Date: Wednesday 15 January 2014, 8:00am PST

Topic: Creating Theories and Models that work: An Innovative “Science of Conceptual Systems” Approach

Presenter: Dr. Steven E. Wallis (Foundation for the Advancement of Social Theory (FAST))

Joining Instructions: (requires INCOSE Connect logon)


In the broad field of systems studies, we consider a wide range of systems. Humans, cells, computers… all these (and many more) are understood better when they are understood as interacting with one another. What we have not studied in any great detail are conceptual systems – those interacting clusters of concepts such as theories/models. In this webinar, we will look at our emerging understanding of conceptual systems and how those understandings may be applied to theories and models of systems and system processes across many fields from policy to physics.

Here, you will learn why empirical data (by itself) is not enough to create good theory. You will learn rigorous methods for evaluating theories and models; how to track changes in theories to identify trends in theory development; why some theories work while others don’t; how to create theories that are more effective. Additionally, and importantly, you will learn how a set of disconnected propositions may be rigorously linked to create theory that is more coherent, more systemic, and so more effective and useful in practical application.

Speaker Bio:

Steven E. Wallis earned his Ph.D. in 2006 at Fielding Graduate University, focusing on the rigorous analysis and integration of conceptual systems. He has a decade of experience as a facilitator and organizational development consultant in Northern California. At Capella University, Steve mentors doctoral candidates. As Director for the Foundation for the Advancement of Social Theory (FAST) he supports emerging scholars working to identify rigorous paths for improving theory and practice through critical metatheory and metapolicy analysis.

An interdisciplinary thinker, his academic publications cover a range of fields including ethics, management, organizational change, and policy. Recently, Dr. Wallis was appointed to the Fulbright Specialist Roster. The Fulbright Specialist program supports US Scholars in projects to help improve the capacity of academic institutions outside the US. Currently, Steve is developing a consulting practice based on systemic analysis of strategic plans.

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