for authors, reviewers, and editors.

You might also study the Content Overview (above, on this page) and consider this question: Are you interested in specializing in some subset of these topics or are you interested in being a generalist? If a specialist, please describe your specific interests?

What we look for in staff members

This section attempt to describe the perfect staff member (we know, the perfect staff member doesn’t exist, but we can dream can’t we?)

  • For staff members, their knowledge base is obviously important, but their motives and personality are more important.
  • We want folks who are sincerely interested in producing a journal that will advance ST and its beneficial applications. We do NOT want people who are mostly interested in self-promotion / self-aggrandizement.
  • We want people who have strong opinions AND who recognize that different opinions are both legitimate and important.
  • We want people who have studied some aspects of systems thinking in depth AND have some breadth of knowledge in ST.
  • We want people who are already sophisticated in their understanding of ST and ALSO recognize that they are still novice learners (this is like the proper attitude of the black belt in martial arts … the black belt merely signifies that now you are a serious student of the art).
  • We want diversity. This means countries of origin, gender, age, areas of ST study, and areas of ST applications … and perhaps some other things we haven’t yet thought of.

Note that age is important since we oldsters “know” that many things are impossible and youth, since they are “ignorant”, just go ahead and do it anyway.

Nominating or Volunteering as Staff

There are several things that we like to look at in considering new staff members;

  • Your contributions to the discussions within STW (please indicate Threads where you have contributed and approximate dates, if possible).
  • Your training and experience in systems theory (the science), systemic perspectives (the methods and processes for applications), and System Thinking (the paradigm or worldview).
  • Please note that many, perhaps most, systems thinkers do not have formal training in ST.

In addition, please tell us a little about yourself:

  • Your main areas of interest / expertise / applications with respect to systems, including the two or three systems authors who have influenced you the most.
  • Anything we should know re. how you would contribute to our need for diversity in the staff?
  • How much time you expect to devote to STWJ?
  • Anything else that we should know about you?

Thank you for your interest, time, and effort. We hope to get back to you with our decision relatively quickly after we receive your reply.

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