Systems Colloquium in honour of Professor Peter Checkland
Published 8 May 2012
Over 80 Lancaster students, alumni and invited guests came together on 20th April to honour esteemed LUMS colleague Professor Peter Checkland and to celebrate the 30-year programme of action research which Peter has led at Lancaster.
That work, and the five books which describe it, is internationally recognised as a major contribution to research in Management Science, having attracted many external honours. These include, among others, four Honorary Doctorates, the Beale Medal of the Operational Research Society, the Gold Medal of the UK Systems Society and the Pioneer Award of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).
Welcoming guests to the event, Professor Sue Cox, LUMS Dean, applauded Professor Checkland’s work and thanked him for the impact he has had on LUMS and the lives of those he has worked with. Professor Cox summarised the current position of LUMS as a leading global business school and recognised the invaluable contributions to this success made by our students, colleagues and alumni.
The colloquium was chaired by the Head of LUMS’ Management Science Department, Professor Mike Pidd, and included contributions from seven guest speakers as well as an introduction and responses from Professor Checkland.
In this video, the first of 10 videos capturing the presentations made at the Colloquium, Peter Checkland describes the origins of SSM.
From its origins in the 1960s, in the early days of Lancaster University, the programme of action research led by Professor Checkland grew to encompass over 300 projects and to generate the approach known as Soft Systems Methodology (SSM): a learning system for tackling the ‘wicked’ problems which managers face. SSM is now taught and used around the world.
The colloquium speakers each paid tribute to Professor Checkland and his work, and illustrated the value and sense of the SSM approach by sharing their own experiences of how it had impacted on their educational development and professional lives.
We were especially pleased to welcome to the event 42 Lancaster alumni, from graduation years 1971 through to 2010, many of whom had travelled long distances to attend. Alumni of the various Systems degrees from the 1970s and 1980s were particularly well represented. One of these alumni, Professor Frank Stowell (MA Systems in Management, 1982 and PhD Systmes, 1989) shares the story of his Lancaster journey and the influence of Professor Checkland.
Our thanks go to the following guest speakers:
Mr Mike Haynes (MSc Information Management, 1989), Professor Jim Scholes (PhD Systems, 1987), Dr Jaap Leemhuis, Mr John Poulter, Ms Lois Willis, Professor John Naughton and Professor Bob Galliers (MA Systems in Management, 1978).
Colloquium speakers L-R. Back row: Dr Jaap Leemhuis, Professor Bob Galliers, Professor Jim Scholes, Mr Mike Haynes, Mr John Poulter. Front row: Professor Mike Pidd, Professor Peter Checkland, Professor Sue Cox, Ms Lois Willis.
For more images of the event visit our Flickr site.
This colloquium, part of a series of events for LUMS students and alumni, was organised by LUMS’ Careers, Alumni & Employer Relations team.