Integrated Human Systems is the interdisciplinary field embracing the dynamics -- functional and dysfunctional -- of all human systems: individual, interpersonal, familial, organizational, community, national, etc. -- and the interrelationships among these levels. It was first outlined and named in 2001, in an effort to transcend the limitations of each isolated approach to helping people (education, therapy in all its forms, organizational development, community organizing, politics, and so on). It is based on the assumption that all these different approaches need each other to succeed, and therefore cannot effectively be practiced by people totally unfamiliar with the other disciplines. Today in 2020 there are thousands of students majoring in IHS, and thousands of IHS professionals, with dozens of journals and annual conferences, as well as online dialogues and websites. Most graduate programs in psychology, education, political science, government, organizational development, management, social work and community organizing require credits in IHS. We can no longer afford therapists, social workers, executives and politicans who aren't trained in IHS. The health of our human systems is too important to leave in the hands of those who cannot understand their interconnections.
Note: I wrote the description above as part of a fictional futurist story in 1996. Five years later, late in 2000, I was referred to a 1995 article "Redesigning Human and Global Systems" by Saul Eisen which showed me that this field which I had only imagined, had, in fact, been bubbling just under the surface for at least a decade. Although Saul Eisen's vision of this field is more organization-centered than mine, it is far more highly developed, as well. I highly recommend his article.
Return to Pat&Pat story