2017 Roundtable PROGRAM Update & 7 Weeks Left for Early Registration!

The Design Team for the September 12-15, 2017 Global STS Design Network Roundtable at Rutgers University is now releasing an updated detailed program for “Designing Collaborative Ecosystems”. We encourage everyone to take advantage of EARLY registration (until June 30th) and enjoy reduced fees for all sessions at the 2017 Roundtable. Remember also to book ACCOMMODATIONS ASAP!!

Here is our list of exciting and informative cases for what are planned to be participative workshops about specific examples of ecosystem designs in a wide variety of sectors and geographic locations:

In the healthcare sector–

– ‘Community Care of Brooklyn’ project developed by activists and architects including union leaders;

Baltimore Health Department’s community project that addresses patient social needs across clinical settings;

Kaiser-Permanente & SEIU Labor-Management Partnership for innovative care delivery;

Belgian Mental Health Care networks to strengthen ambulatory, patient-centered care;

– participative design of an innovative diabetic foot ulcer service ecosystem in Scotland;

– an innovative workforce project and ecosystem model for disability care in remote regions of Australia;

– recent developments in Satellite Health Corp.’s ecosystem model of digitally enabled home dialysis care;

In multiple other sectors–

– community-driven cooperative action for affordable local fresh food access in Kentucky and Indiana;

– dynamic, disruptive design of an equitable food ecosystem involving the UFW, farm growers, and retailers;

– an ecosystem that has brought employee-owned (ESOP) enterprises into the mainstream US economy;

Dutch military organization in Afghanistan that sought “controllability” by self-designing ad-hoc networks;

– collaboration between teachers’ unions and administrators focused on student educational improvement.

There will also be a number of lightning talks and keynote presentations on topics such as:

– ‘Organizations as Networks of Decisions’ by Will Harper, an associate of The Ready organization;

– ‘Creation of Integrated Care for residents of LA County’ by Peter Lazes, City University of New York;

– ‘Non-collaborative ecosystems in Belgian healthcare’ by Sam Pless, University of Leuven, Belgium;

– ‘Why Collaborative Ecosystems Now’ by Charles Heckscher, Rutgers University, New Jersey;

– ‘Principles for Designing Collaborative Ecosystems’ by Bill Pasmore, Columbia University, New York.

We have already reported on our 4 pre-conference workshops:

The Theory & Practice of Business Ecosystems (led by Peter Aughton, Australia);

People Powered Innovation: An Interactive Introduction to STS Design in the 21st Century (led by Doug Austrom, Don de Guerre, Bernard Mohr);

Fusion of European & North American STS Design (led by Geert van Hootegem, Carolyn Ordowich, and Others); and for graduate students,

PhD & MSc Workshop: Researching Sociotechnical Systems (Discussants–Ezra Dessers, Adrienne Eaton, Don de Guerre).

This is a jam-packed program–we are so very thankful to the contributors and our 2017 Design Team (Ike Overdiep, Ezra Dessers, Carolyn Ordowich, Rick Vanasse, Aaron Soto-Karlin, and Joe Norton).

PLEASE remember also to sign up for our next Webinar on June 14th, by Charles Heckscher, on the topic of “Collaboration Theory meets STS Design”, an excellent prelude to the 2017 Roundtable.

Meanwhile best wishes from all of us STS/RT Stewards– Mark Govers, Jose Martinez (Secretary), Joe Norton (Treasurer), Bert Painter (President), and Diana Tellefson Torres.


March 7, 2017

On MARCH 22nd, we present our second webinar of 2017 led by William E. (Bill) Smith, an innovative systems-thinker educated in the STS Design tradition. Bill’s extensive managerial and academic career has informed his development of a new philosophy and practice of organization that adds the concept of ‘power’ to sociotechnical systems design. Over the last 10 years, Bill has been applying his model in leadership development and in his teaching at George Washington University. And now, he shares his thinking with us“Applying Social-Political-Technical Design to any Purpose no Matter How Complex”, March 22nd, 12:00-1:30 PM EST.  Click HERE to REGISTER. Please note that this is the final webinar of 2017 for which STS/RT members can apply their 2016 membership to sign up at no charge.

On APRIL 5th, we are equally privileged that our colleagues, Peter Aughtonfrom Australia and Don de Guerre from Concordia University in Montreal will lead our third webinar of 2017, entitled “Designing Adaptive Ecosystems”, a nice prelude to our 2017 Roundtable.

For this third webinar and several others that are planned for the remainder of 2017, we encourage all participants to acquire their 2017 Emeritus, Student, Organization, or Full STSRT MEMBERSHIP: Click HERE to REGISTER, and then sign up for all of our webinar(s) at no charge.

By APRIL 15th, please remember that all friends and members of our Global STS Design Network are encouraged to respond to the 2017 Roundtable Design Team’s CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Click HERE  to Review. The Design Team has already received a number of interesting proposals. Our hope is that many more ideas will come forward to address the 2017 theme of “Designing Collaborative Ecosystems”.

Meanwhile, to help with your planning for the Roundtable to be held at Rutgers University, September 12-15, 2017, the Design Team has prepared a PRELIMINARY 2017 PROGRAM outline: Click HERE to Review. This outline is clearly PRELIMINARY—lots of details to fill in, and some may change, but hopefully, it will help with travel and accommodation plans. Please note the Pre-Conference Workshops and Reception/Opening scheduled for Tuesday, September 12th. Please also note that, although the main 3-day Roundtable will formally adjourn for early travelers by 2:30 PM on Friday, September 15th, the Design Team has arranged a special closing session (3-5 PM) with our 2 keynote presenters—Prof. Charles Heckscher of Rutgers University, and Prof. William (Bill) Pasmore of Columbia University.

We continue to highly recommend that you BOOK ACCOMMODATION ASAP to get preferred rates at the Rutgers Inn & Conference Center. The Rutgers Inn houses 32 Guest Rooms—all with full facilities, and most providing double accommodation. For the benefit of Roundtable members, we have arranged a special room rate with the INN. Additional quality accommodation is available in local hotels (The Heldrich, and Hyatt Regency New Brunswick) within walking distance of the Rutgers campus. For travel and accommodation details, clickHERE.

For persons wanting an ‘Early Bird’ rate, REGISTRATION for the 2017 STS Roundtable will open in April. We sincerely hope you will take advantage of this exciting opportunity!

Best wishes from all of us STS/RT Stewards– Mark Govers, Jose Martinez (Secretary), Joe Norton (Treasurer), Bert Painter (President), and Diana Tellefson Torres.
January 31st, 2017

Book in your Calendar NOW! 



September 12—15, 2017 Rutgers University: New Brunswick, New Jersey (near New York City)

“Building Collaborative Ecosystems”

Building on our understanding of the impact of digital technology and the unprecedented demand for collaboration by organizations with diverse stakeholder/entities in their external environments, we have partnered with the Center for the Study of Collaboration in Work and Society, and the Center for Work & Health, both at Rutgers University, in our continuing effort to increase our ability to innovate, research, and contribute in Collaborative Ecosystems.

Using common “touch-points” of the Rutgers’ Centers and the STS RT like healthcare, education, social innovation, and mutual prosperity, we will first take a deep dive in Collaborative Ecosystems, with a focus on the healthcare sector, to get a better understanding of necessary principles, methods and knowledge in building an ecosystem with professionals, clients, (IT)- consultants and academics. Secondly, we want to explore the practice of building collaborative ecosystems in other fields (education, social entrepreneurship, etc.) to broaden our understanding of what general principles and methods are applicable to building collaborative ecosystems. 

Please check out the initial outline of the Roundtable PROGRAM now available on our website. Within this framework, the 2017 design team will invite your participation in a CALL FOR PROPOSALS, to be issued in early February. Proposals will be due by APRIL 15, 2017. Meanwhile, we very pleased to announce our 2 keynote presenters—Prof. Charles Heckscher of Rutgers University, and Prof. William Pasmore of Columbia University.
Facilities & Accommodations
Rutgers University—250 years old—is the State University of New Jersey, an acclaimed public research institution serving over 65,000 students. The flagship campus of Rutgers is in the town of New Brunswick, New Jersey, directly accessible by ground transport (30-45 minutes) from Newark Airport, and approximately one hour by train, bus, or car from Manhattan in downtown New York City.
Our meetings will be held at the stately RUTGERS UNIVERSITY INN & CONFERENCE CENTER. Plenary sessions will be held in a spacious main conference room. A number of smaller rooms have also been reserved for parallel break-out sessions. The Rutgers Inn houses 32 Guest Rooms—all with full facilities, and most providing double accommodation. For the benefit of Roundtable members, we have arranged a very special room rate with the INN. Additional quality accommodation is available in local hotels within walking distance of the Rutgers campus. For travel and accommodation details, click HERE.
We highly recommend that you BOOK ACCOMMODATION ASAP to get preferred rates at the Rutgers Inn. For the actual Roundtable meetings, EARLY Registration (at reduced rates) will be OPEN in March.
The 2017 Design Team (Ezra Dessers, Joe Norton, Carolyn Ordowich, Ike Overdiep, Aaron Soto-Karlin, Rick Vanasse) is excited about this program, and about the prospect of your participation!
REMEMBER: Click HERE for your 2017 Emeritus, Student, Organization, or Full STSRT MEMBERSHIP.

December 14th, 2016

STS/RT Strategic Priorities & Membership Renewal for 2017

Consistent with our stated Mission (as a professional learning community)—to provide an open environment in which to share research, knowledge and practice, and to support individual and community efforts in innovation ofSTS Design–the STS/RT Stewards’ annual planning session held November 18-19st in Atlanta developed the following 2017 STRATEGIC PRIORITIES.

1. We want to support a learning focus on the theory & design of “collaborative ecosystems”, building on insights from our 2016 Roundtable, with the next stage of this learning journey to be a theme of our 2017 Roundtable at Rutgers University, New Jersey–September 11-15, 2017—Design Team will provide more info about the program and accommodation in January.

2. We will continue our organizational outreach, growing the Global STSD Network (in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Scandinavia, and local ‘hubs’ in North America), while building interactions with universities, labor, and others in our ecosystem.

3. In support of these goals, we see a need to: a) preserve and strengthen our ‘creative commons’, by defining and living by ‘rules of engagement’ for an open mindset to other schools of thought while respectfully sharing and safeguarding others’ knowledge and work (IP); b) consolidate our digital presence in a ‘Virtual Roundtable’ of at least 4 webinars held annually, starting with a January 18, 2017webinar on the theme of ‘The Worker Voice’ by Kevin Boyle & Ike Overdiep; and c) continue building our website to be user-friendly and ‘resource-full’ as a hub for members and an outreach channel for interested parties in our ecosystem.

4. Looking ahead, we will begin planning for our 2018 Roundtable/Network meeting, to be held in either Leiden, Netherlands or Trondheim, Norway. We willcomplete feasibility studies for future Roundtable/Network meetings in Australia and Mexico, as possibilities during 2019 and 2020. Finally, we will activelypromote and support effective succession of ‘Stewardship’ for the Roundtable, facilitated by possible amendment to our by-laws.

For all of these priorities, the Stewards have developed action plans, many of which will hopefully involve and benefit from direct participation by Roundtable Members. Indeed, as details of plans and actions unfold, we will do our best to maintain communication with you.

MEMBERSHIP REGISTRATION for 2017 is now open on our website. With membership come privileges (such as password access to a Directory of contacts for all Members since 2013, and to an Archive of Conference Presentations since 2012, as well no-charge participation in webinars). Membership provides also a vital contribution to sustain the (accounting, legal, and digital media) infrastructure of the Roundtable. So, please click on the link to REGISTER!

We hope you will join us as Roundtable Members in 2017, to help make our goals a reality. Meanwhile, we the 2017 Officers/Stewards of the STS Roundtable want to wish all of you as colleagues and friends, a very Merry Holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Best wishes from all of us STS/RT Stewards: Jose Martinez (Secretary), Joe Norton (Treasurer), Bert Painter (President) and new fellow Stewards: Mark Govers, Diana Tellefson Torres.

October 4th, 2016

San Francisco Post-Script and on to Rutgers, New Jersey!

During the four days of the 2016 Global STS Design Network meeting in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, 80 people participated and celebrated our 30thAnniversary. For participants and Roundtable friends alike, if you wish to view the presentations and deliberation notes, click on this link to Conference Presentations 2016 in the Resources section of our website. In addition, here is the link to all of the papers now available in 2016 Roundtable Recommended Readings.

2016 Roundtable participants are also encouraged to contribute their Reflections, and to add/correct any biographical information to be included in our Membership Directory. (The links to both of these member-only web pages were provided to participants on the final page of the San Francisco Meeting Notes and will remain open for entries for another month or so.) By the end of this year, our website will contain an updated, password-protected Membership Directory including contacts for all members and participants at Roundtable since 2013.

The 2016 Roundtable program was designed with the objective “to refine our understanding of where and how a systemic approach to work design can add value in a digital world”. The design team developed a series of deliberations aimed to help participants converge on individual and group learning. What emerged are collective insights that members of the Design Team will now try to distill in an ‘epilogue’ to be shared with all ‘STSers’ as one aid to support a new wave of STS design. Thanks to photographs contributed by many participants, as well as video recorded by Stu Winby’s colleagues during our visit to Silicon Valley, the Design Team will also produce a YouTube photo-story commemorating this 30th Anniversary Roundtable.

At our Annual General Meeting held during this Roundtable, members elected by acclamation two new Stewards–Diana Tellefson Torres (Executive Director of the UFW Foundation and graduate of Stanford University), and Mark Govers(Professor of Management at Maastricht University and IT systems consultant in the Netherlands). Diana and Mark join Joe Norton, Joe Martinez and Bert Painter as your 2016-2017 Stewards. Meanwhile, we are extremely appreciative of the yeoman’s work done by Pierre van Amelsvoort and Jean Fuller who completed 3 busy years as STS/RT Stewards.

Pierre is also noteworthy for his work with Bernard Mohr in co-editing an important NEW book on evolution in the practice of socio-technical systems design: “Co-Creating Humane and Innovative Organizations”. Here is a link to purchase this e-book now available at the publisher (Create Space) or on—a portion of the proceeds to support the Global STS Design Network.

And, before he left his role as a Steward, Jean Fuller organized two webinars to be held in the 4th Quarter of 2016. Please go to our website for more information on a November 8th webinar featuring Pierre and Bernard in discussion with participants about their new book.

Finally, the 2017 Design Team (Dewey Dorsett, Rick Vanasse, Joe Norton, Ike Overdiep, Ezra Dessers, and Aaron Soto-Karlin, all supported by Carolyn Ordowich as an associate member) have just announced the dates of what promises to be an exciting 2017 Global STSD Network Meeting—September 11-15, 2017–to be held on the theme of “Collaborative Ecosystems” and hosted at and by Rutgers University in New Jersey, one hour from New York City. Please mark the dates in your calendar and stay posted for information about the program and accommodations.

As Stewards, we invite as many of you as possible to join us in 2017!

Mark Govers
Diana Tellefson Torres
Jose Martinez (Secretary)
Joe Norton (Treasurer)
Bert Painter (President)

June 24th, 2016

Reminder: EARLY Registration for 2016 San Francisco ROUNDTABLE Closes Midnight June 30 th .

Many of you have already registered, but for others who are planning to join us to celebrate the 30 th Anniversary of the STS Roundtable in San Francisco, September 6-9 th , please remember:

June is the final month of EARLY registration to enjoy reduced fees.

Remember also to book ACCOMMODATIONS now!! Space is going fast, and if need be, you can cancel room reservations up to 48 hours before our event.

Nonetheless, our commitment is that registration will remain open through the summer months of July and August. With our theme of “Integrating Technology and Organizations in a Digital World”, we believe our 30 th Anniversary Roundtable will be special! We have the ambition for this Roundtable to be an inflection point where we expand our STS Design  frameworks to more fully incorporate the reality of digital technologies.

More information about the PROGRAM and recommended Pre-Reading will be forthcoming over the summer—please stay tuned. See you in San Francisco!

Best wishes from the STS/RT Stewards: Jean Fuller, Jose Martinez (Secretary), Joe Norton (Treasurer), Bert Painter (President), Pierre van Amelsvoort.

June 6th, 2016

More 2016 San Francisco ROUNDTABLE News + Exciting WEBINAR!

By end of June, detailed design of the 2016 San Francisco Roundtable will be mostly complete. We have now received numerous ideas for ‘lightning talks’ (including pecha kuchas), and are awaiting additional proposals from Bay area graduate university students and IT professionals. We are particularly pleased with the way the pre-conference ½ day workshops are shaping up. And, an added bonus is that Eli Berniker will kick-start preparations for the Roundtable with a June 15th Webinar on the topic of “Designing Organizations with Information Systems in mind”.

For our first ½ day pre-conference workshop in San Francisco, Pete Sorenson and a few other 2016 design team members will soon spend a couple of days gathering interviews and visuals on the Watsonville, CA farms associated with the United Farm Workers (UFW) and the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI). The interviews and visuals are part of bringing the farm workers’ culture into our workshop where Erik Nicholson and his UFW colleagues will tell the story of how the union is integrating digital technology into the way the organization works and supports its widely dispersed membership.

For our second ½ day pre-conference workshop, we feel very fortunate that a number of our members in the Global STS Design Network have responded to our call to lead an “appreciative review” of 3 main contemporary schools of STS Design thinking—the “North American” (including Nonroutine Work design), the “Lowlands” Dutch version, and the “Australian” 2 stage model of active adaptation (Open Systems Theory). The aim of this workshop is to enhance understanding of each of our different STSD languages and applications, so that we can better deliberate and create knowledge together.

Indeed, we expect quite a contingent of folks from “down under” to join us in San Francisco. Peter Aughton will be sharing one or more case studies about his company’s work in business ecosystems. Also, at our STS/RT AGM, we will be discussing Peter’s offer to help initiate an Australasia STS Roundtable “chapter”, as a new partner in the Global STS Design Network.

Another ‘contingent’ that is very important to the future of the network is the younger, university student population. This month we learned that a number of graduate students from Sonoma State University MA OD program will be joining us in San Francisco, and we are similarly hopeful of participation by some graduate students from the Work, Technology & Organization Center at Stanford University.
To get started for the deliberations we will have in San Francisco, be sure to sign up for our next WEBINAR on June 15, 2016 at 13:00 EDT. Join Eli Berniker and Jean Fuller in a dynamic and interactive conversation on the challenges and possible solutions that information systems pose for organization design practice. (This webinar is free for all active (paid) members of the STS Roundtable and the Ulbo de Sitter Institute.)

As useful background to this webinar, participants can get access via our website to a recent paper that Eli wrote in the International Journal for Systems and Society (IJSS). Next month, we will include this paper in a special archive that Marcela will create on our website for ‘Pre-San Francisco Roundtable Readings’. Don’t miss this opportunity for some great summer reading!

Most importantly, please remember June is the final month of EARLY registration (for the San Francisco Roundtable)–enjoy reduced fees.

See you in San Francisco! Best wishes from the STS/RT Stewards:
Jean Fuller
Jose Martinez (Secretary)
Joe Norton (Treasurer)
Bert Painter (President)
Pierre van Amelsvoort


April 29th, 2016

Our 30th Anniversary – A special STS Roundtable with a Difference!

To help us celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the STS Roundtable (and our 4th meeting as a Global STS Design Network), we will open the full program of our annual meeting to be held in San Francisco, with a Tuesday (September 6) evening Reception and a Keynote address by Ann Majchrzak, one of the founders of the STS Roundtable and currently Professor of Digital Innovation at the University of Southern California School of Business.

Ann will help us recall the origins and aspirations of the STS Roundtable in 1986. (Joining Ann will be a few other “celebrities” from those early days.) The greater part of Ann’s contribution will be to ‘set the scene’ for our San Francisco Roundtable, by sharing the story of how as an STS-informed academic, she has been one of the first persons in our field to dive into the age of computerized information systems and the emergent digital revolution.

The schedule for the Tuesday (September 6) evening Opening of the Roundtable is for a Reception (with hearty appetizers of sushi, seafood, and cheese displays) along with a no-host bar to start at 7:00 PM, followed by Ann’s Keynote address 30-40 minutes later, after which there will be ample time for us to celebrate and re-connect with colleagues.

With our theme of “Integrating Technology and Organization Design in a Digital World”, our 30th Anniversary Roundtable will also be special in another way.

We have the ambition for this Roundtable to be an inflection point where we expand our current STS Design framework to more fully incorporate the reality of digital technologies. Our customary Roundtable experience is one of ‘knowledge sharing’. In addition to that, we have designed this 2016 Roundtable to be a ‘knowledge creation’ experience.

Hence, the main activity of this Roundtable will be a series of “deliberations” (45-60 minutes) in which Roundtable participants will engage in focused dialogue involving diverse perspectives to create shared insights and points-of-view on key questions associated with our goal of envisioning new framework(s) to support systemic work design in a digital world.

As stimulating input to these deliberations, we will utilize brief 5-10 minute ‘lightning talks’ (including pecha kuchas) as well as stories of case studies–proposed as contributions to the program by members of our STS Design community and IT professionals. Thus, what is often in the foreground of our Roundtable sessions—presentations and papers–will serve here as valuable background or stimulus for the primary work of this Roundtable—our deliberations (see note on “Background and Example for Deliberation Design” on our website).

This Roundtable will serve as a practical learning experience about the concept of deliberations as a “unit of analysis” in our design of knowledge work organizations (Pava:1983).

Our 30th Anniversary Roundtable will be a rewarding learning and work experience. Being set in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, it will also be fun and stimulating. We encourage all of you to take advantage of EARLY registration (until June 30th)–enjoy reduced fees.

Additional fee reductions accrue, of course, to all STS Roundtable and USI members. So, before registration, be sure that you have signed up for your 2016 Roundtable MEMBERSHIP.

Remember also to book ACCOMMODATIONS now!! Space is going fast, and if need be, you can cancel room reservations up to 48 hours before our event.

See you in San Francisco! Best wishes from the STS/RT Stewards: Jean Fuller, Jose Martinez (Secretary), Joe Norton (Treasurer), Bert Painter (President), Pierre van Amelsvoort.



March 28th, 2016


Registration for the 30th Anniversary and 2016 Global STS Design Network Roundtable in San Francisco and Silicon Valley is now ‘open’ at our website. Click here and register directly.

We encourage you to take advantage of EARLY registration (until June 30th) and enjoy reduced fees for all sessions at the 2016 Roundtable.

Additional fee reductions accrue, of course, to all STS Roundtable and USI members. So, before registration, be sure that you have signed up for your 2016 Roundtable MEMBERSHIP.

Remember also to book ACCOMMODATIONS now!! Space is going fast, and cancellations are always possible up to 48 hours before our event.

While the 2016 Design Team continues to invite responses to its ‘CALL FOR PROPOSALS’, details of the 2016 program are being refined.

For example, as a native of Silicon Valley, Pete Sorenson is busy mapping out a guided bus tour that will take us to the likes of Google, Facebook, and Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ headquarters.

Meanwhile, Betsy Merck and Stu Winby are exploring contacts with faculty and students at Stanford University and neighboring Santa Clara University. Stu has also recruited colleagues from the Valley to share with us recent developments in a story where digital technologies have been integrated in a significant redesign of a healthcare organization. And, there is more to come, as “STS Design meets Silicon Valley”.

In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up for our next WEBINAR to be held on April 20th from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EDT, on the topic of “Generative Questions for Organization Design”.

Hosted by Jean Fuller and Jacinthe Bergevin, this participative session will explore how to increase the transformational potential of the questions for inquiry in four key components of organization design: the customer experience, the transformation process, management processes, and the employee experience at work.

We hope very much that the timing of this webinar will enable our European colleagues to join us, and to help with the organization of this participative webinar, we encourage everyone interested to Sign Up now. (As a one-time offer, the fee for this webinar will be waived for all persons who were paid 2015 STS/RT members.)

See you in San Francisco!

With best wishes from: Jean Fuller, Jose Martinez (Secretary), Joe Norton (Treasurer), Bert Painter (President), Pierre van Amelsvoort.


February 25th, 2016

2016 MEMBERSHIP—A Year to Celebrate our 30th ANNIVERSARY!

The Design Team for the Global STS Design Network 2016 Roundtable continues to work on the PROGRAM and logistics of our 30th Anniversary Roundtable, to be held in a little over 6 months from now in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The next iteration in the 2016 program design will occur after the design team has received the full response to the ‘CALL FOR PROPOSALS’.

A number of proposals have already been submitted and we INVITE more by MARCH 31, 2016:

1. CASE STUDIES of real world examples of Digital Technologies integrated with Organization Design;

2. PECHA KUCHA presentations on research, publications, interventions, and innovations in Work, Worklife, and Organization in the Digital World; and

3. Research or Position PAPERS that support any or all of this Roundtable’s Deliberations.

Proposals are being reviewed by Peter Sorenson (Strategic Organization Design Consultant based in Dallas, Texas) and Dr. Mark Govers (Professor in Management Sciences at Maastricht University, The Netherlands, and Advisor to a consulting firm on business and IT alignment). So, please send additional proposals to Pete and Mark—their contacts are in the Call for Proposals.

Next month, the registration process will open for the 2016 Roundtable. Meanwhile, we encourage everyone interested to BOOK ACCOMMODATIONS NOW!! Space is going fast, and if necessary, cancellations are always possible up to 48 hours before our event.

While the annual meeting is a great opportunity for members to meet face-to-face, the Roundtable is now more than a one-event community.

The first in a series of 2016 webinars begins on March 23rd @ 1 PM (EST)/6 PM (GMT)—we hope our European colleagues will join us.

The topic is Generative Questions for Organization Design” led by Jacinthe Bergevin and JeanFuller

—Click here to learn more.  Exciting news about more webinars in 2016 still to come!

Thanks to the expertise of Marcela Urteaga, you may notice some continued upgrades (in the ‘Research’ section, etc.) of our website: . Soon, we will overhaul our Membership Directory to provide access to member contact points and bios, from 2014-2016.

And, in Q2, we will continue to build our network of Resources, adding on a ‘library’ of key reference books, as well as an ‘archive’ of publications that so many of you have produced over the years, to reinforce both our legacy and the future of STS design theory and practice.

To continue this work of transforming ourselves into a global, year-round virtual community requires year-round resources. Therefore, we need as many of you as possible to RENEW your Roundtable Membership NOW. We will allow a ‘grace period’ during Q1 for 2015 members, but by renewing now, you as a Member will have year-round free access to Webinars and other membership privileges on the website, as well as the reduced fee to the annual meeting.

We encourage everyone to sign up NOW for your Roundtable membership. For questions or suggestions for further improvements, please go to our website and CONTACT US, and meanwhile, let’s all celebrate a very impressive Anniversary, with more to come!

With best wishes: Jean Fuller, Jose Martinez (Secretary), Joe Norton (Treasurer), Bert Painter (President), Pierre van Amelsvoort.



January 22, 2016



“Integrating Technology and Organization in a Digital World”



For IT Professionals wanting to learn new paths to successful applications in organizations and networks, and for work design Practitioners who need to exploit the full potential of digital technologies in productive and humane organizations, this Roundtable will refine current understanding of where and how a Systemic approach to Work Design (integrating people, IT, and organization) adds value in today’s digital world–a mutual learning experience for IT and Business professionals, Managers and Union leaders, academic Faculty and Students, and organization design Practitioners. Please check out the Roundtable Program outline.

The program has been designed as its own work system where we process a set of key deliberations focused on topics/questions such as the nature of the digital world, inspirational examples of IT integrated with Organization Design, and what new framework(s) we can envision to support Systemic Work Design in a Digital World.

To stimulate insights within these deliberations, the design team invites your participation in a Call for Proposals.

There are 3 formats for program Proposals that we invite by MARCH 31, 2016:

1. CASE STUDIES of real world examples of Digital Technologies integrated with Organization Design;

2. PECHA KUCHA presentations on research, publications, interventions, and innovations in Work, Worklife, and Organization in the Digital World; and

3. Research or Position PAPERS that support any or all of this Roundtable’s Deliberations.

We are also extremely privileged to announce that joining us as guest speaker/participants at this Roundtable will be Ann Majchrzak, Professor of Digital Innovation, USC School of Business; and, Ed Schein, Professor Emeritus, Sloan School of Management, MIT.

The 2016 Design Team is excited about this program and the prospect of your participation!!

Betsy Merck, Merck Consulting, Inc.

Steve Alter, Information Systems, School of Management, University of San Francisco

Mark Govers, Maastricht University, The Netherlands & Archypel Consulting

Bert Painter, Modern Times Productions

Pete Sorenson, Strategic Organization Design, Inc.

Friso Van der Meulen, Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)

Stu Winby, SPRING Network.



December 14, 2015

The outcome of the STS/RT Stewards’ annual planning session, held November 20-21st in Atlanta, was a series of commitments to consolidate our Global STS Design Network, to continue activation of our GLOWIN ecosystem, and to enhance the virtual community activities of the STS Roundtable (our North American home and a key ‘node’ in the global STSD network).

During 2016, the 500th year of Thomas More’s “Utopia” (a story about Europe that started in Flanders), our colleagues at the University of Leuven, in USI, and in Flanders Synergy will reach out with the GLO.WIN Manifesto and our whole systems perspective to initiate some new collaborations. We will also continue exchanges with the European Organization Design Forum.

To help sustain and expand the breadth of the Global STS Design Network, we have plans to build on contacts made this past year at the Leuven ‘Festival’, with academics from Scandinavia, the UK, France, and Australasia. From among these contacts, we will compose a small Steering Group to initiate further connections and support planning of future knowledge sharing events.

Within North America, we will continue our outreach to academics, students, and practitioners. We will employ the strategy advocated last year by one of our STS/RT members, Dave Roitman, of locating our Network Roundtables in close proximity to STS-friendly university programs (such as Stanford’s Center for Work, Technology & Organization—in 2016—and Rutger’s Center for Workplace Transformation—in 2017). Much as we did in 2014 at Montreal with Concordia University, and in 2015 with the University of Leuven, in 2016, we will encourage and financially support student participation in our Network Roundtable at San Francisco. 2016 will also be an occasion to reach out to practitioners—through involvement of the IT community, increased presence on ‘LinkedIn’, development of a web-based platform for Orientation to modern STSD, and creation of local ‘hubs’ on workplace design (such as exists now in Montreal, Canada). Undoubtedly, these objectives can only be achieved with active STS/RT member participation.

Also throughout 2016, we will continue to grow the Roundtable as our North American virtual learning community for STS Design. We will hold a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 webinars each year. Starting with our upcomingDecember 10th webinar on “Social Media & Organizational Transformation” (click on link to register), a post-webinar discussion platform will be developed. Webinars will be recorded and stored for member access on our website. Indeed, with the valuable expertise of our webmaster, Marcela Urteaga, a number of features of our website will be enhanced in 2016, particularly an extensive Archive of STS publications that will serve as a legacy of the works contributed over the years by so many of our members.

We hope you will join us as Roundtable Members in 2016, to help make these plans a reality. Meanwhile, we the 2016 Stewards (and Officers) of the STS Roundtable want to wish all of you as colleagues and friends, a very Merry Holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Jean Fuller  
Jose Martinez (Secretary)
Joe Norton (Treasurer)
Bert Painter (President)
Pierre van Amelsvoort

If you want to contact us, please send us an email.


JULY 2015 – Enjoy the summer!

Before the summer break, we want to highlight some recent developments within the STS Roundtable community.

Just completed was the second successful WEBINAR held this spring and early summer. Nineteen (19) individuals (many of them newcomers to the STS Roundtable) were listed as participants in a June 26th webinar on the topic of “Positive Participative Innovation (PPI)”, a new STS Design process developed jointly by Bernard Mohr, Don deGuerre, and Doug Austrom. One outcome of this webinar is that, at the request of a student member, the Roundtable will work to support participants in their development of a PPI Community of Practice. Many thanks to Bernard, Don, and Doug for sharing their knowledge and experience, and thanks also to Marcela Urteaga and Jean Fuller for organizing this event. Next up is a webinar scheduled for late September/early October—stay tuned for an announcement on our website.

Registrations continue to flow in for the 2015 Global STS Design Network meeting, in the historic and architecturally beautiful Flemish city of Leuven, Belgium. Our European colleagues who have done much of this year’s event organizing anticipate 70-100 participants. (One of the participants will be a trade union member who recently qualified for support to attend under the STS Roundtable Scholarship program.) Our meeting space at the Irish College in Leuven will comfortably hold 100 people, so we encourage you to register as soon as possible (!

During our meeting in Leuven, (as a not-for-profit organization with charitable status), we will hold the 2015 STS/RT Inc. Annual General Meeting, 12:00-1:00 PM, on Thursday, September 10th. One business item will be the election/confirmation of STSRT Stewards for the coming year. Three Stewards (Jose, Joe, and Bert) have one more year to go on their two-year term. Two Stewards (Pierre and Jean) will have completed two years. Pierre has already agreed to serve an optional 3rd year. Thus, we need to invite Nominations for one (1) Steward position.

Because some members are unable to attend our AGM in Leuven, an email will be distributed soon to PAID STSRT members, inviting nominations to be sent to admin by August 31, 2015. For persons who have not yet paid their 2015 membership but wish to nominate themselves or another willing individual, they can renew their membership and submit accordingly. All such nominations will be carried forward to the AGM in Leuven.

Two final news items—first, hotel arrangements have been made and we can proudly announce that the Global STS Design Network and 30th Anniversary STS Roundtable meeting will be held in San Francisco, September 6-9, 2016. Book those dates NOW! Details to come in September. And secondly, please join us in congratulations for our dear colleague, (Professor) Eli Berniker who in full voice and good health recently celebrated his 80th birthday!

Jean Fuller

Jose Martinez (Secretary)

Joe Norton (Treasurer)

Bert Painter (President)

Pierre van Amelsvoort:


APRIL 2015 – WEBINARS & Other New privileges of STS/RT MEMBERSHIP!

We are in the early days of efforts to establish the STS Roundtable as a year round virtual community.
On MAY 21st, we will be holding our first WEBINAR for 2015, on the topic of “Dialogue on System Approaches to Organization Design”, led by Jean Fuller. And, on June 26, the trio of Bernard Mohr, Don de Guerre and Doug Austrom will re-unite in a second Webinar, featuring their workshop on “Positive Participative Innovation”. Plans are also being made for further webinars during the
remainder of the year. There is now so much learning to exchange within our Global STS Design Network –much more than can be shared in one annual meeting.

Participation in the Webinars is at no charge for Members of the STS Roundtable. To provide a sample of this virtual learning experience, however, our May webinar will be open to everyone. Then, for subsequent events, there will be a charge for participation by non-members.

Another Membership privilege that has recently been added is the opportunity for individual and organizational members to post an informational/promotional link to their own website in a list of ‘NETWORK LINKS’ highlighted on the STS Roundtable website. To request such a posting on our website, members need only contact In addition, there is an archived Membership Directory that provides members with easy access to bios and contact points for all individuals actively involved in our community. (‘Thank You’ to Marcela Urteaga and her husband, Hector, for their care in maintenance and upgrading of the website!)

Over time, we want to build the STS Roundtable website into a one-stop hub for archived and web-linked documentation on STS Design theory and practice. The goal is to become a valuable and credible resource for active users and a legacy for future generations.

One privilege of membership that continues from past years is a reduced fee for member participation in our annual Roundtable that has become a Global STS Design Network meeting.

Please stay tuned! Within days, we will be releasing an announcement of the detailed program for our 2015 Global STSD Network meeting—in Leuven, Belgium! Along with the program announcement will be instructions for Registration via our STS Roundtable website.

Meanwhile, we want to thank the considerable number of you who have renewed your Roundtable Membership for 2015. This is essential for the STS Roundtable to function as a year-round virtual community, and is a means for you to have full access to the resources of our community. To register for membership now, please just Click here.

For questions or suggestions, please email one of us Stewards—we want you to enjoy the benefits of belonging and contributing in our global STS Design community.

Bert Painter (President)
Jose Martinez (Secretary)
Joe Norton (Treasurer)
Jean Fuller
Pierre van Amelsvoort

2015 – Time to RENEW MEMBERSHIP in a RENEWED Roundtable!

This year is the culmination of our ‘Journey to Leuven’. The ‘journey’ began in Canterbury where members of the STS Roundtable met with European colleagues and emerged with a new and wider community of practice that we named the Global STS Design Network. Response to the Leuven Design Team’s ‘Call for Proposals’ has been most encouraging! We have proposals from Scandinavia, Australia, Europe, and North America–from unions, academics, employers, and individuals. Outreach to enhance the sustainability of STS Design thinking and practice continues. Members of the European Organization Design Forum and OD Australia have expressed strong interest in participating at Leuven. In Leuven, they would join a ‘launch’ event for GLO.WIN (Global Organization for Work Innovation), an ecosystem of organizations and individuals advocating and sharing knowledge for ‘Better Places to Work and Workplaces that Work Better’.

Meanwhile, the STSRT Stewards have begun work to establish the Roundtable as a year-round virtual community.  Early in the 2nd quarter of 2015, we will hold our first Webinar, led by Jean Fuller. And, plans are being made for a series of Webinars during the remainder of the year.

However, to transform ourselves into a year-round virtual community requires year-round resources. We need as many of you as possible to RENEW your Roundtable Membership NOW. We will allow a ‘grace period’ during Q1 for 2014 members. but by renewing now, you as a Member will start year-round free access to Webinars, and archived material and other membership privileges on the website, as well as the reduced fee to the annual meeting.

Bert Painter (President)
Jose Martinez (Secretary)
Joe Norton (Treasurer)
Jean Fuller
Pierre van Amelsvoort

Check out our DIGITAL PRESENCE in the links below…

The Stewards have also pursued upgrading the functionality of our website: Thanks to the expertise of Marcela Urtega, members can now LOG IN and access a Membership DIRECTORY (with bios, etc.).The blogging function has also been reactivated, with a cluster of new blogs posted by students who attended the Montreal Roundtable. Under STS Resources logged-in Members can also now access all the presentations and articles related to the 2014 Montreal meeting. These are just first steps to enhance the “Digital Presence” of the STS Roundtable—more to come! For the Leuven ‘Festival’, IWOT (International Workshop on Teamworking) has also just released its ‘Call for Papers’

***Please renew your Roundtable membership sooner rather than later, and contribute to our limited but vital support infrastructure. Click here and register directly. If you have any questions, please just email one of us Stewards—we want you to get a full year of benefit from belonging to our community and making a contribution to the sustainability of STS Design.***

Thanks for Subscribing


The Stewards of the STSRT wants to extend a hearty ‘thank you’ to all of our wonderful readers. You’re made the STSRT community shine, and we want to keep that going! If you’re not a regular just yet visit our STSRT website for enlightening discussion on the latest events and blogs.


Successful 2014 Annual Meeting

THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 15 – 20, 2014 IN MONTREAL, CANADA on the theme of “Better Places to Work and Places that Work Better”, the Global STS Network met to explore the new role of STS thinking and practice in a changing world. More than 60 people from the STS Roundtable and Ulbo de Sitter Institute participated in our Global STS Network 2014 Annual Meeting in Montreal. This was the most gender-diverse and youthful group of participants in many years. And thanks to the efforts of the local Montreal design team, this Roundtable involved a number of students and graduates from STS-related programs in Montreal-area universities. The Montreal event began Monday-Tuesday, September 15/16, with the Pre-Conference Workshop that introduced the power of “Positive Participative Innovation” (PPI), a unique process combining elements of Appreciative Inquiry, Participative Design, and Design Thinking, which was followed on Wednesday, September 17 by a wonderfully informative site visit to a 32-year old STS-designed General Electric Aviation Systems plant in Bromont, Quebec that has passed the threshold of sustainability to become a leader in Advanced Manufacturing and is now facing new challenges in STS redesign. Beginning on Wednesday evening, we were actively engaged for the next 2 ½ days in the main Roundtable sessions, each led by mini-design teams of our own Members to whom we are extremely thankful, and who are identified for future contact on our website
2014 annual conference for more information.

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Co-Founder of the Global STS Design Network