The IFSR Conversations were introduced by Bela H. Banathy around 1980 as an alternative to traditional academic conferences for advancement of thought and learning in the Systems Sciences. The philosophy underpinning the IFSR Conversation is an understanding that participants learn and contribute to others' learning through reflective dialogue only possible face-to-face over extended time. Through dialogue focused on a specific topic, participants share and apply deep knowledge as opposed to formal presentations of papers.
The IFSR Conversation 2018 was held in St. Magdalena, Linz Austria, April 8 to 13, 2018. The overarching theme, Systems: From Science to Practice, was an exploration of the confluence between science and practice in the field of systems sciences for the purpose of enhancing the role of the Systems Sciences in support of humans and society. Participants included 26 systemists from ten countries who formed four teams with the following topics:
1. Systems Practice
2. What is Systems Science?
3. Active and Healthy Aging
4. Data Driven Systems Engineering
The proceedings contain reports from the four teams together with three personal reflections on IFSR Conversations, as well as a historical survey of the evolution of IFSR Conversations from 1980 to 2018.