What is Hot 2/2012: A late Eulogy and news on the NEW GROUP THINK !

John N. Warfield (see his extensive websites) and WIKIPEDIA   John is for me a unique squared and round character and emininent scientist. I learned a lot from him in / after meeting him in Panetics Society (ISP) Board Sessions and around the IASIS.


In the 2003 we asked him to accept being part of the  Academic Board of the IESC (International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics) which he refused for long, insisting to not hold positions, but make a difference !! I remember him refusing to be part of the ISP speakersboard or prominent there – only to show the difference…


John I called squared as his ethical and synthetic analytical standard where unquestionable and ranging over wide fields, tough sometimes for his colleagues and unquestionable in his professional presence, standards, formats and depth.


I came across his name not only around his ISM but learned that he was not only the boss of Alexander Christakis for some time, and that Walter Bogan was involved for helping in the early days of System Sciences adding the participative and communicative dimensions to social systems design and decision making – I only mention “group think” here…


For me the bridge between, integrated, human, systemic, holistic and ethical …. is always challenging. John is more the withdrawn, intellectual, and deep entry door for this.


When I think of John I think not only about Panetics, or his MENTOMOLOGY - THE IDENTIFICATION AND CLASSIFICATION OF MINDBUGS, but also about a very central terms in his work: Clanthink, Groupthink, Spreadthink, Linkthink, group and societal pathologies. This has much to do with my focus on policy and decision-making, democracy and governance. But how to communicate Johns central contribution!? Let me try: He shows that we are blind I our reasoning, we think we know but do not. And John and also Alexander Christakis worked to make this visible and transparent, so we can learn and counteract, come to shared positive actions in a living, true democracy what Christakis connects to Demosophia.

Recently checking GROUPTHINK in Wikipedia I was shocked – I always knew that this “global encyclopedia” is blind. Only in-groups work and define their terms, deleting issues beyond the box of their on subject area. So the Groupthink entry is a good term to explore “groupthink” and the differences to clanthink and spreadthink. But to present it properly you need a more qualified and deeper source than WIKIPEDIA !

I am like John in the Academic Board of the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics, and had the honour and pleasure to help distribution and announcements for the publisher. With my task to promote it why not show what the Encyclopedia has to offer about Warfield and Groupthink, and connected terms !

Just a teaser to get an idea that Encyclopedias can be more, more general, deep and consistent – a quality question when you need to check for deeper meanings and connections. So please check here:



I checked some time-lines and milestones for an exchange/ interview with Christakis for EuropesWorld


Warfield has passed away, an eulogy is needed a.s.a.p.…


Jan 2012-01-16 when checking some links I find this comment by Walter Bogan recollecting his work and support / funding of the systems and education aspects of his work with Christakis and Warfield.


Below you can Walter J. Bogans text under my quergeist article:

Harnessing Wisdom & Concerting Shared Actions and Frames across Scales

1 comment

Mon 19 Sep 2011


7 Nov 2011 @ 21:53 by Walter J. Bogan @ : Conversation with Christakis
Dear Heiner, Thank you for sharing the report of your recent interview with Aleco. I think the most salient paragraph, going forward, was his reflection, consider the question, “Why do pupils drop out of school?” 

I addressed the human dimensions of environment in different capacities over many years. I participated in the 1970 Stockholm Conference as the chair of the committee of US NGO representatives. I was Executive Director of the Scientists’ Institute for Public Information in New York and I had published the article on Environment for the Encyclopedia America. I moved to Washington, DC immediately after Stockholm to become the Director of the US Office of Environmental Education. 

When I moved to Washington in 1970, I contacted Dr. Christakis at the Battelle Memorial Institute in Washington because of his work with the Club of Rome; he introduced me to John Warfield at the University of Virginia who had developed the theoretical foundation for Interpretative Structural Modeling (ISM) and was formalizing innovative methods for structured dialogues for collaboration. I became an advocate and source of funding for his research on structured collaborations in my role as Director of the Office of Environmental Education at the US Department of Education. 

Dr. John N. Warfield became the Principle Investigator for the consortium of research institutions that implemented the strategic plan for the Environmental Education Act of 1970. In 1980, John Warfield produced Designs for the Future of Environmental Education (USDOE Publication No. E-81-39000). It reported on the implementation of the research and development strategy of my office under the US Environmental Education Act of 1970. 

Dr. Christakis referenced Thomas R. Flanagan’s recent book, “A Democratic Approach to Sustainable Futures” that I have not read but from the introduction and table of contents, available online, it appears to be a logical extension of the computer supported implementation of the Regional Environmental Learning System RELS that we reported in 1980 in “Designs for the Future of Environmental Education.” The history and extent of the collaborations of John N. Warfield, Walter J. Bogan and Alexander N. Christakis is available at 

In the implementation of the Environmental Education Act of the 1970, we developed environmental education programs to address the human dimensions of the environment that had not been addressed at Stockholm and are still ignored by too many “environmental educators” and proponents of the new “education for global sustainability”. We need a meaningful review of the human issues that were not addressed at Stockholm and why they had only begun to be meaningfully discussed in 1990 at Rio through Agenda 21, fortunately they are finally integral to the 2012 UN Conference agenda Rio+12. 

In 2012, 
[link], The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, will focus on two themes: 

Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication 
Institutional framework for sustainable development 

I hope to be able to identify and coordinate resources to develop a meaningful education and public communication program to support this agenda and to mobilize a constituency to support human development and global sustainability. 

With regard to your reference to Yehezkel Dror’s initiative to launch Global Policy Colleges through the Club of Rome more than 15 years ago, I commend to your attention, Dr. John N. Warfield’s Wandwavers Solution, 

I lost your email address, you can reach me at