Unified Systems Concepts And Toolboxes

Please note that this project was run some time ago and links that have subsequently become inactive have been removed.



Resources for developing unifying systems concepts and toolboxes

People working on unifying systems concepts and toolboxes

About unified systems concepts and toolboxes

This webpage is a product of the 2006 Fuschl conversation organized by the International Federation of Systems Research.

While the diverse strands of systems-based thinking provide a rich array of concepts, approaches and methods, many of the conversation participants also felt that unifying concepts and toolboxes would be helpful. We recognized that there are a number of people already working on such unifying approaches and that these approaches are underpinned by significant resources, such as the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics developed by Charles François.

This webpage is a product of the 'Unity as a Part of Diversity' working group. It lists references which are significant resources for the development of unifying concepts and toolboxes, as well as people working on unifying concepts and toolboxes.

Please contact us if you have any additions or updates to this page.

Resources for developing unifying concepts and toolboxes


  • Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics Online (ESCO) (a web-resource)
  • UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems - subscription required (a web-resource)
  • SD Mega Link List - System Dynamics and Systems Thinking (a web resource)
  • Principia Cybernetica Web - Systems Science and Cybernetics (a web-resource)
  • ISSS Primer Project - the basics of systems thinking (a web-resource)
  • ISSS Luminaries - leading figures in systems thinking/practice (a web-resource)
  • Web Dictionary of Cybernetics and Systems (a web resource)
  • Glossary of cybernetics terms by Allenna Leonard - this is a 'work in progress' document (a PDF)
  • Glossary of systems terms (a web resource)
  • The Pask archive at PANGARO - information on Andrew Gordon Speedie-Pask, cybernetician (a web resource)

Book details

  • Designing Social Systems in a Changing World - by Bela H. Banathy (book details)
  • System Failure - by Jake Chapman (this link leads to a 465KB PDF)
  • The Informed Student Guide to Management Science - by Hans Daellenbach and Robert Flood (book details)
  • Creative Problem Solving: Total Systems Intervention - by Robert L. Flood, Michael C. Jackson (book details)
  • International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics - edited by Charles François (book details)
  • The Science of Synthesis - by Debora Hammond (book details)
  • Systems Thinking: Creative Holism for Managers (covers critical systems practice) - by Michael C. Jackson (book details)
  • Systems Thinking - a 4 volume set edited by Gerald Midgley (book details)

Individual resources and documents

  • Systems biology (an explanation)
  • Systems ecology (an explanation)
  • Participation Works! 21 techniques of community participation for the 21st century: A handbook from the New Economics Foundation (a MS Word document)
  • Journal article on a system of system methodologies (both these articles require subscription to the specified journal or access to library hardcopy):
    • Jackson, M. C. and Keys, P. (1984). Towards a system of systems methodologies, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 35, 473-486 (a journal article)
    • Jackson, M.C. (1993). The system of systems methodologies: a guide to researchers, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 44, 208-209 (a journal article)
  • Explorations in critical systems practice: Developing tools for facilitation - an article by A. Taket that discusses PANDA (a PDF)


  • Cybernetics course/s:
    • Cybernetics at the University of Bradford (a university course)
    • Cybernetics at the University of Reading (a university course)
    • Cybernetics at the University of California, Los Angeles (a university course)
  • Systems course/s:
    • System Dynamics Society - (a list of university systems courses)
  • Operational Research course/s:
    • Operational Research Society - (a list of university Operational Research courses)

People working on unifying concepts and toolboxes

  • Wendy Gregory
  • Wolfgang Hofkirchner
  • Robert Horn - visual tools and applications (a web resource)
  • Allenna Leonard
  • Gerald Midgley
  • Matjaz Mulej (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Maribor)
  • Jim Simms (retired)
  • Lenard Troncale