John Warfield Exhibit

A Reborn Center for Interactive Management

With the dissolution of the Center for Interactive Management at the University of Virginia, Warfield decided once again to depart the academic world. He took a position with Burroughs Corporation in Detroit, working there from September 1983 to July 1984. Despite the opportunity to work on the development of educational materials, he did not enjoy the experience. In 1984, he saw an ad for the Director of the Institute of Information Technology at George Mason University. He recalled years later that he felt the ad "had been deliberately written for me."

Warfield joined the faculty of George Mason in 1984, and in doing so, found a home for the remainder of his career. He set to work immediately on the reconstruction of the Center for Interactive Management. His colleague Aleco Christakis joined him at George Mason. Others were brought on board, and the CIM evolved into a large and sophisticated functional team, as seen in this 1988 organizational chart.

The Demosophia at George Mason University

One of the first projects Warfield initiated at George Mason was the construction of a custom designed situation room, or "Demosophia," for holding Interactive Management sessions. The room was constructed in Thompson Hall on Mason's Farifax Campus, and was the culmination of years of thought on the proper environment for solving complex problems. Warfield left no detail to chance, even insisting on comfortable chairs to benefit the participants who would spend several days in the room.

"Executive Package" Brochure for Center of Interactive Management

As economic recovery swept across America in the 1980's, the CIM sought to reach out to corporations and government agencies interested in sophisticated problem solving techniques. At right is a brochure created to entice potential clients.

IM Projects at George Mason University, 1983-1988

Continued improvements in computing power, and effective outreach efforts led to a rapid growth in CIM clients. This comprehensive report details IM projects between 1983 and 1988. The list of clients is impressive, from major government agencies, to national activist organizations.

The CIM at George Mason faced the same battle for survival that it had at the University of Virginia. In 1990, the CIM was shut down. Warfield later commented that it was "once again involving matters not related to its work, but rather to high-level institutional actions." Yet the legacy of Interactive Management had spread beyond the grounds of George Mason University. The methodology is still in use by diverse organizations around the world.