Natural Systems Include All of Nature: Living Systems, Geology, Water, and Air

Working Group Update

Coordination Meeting
7/16 noon CDT

Please join the working group leadership to discuss current status of our work products, and talk about plans for the remainder of 2021.

At IW2021, the team reviewed our status:

Six webinars in 2020 focused on specific topics of interest to members. ~35 members signed up through INCOSE, and around 135 total.

Co-curation of the October 2020 NASA Virtual Interchange for Nature Inspired Exploration Diversity / Equity / Inclusion meeting.

Six sessions at IW2021. Details on the left, send a note for link to recordings.

The following items are products we will work on in 2021:
  • Release draft of Natural Systems for SE primer
  • Two more short videos: thick boundaries, and hierarchy / levels and layers / composite
In addition we will curate about six webinars. The following are scheduled:
  • Working group coordination (February)
  • Circularity (March)
  • Gamification (May)
  • Building biomimicry (June)
  • Swarm decision making (July)
  • Application of NS tools in engineering
Content curators: we have a few topics in mind, and are open to more. Set up webinars or focused discussions. The individual will select a topic and suggest papers for an informal discussion. They will also work with leadership to suggest a webinar speaker on the topic.

We work in the following topic areas:

Bio-Inspired Design 
Biomimetics and Systems Mimicry
Patterns in Natural Systems
Complexity and Natural Systems
Mapping Natural Systems Tools to the SE Process

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NSWG priorities for 2021 are:
  • support for inclusion of natural systems thinking in system engineering and design
  • coordination with the VINE systemology cluster of NASA Virtual Interchange for Nature Inspired Exploration.
  • engagement and collaborations with other INCOSE Working Groups and stakeholders.

INCOSE Natural Systems Working Group (NSWG)

Co-Chairs:  Curt McNamara, Dennis Tuckowski, Alex Wolf


Gary Vincent
Special Presentation to INCOSE LA Chapter
Tuesday 7/13 7:45 p.m. CDT


SPEAKER: Gary Vincent, Certified Systems Engineering Professional 

COST:  Free Online Event

Virtual Venue: Zoom meeting instructions will be emailed prior to the event and are included in your confirmation email message.  Slides will be available on the LA Chapter web site https://www.incose.org/los-angeles. We plan to record the event.

Abstract:  In recent years, scientists and engineers have turned to the natural world when addressing design challenges in areas such as mechanical structures and fluid dynamics. These evolutionary systems often balance competing design requirements to arrive at optimal solutions.

However, nature can provide enlightening examples in other domains, to include information processing and decision making by distributed/decentralized systems (aka, swarms).

SWARM DECISION MAKING will examine how swarm systems identify, evaluate, and select among alternative solutions to a problem in the absence of centralized control. Topics will include:

  • Characterizing swarm behavior
  • An example: How honeybees select a new nest site
  • Application of these techniques to human-designed systems
  • Implications for human systems

Join us for a look at how distributed intelligence works, and what insights it can offer us in an increasingly interconnected world.

- the 5E handbook is out for general review. Paul McGoey has agreed to be an overall reviewer.
- our page is part of 5E, and the review period ends June 20th. At some point after that we will be able to make minor changes
- we have had some excellent review recommendations and will be adding a small amount of text. 

- the primer has been re-organized to follow the handbook topic flow
- we have gotten good inputs and help, however more remains to be done!
- our goal is to release the draft for comments in June. 

The current primer draft can be viewed at this location, and your comments are welcomed.


              Curt, Randy and Alex

INCOSE Natural Systems Working Group (NSWG)

Co-Chairs:  Curt McNamara,
Dennis Tuckowski
Alex Wolf