Systems Exchange Cafes

Systems Exchange Cafés

The Systems Exchange Cafés are virtual meetings run on Zoom.  They are intended to be a very informal conversation, and attendees can drop in and out and raise any issue they like. The fundamental premise  is based on the idea of a “book club”, where attendees come to meeting to discuss a topic / theme / book they agreed the time before.  In the meeting they raise points raised in the book, debate the issues, and select a book for next time.

Fir Tree Café
Wednesday 9:00 am Japan  Convert to my time zone

Oak Tree Café
Wednesday 8:00 am UK  Convert to my time zone

Maple Tree Café
Friday 8:00 am US Pacific  Convert to my time zone

Coffee Shop Sign INCOSE-virtual1


INCOSE started these cafés in June 2020 at three different time slots, so anyone in the world can hopefully find a convenient time slot to join (see below for the details of each café). 

The cafés are open to all (not just INCOSE members) and is to allow those curious about Systems to have an opportunity to discuss systems issues.  It is not being recorded, so there is no formal “output” or record from the meetings (apart from the next topic!).  If separate follow-up discussions (and even articles or papers) evolve, initiated by the café between sub-sets of attendees then that is a desirable consequence.  Attendees are encourage to join and contribute to the INCOSE yammer Virtual Community thread.

The discussion can go in whatever direction the attendees take it, and so to join the discussion it is suggested you view the pages for each Café and consider what that topic means practically to your work, your organization and your domain.

It is hoped these cafés are a useful ongoing discussion, and relevant to those who are not members of INCOSE but curious about Systems and Engineering. 

We are considering (in 2022) to run some of these cafés, if the attendees want, as a reflective roundtable - where rather than an open conversation each person gets a minute or two to speak and reflect on the topic, and say what it means for them.  This is like (for those who have attended) the Systems Thinking roundtables run at IS and IW.  If you are interested in one of these please let the host know.

To register for one of these Café series, please select from the three links below.  You are welcome to register for as many cafés as possible.  Once registered you will see these as a recurring event.  You are not committed to attend, and can drop in / out as you please

There will be a host for each meeting, and we ask you to recognise these guidelines:

  • The café is open to the public (not just INCOSE members)
  • The discussion will not be recorded
  • The conversation and the topics for discussion set and go in whatever direction the attendees want
  • Debate and exchange of opinions is the purpose of the discussion, but it is expected
  • Attendees will treat the opinions of others with respect
  • Please do not dominate the meeting, but let all have a say
  • The use of the chat function in Zoom is encouraged, and if this starts further contact / discussion (separately) between attendees then that is a desirable result 

Each Café meets every two weeks, and are on different days and an different times from each other. Click the links below to see the dates and times for each Café, and select the one(s) that fit your schedule. Note that each is based in a particular time zone at a set time. The corresponding time in other time zones will vary with the season. Participants from anywhere are welcome at any Café. 

Once registered you will receive a Zoom invitation to join the selected Café on the next scheduled date, and to continue to participate every two weeks thereafter. Your registration information is only used for these Café events, and will not be shared or used for any other purposes, in accordance with the INCOSE Privacy Policy.

In the Systems Exchange café the idea is to discuss an idea related to systems – maybe a topic, a book chapter, a paper, a journal article or a topic in the news.  A potential reading list will be prepared (so if a topic is chosen, some papers, articles, or books will have been suggested). 

At the café meeting the topic will be discussed by those attending, and the conversation will go wherever the attendees take it. So it is not like a “Panel discussion” as there are no presentations or position statements to launch.  Rather it’s like the conversation in a bar or a café when a group of Systems people meet and discuss systems.

Contact Us