Accelerating through Adversity

Technical program highlights

President Invited Content

I am very excited to bring to you the President Invited Content (PIC) sessions for IS2021. It is a great slate covering topics that I believe you will find interesting and will help prepare us to tackle those big complex problems. Who has not in their career had to take an existing system and make it more resilient, sustainable and integrate it with other existing systems? How proficient are you in applying Systems Thinking to help minimise uncertainty? And Grand Challenges - when viewed as a system the interconnections are prolific. Adding guidance to implementing a Digital Engineering approach can support each of these topics and completes the PIC slate. 

You will also find the format of each of these topics provides great diversity and the opportunity to interact with the presenters. There will be short presentations, panels and discussions groups just to name a few. Plus the global breadth and depth of experience of the presenters is great. I am truly looking forward to participating at these sessions and I hope to see you there.

Kerry Lunney

Kerry Lunney, INCOSE President

Monday July 19 - 12:30 EDT

Viewing Grand Challenges as a System

Led by: Erika Palmer, Tom McDermott

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The National Academy of Engineering published a list of fourteen Grand Challenges which fall into four cross-cutting societal themes: sustainability, health, security, and joy of living.

INCOSE’s Vision 2025 describes a framework coupling societal needs to systems challenges, then to gaps in the capabilities of Systems Engineering. “Global trends include changes to both socioeconomic conditions and changes in our physical environment. These global changes impose new demands on the types of systems that are needed, yet are often impacted by the very technology and system developments meant to satisfy the human needs. For example, increased population growth and urbanization impose new challenges on transportation, health, and other modern infrastructures, while at the same time, systems solutions and technology itself can adversely impact air and water quality.

Vision 2025 continues: “Large and often complex engineered systems are key to addressing the Grand Challenges and satisfying human and social needs that are physical, psychological, economic and cultural.” Grand Challenge themes should address a scope which covers all aspects of the system outcomes whoever they are delivered by. Enterprises must consider the balance of finite resources and trade-offs across the full scope; how to set the necessary level of human and technical integration; and the need to remain viable within environmental factors and possible threats.  All decisions must consider what is acceptable within the social context in which they sit.

With this in mind, this panel will highlight the intersection of grand challenge areas, particularly with respect to human and social needs.

Tuesday July 20 - 12:30 EDT

DE meets SE: Building a Joint Culture

Led by: Troy Peterson

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Systems Engineering is a relatively new and evolving discipline when compared to classical engineering disciplines. However, its application and importance in organizations continue to grow as systems become more complex, giving rise to Systems of Systems and new and evolving domains. Digital Engineering is an engineering strategy and implementation approach to all levels and types of engineering discipline that takes advantage of today’s rapidly evolving digital ecosystem, including new tools, technologies, big data, tighter feedback mechanisms that speed the flow of information, and system innovation. This session will discuss the relationship between DE and SE and the synergistic effects and pitfalls of each practice and together. The session will explore the cultural implications of DE and SE implementation and the question: DE helps an organization develop or improve SE, or is it best if you already have a strong SE culture/process/etc.

Wednesday July 21 - 12:30 EDT

Using Systems Thinking to add value - in these uncertain times

Led by: Charlotte Dunford

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The intersection of three global crises: Pandemic AND Climate Change AND Global Pollution, provides the opportunity for INCOSE to innovatively learn together. Culture develops through the network of conversations it stimulates. Emergence outcomes can spread globally at extraordinary rates and scales. These three crises can no longer be ignored because their impact is felt on a global scale. The buffers of time and space that our planet provides have been depleted so we are seeing the emergent effects in global crises. There is a growing need to focus not just on symptoms, but on underlying patterns, architectures and root causes; to understand mental models that drive these and thereby mitigate the dangers from unintended consequences and turn crises into opportunities.
These are complex problems. Systemic frameworks have evolved heuristically to help people make sense of such complex problems. These include the “Systemic View of Complex Challenges” and Cynefin. When heuristics is placed in the context of the whole, the systems science framework gives deeper meaning.
INCOSE, in collaboration with ISSS, has been working to create a holistic framework for systems science. Its purpose is to provide the means to organise the pursuit and practice of systems knowledge as a learning system. Systems engineering experience has played a vital role in shaping the framework and when our heuristics are placed in the context of the whole, new insights and connections emerge. With the application of these approaches, greater fidelity, and performance in our systems engineering discipline is anticipated. It is exciting that a framework now exists and it will be used as part of this learning experience.
AND with the art of harmonisation, a systems approach can stimulate global collaborative actions that will modify behaviours and enable us to learn to mitigate the dangers. Crisis is thereby turned into opportunity.

Thursday July 22 - 12:30 EDT

The next Systems Challenge: Developing resilient, effective, inclusive, sustainable societal systems of systems

Led by: Anne O’Neil and Duncan Kemp

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The modern world has a range of interconnected challenges. Global peak population expected to reach 9.7Bn in the next 40-50 years. Societies need to provide food, water, housing, healthcare and security at the same time as dealing with climate disruption, unprecedented technological change and ensuring all in society benefit.
We already have well established and complex systems (e.g., transport, information, power, and urban infrastructure). Each of these systems have clear supply chain networks, consumers, markets and regulators. In modern societies each of these are, in themselves complex systems of systems, which in turn form part of a wider system of systems.
This complex, and undesigned, network of different systems faces specific challenges. It is inefficient, both financially and in terms of carbon consumption. It is fragile, with failures in one system threatening a cascade of failures across apparently unrelated systems. Finally, it is opaque, potentially disadvantaging some groups over others.
This interactive session will seek to explore the explore the nature of these systems we are seeking to develop, and identify the future Systems Engineering approaches that we will need to develop to meet these challenges.

Tech Ops Invited Content

I am excited about the Technical Operations invited content for IS2021!  We have a full track with sessions that sample the breadth and depth of our collective efforts in advancing Systems Engineering.  

A panel will debate the value of the Vee – considering that while it can be painful, the alternative might be worse.  We will then perceive Smart City models as a pachyderm, welcome the Financial Systems Working Group as they leverage Systems of Systems, and be informed by and inform the INCOSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee in this most important imperative.  Lastly, a panel will address the upcoming SysML v1.7 to v2.0 transition, focusing on availability and ‘real world’ deployment concerns. 

As one track of many at this year’s International Symposium, I encourage you to leverage this opportunity to learn, to connect, and to gain a validation sample that INCOSE members are advancing world-class systems engineering through their activities and products, which are relatable to all facets of systems engineering and across all sectors of application.

I look forward to seeing and chatting with you at IS2021!

Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman, INCOSE Technical Director

Monday July 19 - 10:00 EDT

Panel: To "Vee" or not to "Vee"

Moderator(s): Duncan Kemp
Panelist(s): Jon Wade - Steven Dam - Erik Herzog - Lauren Stolzar

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This session takes the form of a debate with one side proposing the proposition and the other opposing it. The proposition of this debate is:
“The ‘Vee’ model has outlived its usefulness and serves as a barrier to achieving the SE Vision”
The objective for this session is to provide a forum for people to debate this proposition by airing their views on the “Vee” model and its role in systems engineering. It should be remembered that this is a debate and the presentations may or may not be reflect the actual views of the participants. The desired outcome is that the attendees will come to a clearer understanding of how to think about and use this abstraction in their Systems Engineering activities. Just as there is no single definition of “system” that works for everyone, it is not expected that there will be a single view of the “Vee” that fits all, rather this debate will provide a diversity of opposing views so that participants and attendees can decide for themselves how to consider the “Vee” in their work. This debate session will consist of five short presentations on the “V”, one historical and two pro and two con, followed by two questions from each side, and then an open Q/A from the audience. The audience’s opinion on the proposition will be polled at the beginning and end of the debate. The “winner” of the debate is the side whose position on the proposition gained the most points.

Monday July 19 - 12:30 EDT

Spectacular Views of the City

Author(s): Jon Mooney (ACOUSTICS BY JW MOONEY LLC)

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As the INCOSE Smart Cities Initiative prepares its first work products, it is finding seemingly diverse points of view in several practicing definitions of the Smart City. There is no right or wrong model. Each model has a spectacular view of the city, and each model can offer valuable information (from its limited viewpoint) on how the city operates and how it could improve. When modeling, analyzing and optimizing the operations of a complex system, its important to model the system from various viewpoints. This, of course, is a lesson from the ancient fable of ‘the blind men and the elephant’; that we cannot claim an absolute truth based on one true but limited viewpoint while ignoring other equally true but limited viewpoints. Models are used in MBSE to map and keep track of the myriad butterfly effects caused by design and operational changes in complex real systems. But a single model is only a limited viewpoint, for the very reason that the real system it attempts to model is so complex. Comparing the complex system from various MBSE modeling viewpoints can help bring clarity.
In this presentation, we compare the viewpoints of two prominent Smart City definitions; Deloitte's viewpoint based on the idea that Smart cities emerge as the result of many Smart Solutions across all sectors of society, and TUSS's viewpoint based on the idea that a Smart city is a city that has the ability to identify its problems and its root causes promptly and remove the root causes by generating, and processing engineered quality data in a continuous and inclusive manner.
A comparison graphic illustrates how these are just two of the many views of the same elephant.

Monday July 19 - 13:15 EDT

S.O.S. for FSS: The need for Systems of Systems (SoS) Thinking per Financial Services Architectures, both Current and Emerging.

Author(s): Gina Guillaume-Joseph, Bradford Leigh

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During the session we will review the natural evolution of the financial services industry with its current and evolving technology paradigm. With technology emergence and convergence, Financial Institutions have evolved both their business and technology models. As such, now more than ever, a systems-of-systems approach can support sound governance and overall competitiveness for firms and industry. We will justify the claims as we dive into a series of emerging patterns and use cases and map fundamental Systems Engineering practices.

Monday July 19 - 14:00 EDT

Leading the Way to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Systems Engineering

Author(s): J: Alan Harding, Alice Squires

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Come join us to hear about how INCOSE is leading the way in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in systems engineering. We will cover a short history of events of the last several years that include both personal insights and turning points on a collaborative journey to creating a more inclusive INCOSE. The presentation will also cover methods, processes, and tools that members of the DEI task team have used to develop a way forward. And the audience will also hear from our newly appointed Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Please plan to attend to both be informed and inform the DEI team on DEI related opportunities, challenges, and recommendations.

Monday July 19 - 15:10 EDT

Panel: The Journey from SysML 1.7 to 2.0

Moderator(s): J: Daniel Siegl

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In this panel session, we will have various parties talk about their take on what will be required to make the transition from SysML 1.7 to 2.0 a success for the MBSE Community.
Questions we will discuss with the panelists:
• What are the biggest benefits for the Systems Engineer
• Will Systems Engineering change with SysML 2.0
• How will the Transition from 1.7 to 2.0 work in the real world?
• Will SysML 2.0 Tools be more interoperable than 1.X Tools?
• What is a realistic expectation on timelines – from when can I work with 2.0?
• Will it be easier to learn?
The objective for this session is to provide a forum to hear the opinions of various Systems Engineering experts! The desired outcome is that the attendees will come to a clearer understanding of what the release and commercial availability of SysML 2.0 tooling will affect their Systems Engineering efforts.