John Warfield Exhibit

A Life's Work

Warfield retired from George Mason University in 2000, but his work continued as Professor Emeritus. He continued to publish, present, and ponder the nuances of Systems Science. In 2006, he published his 13th monograph, entitled "An Introduction to Systems Science." Even while retired, he could not escape the academic world - he served as Honorary Professor at China University of Mining and Technology beginning in 2001.

This 2007 version of his resume checks in at 41 pages, and speaks to the volume of work he accomplished in a career of 60+ years. This comprehensive documents lists all of his publications, presentations, academic and professional positions, as well as awards and recognition he received throughout his long career.

Recognized for Excellence

Over the decades, Warfield was singled out by numerous organizations for recognition. Pages 6-7 of his 2007 resume detail the various awards he received, from election as the State of Virginia Eminent Scholar, to recipient of the Peace Pipe Award from Americans for Indian Opportunity. Included is the citation for the 2007 INCOSE Pioneer Award, which states that "John Warfield is widely recognized as the father of systems science."

The letter shown here notified Warfield that he had been selected for the 1977 Outstanding Contribution Award by the Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. It is but one of many similar letters Warfield received over the years.

Service to Virginia

Warfield served on the faculty of 11 universities throughout his career. The early decades were spent in short tenures at various institutions, but he found stability later in his career in the Virginia educational system. In April 2000, he was recognized for 25 years service to the state of Virginia, for his work at the University of Virginia, and George Mason University.

International Reputation

The study of systems science for over 40 years created a vast network of connections and disciples. To this day, practitioners of Interactive Management continue to attack complex problems around the world. In addition to ongoing work in the United States, universities and private organizations in Central America, Asia, and Africa use Interactive Management on an ongoing basis. This 2008 letter from students at the National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan accompanied an elaborate plaque created to thank Warfield for his creation of Interactive Management. The cartoonish "Sentiment Story" stationary belies the seriousness of the issues being addressed by these IM practitioners, including "cognition of multiple groups, consensual strategy for local development in pluralistic societies, administrative strategy for Penghu County's striving for subsidiary gaming industry in special tourism zone, the development strategy for Kaohsiung port for cross-strait direct link under the frame of WTO."

Summation of 32 Years of Research

It can be difficult to grasp the accomplishments of a man such as Warfield. While his early work led to the creation of tangible inventions such as computers and electrical patents, his later work was more enigmatic, and often difficult for the lay person to understand. Warfield generated an enormous body of work, much of it highly complex in nature. In addition to systems science, he wrote on topics as varied as electrical engineering, philosophy, and current events. This 2000 document attempts to summarize his major discoveries in the field of complexity.

Interactive Management Continues

John Warfield passed away on November 17, 2009. The majority of his papers are housed in over 100 archival boxes at George Mason University's Special Collections & Archives. But his legacy extends beyond those simple objects, and is carried on by his disciples around the world. His writings on systems science and complexity continue to shape those fields. Interactive Management remains a valuable tool for those attempting to tackle complex problems around the world. Practitioners around the world - such as this 2002 IM session held in India - remain as proof of the lasting utility of Interactive Management.