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General Systems Education

And the relevance of world system data banks and the Inter-Contact technique (Part #1)


Submitted as a background paper to the Annual Meeting of the Society for General Systems Research, Boston, December 1969


Introduction
Some problems in world society
Some characteristics of the systems approach
Some problems of systems education
Systems approach to systems education and the use of systems analysis
Some characteristics of the short cut required
Description of the Inter-Contact technique
Some assumptions about unifying concepts
References

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Introduction

This note attempts to illustrate the difficulty of developing and implementing any general systems approach and the interaction of this problem with that of systems education. The side-effects of these two are shown to be intertwined in such a way as to oppose any change, or to lead to any modification in the way that resources are allocated to these two areas.

Some fundamental problems in world society are noted, leading to a discussion of some of the characteristics of the systems movement and the need for systems education. The need for a review of the function of systems thinking and its place in society, in the light of systems approaches, leads on to a discussion of the characteristics of the solution required to facilitate more rapid advance. The significance of world system data 'banks and the Inter-Contact technique being developed through the Union of International Associations in Brussels leads finally to a discussion of the importance of this type of approach as an aid to individual understanding of both systems concepts and the world system within which he acts.