Béla H. Bánáthy

Béla H. Bánáthy

Infobox Person
name = Béla H. Bánáthy

caption = Prof. Bela H. Banathy, president of the International Federation for Systems Research from 1994-98
birth_date = 1 December 1919
birth_place = Gyula, Hungary
death_date = 4 September 2003
death_place = Chico, California
other_names =
known_for = Founded the White Stag Leadership Development Program, International Systems Institute, co-founder of the General Evolutionary Research Group, pioneer of conversation-based systems sciences conferences
occupation = Educator, systems scientist, professor, author
nationality = Hungarian-American

Béla H. Bánáthy (Gyula, Hungary, 1 Dec. 1919 – Chico, California, 4 Sept 2003), was a linguist, systems scientist and a professor at the San José State University and the UC Berkeley. Bánáthy was the founder of the White Stag Leadership Development Program whose leadership model was adopted across the United States; founder of the International Systems Institute [http://www.systemsinstitute.com/dnn/ International Systems Institute] ] and its innovative "conversation"-oriented conference structure; co-founder of the General Evolutionary Research Group [http://www.thedarwinproject.com/gerg.html General Evolutionary Research Group] ] ; an influential professor of systems theory; and a widely-read and respected author.


Béla Bánáthy was born in 1919 in Gyula, Hungary. The oldest of four sons, his father Peter was a Presbyterian minister and his mother Hildegard Pallmann was a teacher. cite journal|title=A Biography of Bela H. Banathy: A Systems Scholar|journal=Systemic Practice and Action Research|date=August 2004|first=Patrick M.|last=Jenink|coauthors=|volume=17|issue=4|pages=253-263|id= doi|10.1023/B:SPAA.0000040646.93483.22|url=http://www.springerlink.com/content/r1957682l683g637/|format=pdf|accessdate=2008-09-10 ] Peter Bánáthy had earned the honorary title Vitéz for his service during World War I, and Béla, as his oldest son, would inherit the title.

Youth spent in Hungary

When Bánáthy was about six years old, their family informally adopted Tamas Feri. Tamas was about 13 years old and from a poor gardener family. Tamas took Bánáthy on his first overnight camp out with his patrol to a small forest near Gyula. Bánáthy's father then became the Scoutmaster of the "small scouts" troop (similar to American Cub Scouts).

When Bánáthy was nine years old, he became the troop leader and during one national holiday, led the troop in a parade. About that time, the entire troop spent two weeks camping at a church camp at Leányfalu, north of Budapest. The church groups lived in wooden barracks, but Bánáthy's troop stayed in tents, "as Scouts are supposed to do."

The family moved about convert|84|km|mi from Banathy's birthplace of Gyula, to Mako, Hungary, about convert|202|km|mi southeast of Budapest. He joined the regular scout program of the Hungarian Scout Association and "Csanad Vezer" Troop 92. The troop had over 50 Scouts and 30 "small scouts" during the 1930s. They held their monthly troop meetings on Sunday in a large gimnazium (secondary school) and met weekly every Saturday as a patrol. Bela reported, "Our weekly patrol meetings focused on scoutcraft and Scout spirit and guiding us to move through the various stages of advancement in rank."

The Hungarian Scout program had four stages. During the first three years, Bánáthy advanced three stages. The last stage required Bánáthy to earn 25 merit badges. This last stage was called Turul, after the mythical bird of Hungary. From spring to fall, as weather permitted, the patrol had many outings. Every summer the troop went on a two- to three-week long summer camp.

Members of Bánáthy's troop attended the 1933 World Jamboree where he would make a life-changing decision. Up to this time, Bánáthy had decided to follow his father into the ministry. Bánáthy wrote,

The highlight of the Jamboree for me was meeting Baden Powell, the Chief Scout of the World. One day, he visited our camp with the Chief Scout of Hungary, Count Pál Teleki (who later became our Prime Minister), and the chief of the camp staff, Vitez Kisbarnaki Ferenc Farkas, a general staff officer of the Hungarian Royal Army. A few years later he became the commander of the Royal Ludovika Akademia (when I was a student there). In the 1940s, he became the Chief Scout of Hungary. (I was serving on his staff as head of national junior leadership training.)

For me the Jamboree became a crucial career decision point. I resolved to choose the military as a life work... There were two sources of this decision. One was my admiration of Lord Baden-Powell, and his life-example as a hero of the British Army and the founder and guide of scouting. The other was the influence of Captain Varkonyi, a staff officer of the Jamboree, who was assigned to our Subcamp. We spent hours in conversation about scouting and the military as a career, as a major service in the character development of young Hungarian adults. After the Jamboree we corresponded for a while. By the end of the year I shared my decision with my parents. cite web | title=Bela's Story: Scouting in Hungary, 1925-1937 |url=http://www.pinetreeweb.com/bhb.htm| author=Lew Orans| accessdate=2008-08-15| date=1996-12-14]

Also in 1933, Bánáthy attended the regional patrol leader training week. Later in 1934, Bánáthy and six other members of his troop traveled to the National Jamboree in Poland. They camped in a large pine forest and visited Krakow and Warsaw. The Polish government hosted a banquet for all of the Scouts in the Presidential Palace. In 1934, he was awarded the best notebook prize of the national spring leadership camp and in 1935, he was invited to serve on the junior staff of the same camp at Harshegy, Budapest.

In 1935, the troop traveled to the Bükk Mountains in northeastern Hungary for their summer camp. As a Senior Patrol leader, Bánáthy and two others took a bicycle tour in advance of the summer camp to preview the camping site.

Military service during World War II

The two military men that Bánáthy had met, and from whom he developed a desire to serve in the military, soon played roles on the national stage that would affect Bánáthy.

In 1940, General Farkas, the commanding officer of Ludovika Akadémia [ [http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludovika_Akad%C3%A9mia Ludovika Akadémia] ] (officer training school), whom Bánáthy had met at the 1933 Jamboree, invited Bánáthy to teach junior leader training at the academy. He also asked Bánáthy to organize a Scout Troop for the young men, 19 years and older, which was a common practice within the Hungarian Scout Association at the time. Bánáthy found a passion in training the young men in officer's leadership skills and became the voluntary national director for youth leadership development and a member of the National Council of the Hungarian Scout Association. He was commissioned in the armored infantry later that year and met his future wife Eva Balazs during this time.

Hungary was generally an unwilling member of the Axis, and Germany continually pressured it to play a greater role. Pál Teleki, whom Bánáthy had met at the 4th World Jamboree, was Prime Minister. He and Regent Miklós Horthy tried to keep Hungary out of the war, though their national pride prompted them to seek a reversal of the geographic injustice of the 1920 Treaty of Trianon. This Germany promised them. Through the Munich Agreement of 1938 they gained part of Czechoslovakia, and via the Vienna Awards they gained additional territory.

In Yugoslavia, the Yugoslavian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Lazar Marković, went to Vienna and signed the Tripartite Pact. On his return, Air Force General Richard Simovic executed a bloodless "coup d'état", after which he refuted his country's signature on the alliance. This threatened Germany's planned invasion of Russia, potentially exposing its southern flank. Germany planned to force Belgrade to remain part of the Axis and suggested that Hungary should also attack. Teleki refused, and the Germans asked permission to transport their troops across Hungary.

The British, with whom Teleki had had a long relationship, sent word via the Hungarian Minister in London that they would declare war if he assented. Teleki heard soon afterwards that Regent Horthy and Hungarian General Werth had permitted the Germans to cross Hungary's borders. On 3 April 1941, he took his own life. Winston Churchill later wrote, "His suicide was a sacrifice to absolve himself and his people from the guilt in the German attack on Yugoslavia…" [Cite book | author=Churchill, Winston; Keegan, John | authorlink= | coauthors= | title=The Second World War Volume 3, "The Grand Alliance"|date=| publisher=Mariner Books | location= | isbn=978-0-395-41685-3 | pages=148] Parts of Yugoslavia were annexed to Hungary, in response, the United Kingdom broke off diplomatic relations on December 1 that year. General Farkas was soon named by Regent Horthy as the country's new Chief Scout. [cite web |title=The Left Handshake, "Scouting in Occupied Countries: Part Seven -- Greece, Yugoslavia and Hungary" | url=http://www.pinetreeweb.com/left4-7.htm| author=Hilary St George Saunders|date=1948 |accessdate=2008-09-15]

Bánáthy served two tours on the Russian front in World War II as an armored infantry officer. In 1941, Bánáthy's unit advanced during a severe November ice storm within convert|140|km|mi of Moscow. Wounded, he returned from the front to Budapest and married his fiancé, Eva Balazs, with his arm in a sling. In 1942, he returned to the Russian front with the Second Magyar Honved. Having grown the peace-time Hungarian Army very quickly from an initial force of 80,000, the rank-and-file of the Hungarian Army had undergone only eight weeks of training. [Cite book | author=Mollo, Andrew; McGregor, Malcolm; Turner, Pierre | authorlink= | coauthors= | title=The armed forces of World War II: uniforms, insignia, and organization | date=1981 | publisher=Crown Publishers | location=New York, N.Y. | isbn=0-517-54478-4 | pages=207]

They were charged with protecting the 8th Italian Army's's northern flank between the Novaya Pokrovka on the Don river to Rossosh. [Haupt, Army Group South. p. 199 ] , part of the larger force defending the drive by the German 6th Army against Soviet General Vasily Chuikov's 62nd Army, which was defending Stalingrad.

On 13 January 1943, the Russian forces, an overwhelming force in numbers and equipment, began the Voronezh-Kharkov Strategic Offensive Operation on the Bryansk, Voronezh, and Southwestern Fronts. They rapidly destroyed the Hungarian Second Army near Svoboda on the Don River. During its 12 months of activity on the Russian front, the Second Hungarian Army's losses were enormous. With an initial force of about 200,000 Hungarian soldiers and 50,000 Jewish forced-laborers [cite web |title=Hungary in the Mirror of the Western World 1938-1958| url=http://www.hungarian-history.hu/lib/mirror/index.htm| author=|publisher=Gabor Aron Study Group| accessdate=2008-09-22] , about 100,000 were dead, 35,000 wounded, and 60,000 taken prisoners of war. [cite book|title=Mad’arská Armáda (‘The Hungarian Army’) 1919-1945|location=Prague|publisher=Naše Vojsko and Ares
ISBN=978-80-86158-50-1|author=Kliment, Charles K. and Dénes Bernád
] Only about 40,000 returned to Hungary, scapegoated by Hitler for the catastrophic Axis defeat. "No nation lost as much blood during World War II in such a short period of time." [cite book |title=A Thousand Years of the Hungarian Art of War |author=Anthony Tihamer Komjathy|publisher=Rakoczi Foundation| location=Toronto| isbn=091945017|pages=144-45|date=1982] Among them, Bela was seriously wounded and returned to Budapest, where he was to spend seven months recuperating from his wounds. After recuperating, he became a junior officer of the Royal Hungarian Army and served on the faculty of the Ludovika Akademia under Commandant General Farkas.

In July 1944 Bánáthy's mentor General Kisbarnaki Ferenc Farkas was Commander of the Hungarian VI Army Corps which had been garrisoned at Debrecen. He replaced General Beregfy, loyal to the Arrow Cross movement. During that month, Farkas was instrumental in beating back a Red Army attack across the Carpathian mountains.cite web |url=http://hvg.hu/english/20070102_kisbarnaki_farkas.aspx| title=Was Kisbarnaki Farkas a war criminal? Historikerstreit |accessdate=2008-09-23|date=2007-02-02] In early October 1944, the Red Army advance into Budapest was slowed by the Battle of Debrecen in eastern Hungary. On 15 Oct 1944, Farkas was named commander of the Pest bridgehead and then Government Commissioner for Evacuation. [Cite book | author=Kadar, Gabor, and Zoltan Vagi | authorlink= | coauthors= | title=Self-Financing Genocide: The Gold Train - The Becher Case - The Wealth of Jews, Hungary | date= | publisher=Central European University Press | location= | isbn=978-963-9241-53-4 | pages=175] In early November 1944, the first Russian units appeared on the southeastern edge of Budapest. [Cite book | author=Ungváry, Krisztián| authorlink= | coauthors= Ladislaus Löb, trans.; forward by John Lukacs | title=The siege of Budapest: 100 Days in World War II | date=2005 | publisher=Yale University Press | location=New Haven, Conn. | isbn=978-0-300-10468-4 | pages=xvii] Bánáthy was able to get his wife Eva, one year old son Bela and two-week old son Leslie out of Budapest. Bánáthy's family, along with his commanding officers' families, found shelter at first in farmhouses, and later in bunkers, caves, and trenches.

The Siege of Budapest began when the city was first encircled on 29 December 1944 by the Red Army. Unable to replace the equipment and personnel lost in the Battle of Debrecen, the Hungarian Second Army was disbanded on 1 December 1944. The remaining units of the Second Army, including the unit in which Bánáthy served, were transferred to the Hungarian Third Army. Bánáthy continued to fight with the remainder of his unit against the Russians after Budapest fell on 13 February 1945. The Axis was striving to protect the last oil fields they controlled in western Hungary around Lake Balaton. However, by late March 1945, most of what was left of the Hungarian Third Army was surrounded and destroyed about convert|40|km|mi to the west of Budapest in an advance by the Soviet 46th Army towards Vienna. [Dollinger, Hans. "The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan." p 199. ISBN 978-0517123997] The remaining shattered units fought on as they retreated progressively westward through the Transdanubian Mountains towards Austria.

Bánáthy's family with the other family members of the remainder of his military unit made their way west, along with tens of thousands of other refugees, about convert|250|km|mi into Austria, trying to stay ahead of Russian advances. Temperatures through the time of their flight remained near convert|0|C|F.

Life in displaced persons camp

Bánáthy reunited with his family in Austria, and as the war ended and Austria was occupied in April 1945 by the Austrian, British, Soviet and US governments, they were placed in an Allied displaced persons camp. They were housed in an single convert|6|by|10|ft|m room in a wooden barrack which served as their bedroom, kitchen, living room and place for firewood storage. Food was extremely scarce and they subsisted on around 600 calories per person per day for five years. [cite news | first=Authur A. | last=Noyes | coauthors= | title=Austrian Food Must Be Cut, UNRRA Says | date=March 7, 1946 | publisher= | url =http://www.usfava.com/USFA_Articles6c.htm#article9 | work =Stars and Stripes | pages = | accessdate = 2008-09-12 | language = ] They were among 1.4M displaced persons in Austria at the time [cite web |title= The Early Occupation Period| url=http://www.usarmygermany.com/Sont_USFA.htm|date=2001-09-23
] while there was a world-wide food shortage. Bánáthy later traded for milk to give two-year-old Bela and one-year-old Leslie enough protein. With extremely little food available in the camps, in early 1947 Eva's twin sister came from Hungary and took the two older sons back to live with her older sister. The Pallendal family was well-educated and relatively wealthy, so they had access to more food than what was available in the camps, and they intended to return the boys after a year. In 1948, when the Cold War ensued, the two boys were trapped behind the Iron Curtain.

Shortly after their third son Tibor was born, the family was moved to another camp, near a Marshall Plan warehouse, where Bánáthy began unloading sacks of wheat from railroad cars. In 1948 their fourth son Robert was born. Bánáthy soon found work in the statistical office of the warehouse. [cite web | title = C. V. Béla H. Bánáthy, Sr., Ed.D. | url = http://www.whitestag.org/history/founders/banathy_vitae.htm | author = Béla H. Bánáthy, Sr., Ed.D. | date = May, 1969 | accessdate = 2008-07-16] He was ordained by the World Council of Churches and became minister for youth among Hungarian refugees. He contacted the World Scouting Movement for assistance and was successful in organizing Scouting in the camps. He served as director of religious education of the Protestant Refugee Service of Austria, was editor of a religious youth service and of a Scout publication.

In 1949, with help from a Swiss foundation, Bánáthy assisted in establishing and was selected as the President of the Collegium Hungaricum, a boarding school for refugees, at Zell am See near Saalfelden, Austria.cite web | title=Autobiography: Béla H. Bánáthy |date=2002 |url=http://www.whitestag.org/history/founders/bio_bela.html |author=Bela H. Bánáthy |date=2002-06| accessdate=2008-08-19] In the same year, the Communist government in Hungary seized the businesses belonging to the the Pallendal family, Bánáthy's in-laws. Because they were members of the social elite, there were seen by the Communist government as a political threat as was common in that time.cite web | title= Prelude to Revolution: Deconstructing Society in Hungary, 1949-1953 | url=http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.event_summary&event_id=5938|date=2008|accessdate=2008-09-12 ]

In 1951, in what was a common practice during this time, [cite book | title =Budapest 1900: A Historical Portrait of a City and Its Culture | author= John Lukacs | publisher= Grove Press|date= 1994|ISBN 9780802132505|page=222] the Police arrived at dawn to seize the Pallendal family home with orders to deport the family. Those at home were arrested and immediately deported. Seven year old Bela and six year old Leslie, along with their grandmother and two aunts, were put aboard a freight train and sent towards Russia. As was the practice, the train stopped occasionally and a few hundred people were forced off. The Pallendal family was ejected in eastern Hungary, and an uncle was able to locate them and hide them from authorities in a small village in eastern Hungary.

Emigrates to the United States

In January, 1951, the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago sponsored Béla, Eva, Tibor and Robert as immigrants to the United States. Bánáthy's family lived in the Seminary, and Bánáthy labored nights 60 hours a week in the cellar of the Seminary, shoveling coal to fire the furnace, while studying English from a book. He occasionally preached at nearby Hungarian churches. Eva found work in a paper factory and Tibor, their third son, entered American public school.

Begins teaching Hungarian language

Unknown to Bánáthy, his former commanding officer General Vitéz Kisbarnaki Ferenc Farkas visited the United States and his former adversaries, the United States Army, during early 1951. He recommended Bánáthy as a Hungarian language instructor, and Bánáthy was invited to teach at the U.S. government's Army Language School in Monterey, California.cite web | title=White Stag History Since 1933 |url= http://www.whitestag.org/history/history.html#2565| author=Brian Phelps| accessdate=2008-08-15| date=2000-06-14]

Bánáthy accepted the job at the Army Language School, moving to Monterey in June 1951. There he met the founder of the Hungarian Department, Joseph Szentkiralyi (Americanized as St. Clair), who had also attended the 1933 World Jamboree. Coincidentally, Bánáthy's and St. Clair's wives rediscovered a girlhood friendship from Budapest. Eva found work in a restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula. Bánáthy resumed his interest in Scouting and community service. He served as President of his local Parent-Teacher Association and on the board of the local Red Cross. In early 1956, having become a United States citizen, with help from a United States Senator from California and the World Council of Churches, Bánáthy was finally able to bring his eldest sons Bela and Leslie to the United States from behind the Iron Curtain after nine years of separation. In the same year, Paul Ferenc Sujan joined the language school faculty, and Bánáthy learns that he too had attended the 1933 World Jamboree.

Professional life

Along with a life-long interest in Scouting, Bánáthy was an educator, a systems and design scientist, and an author. At the Army Language School, he taught in the Hungarian language department, later becoming its chairman.

White Stag Leadership Development Program

Following on his interest in leadership development for youth that he had nurtured in Hungary, in 1958 Bánáthy started an experimental leadership development program in the Monterey Bay Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was assisted by fellow Hungarians Joe St.Clair, Paul Sujan, and a fourth person, Fran Peterson. "Lord Baden-Powell was my personal idol and I long felt a commitment to give back to Scouting what I had received," Bela said.cite article | title=Special Leadership Camps Held at Pico Blanco | author = Helene H. Parsons | publisher = Monterey Peninsula Herald | date = 1977-09-04]

As part of his master's degree program in counseling psychology at San José State University, he wrote a thesis titled "A Design for Leadership Development in Scouting"cite book
title = A Design for Leadership Development in Scouting
author = Bela Bánáthy
publisher = Monterey Bay Area Council
date = 1963
] . This book described the founding principles of the White Stag program, which was later adapted by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America for, first, it's adult Wood Badge programcite book
title = Report on a Leadership Development Experiment
author = Béla H. Bánáthy
date = 1964
Publisher = Monterey Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
] , and afterward, as the "de facto" method for teaching junior leader training. [cite book|title=Troop Leader Development Staff Guide |publisher=Boy Scouts of America|date=1974|pages=94-95] (In 2008, the program celebrated its 50th anniversary.) Bela also taught in Sunday School and was on the Board of his church.

Systems science

In the 1960s Bánáthy began teaching courses in applied linguistics and systems science at San José State University. In 1962 he was named Dean and Chairman of the East Europe and Middle East Division at the Army Language School, overseeing ten language departments. In 1963 he completed his master degree in psychology at San Jose State University, and in 1966 he received a doctorate in education for a trans-disciplinary program in education, systems theory, and linguistics from the University of California in Berkeley. During the mid-1960s Bánáthy was named Chair of Western Division of the Society for General Systems Research. He published his first book, "Instructional Systems," in 1968.

Large complex systems

During the 1960s and 1970s, Bánáthy was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley and continued teaching San Jose State University. In 1969, he left the re-named Defense Language Institute and became a Program Director, and later Senior Research Director and Associate Laboratory Director at the Far West Laboratory for Research and Development (now WestEd [ [http://www.wested.org WestEd] ] ) in Berkeley (later moved to San Francisco). He "directed over fifty research and development programs, designed many curriculum projects and several large scale complex systems, including the design and implementation of a Ph.D. program in educational research and development for UC Berkeley." Due to the success of his leadership development program, the Scout programs of Mexico, Costa Rica, and Venezuela invited him to introduce it to their countries.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he focused his research on the application of systems and design theories and methodologies in social, social service, educational, and human development systems. In the 1980s he developed and guided a Ph.D. curriculum in humanistic systems inquiry and social systems design for the Saybrook Graduate School.

International Systems Institute

In 1981, he founded the International Systems Institute (ISI), a non-profit, public benefit scientific and educational corporation in Carmel, California, USA. He organized its first meeting at Fuschl Am See, Austria in 1982.

What was truly revolutionary about the International Systems Institute was Banathy's method for organizing conferences. Banathy observed that in traditional conferences, a few usually well-respected or prestigious individuals would apply to present "pre-packaged new ideas" to others. In typical conferences, presenting almost always carries more prestige than listening; the few present and share their wisdom with the many. This one-to-many or "hierarchical knowledge distribution system" slowed the sharing and spreading of ideas about which many people cared deeply if not passionately, as there was always limited opportunity for interchange among participants. This interaction was usually wedged into the the interstices of the formal schedule in the form of informal, spontaneous gatherings for which no record existed. cite web | title=The ISI Story |url=http://www.systemsinstitute.com/dnn/AboutISI/TheISIStory/tabid/159/Default.aspx|date=1995|accessdate=2009-09-15|author=Tad Frantz]

The notion that presenting is more important than listening aroused life-long antipathy in Bánáthy. When he formulated the leadership competencies of the White Stag Leadership Development Program in the 1960s, he described the passing of knowledge from one to another as "Manager of Learning." He wrote extensively about how the focus should be on the learner, not the teacher.cite book
title = Report on a Leadership Development Experiment
author = Bela Banathy
publisher = Monterey Bay Area Council
date = 1964

Bánáthy advanced a different vision for conferences, one that would allow everyone to fully engage. He proposed that everyone be given the opportunity to prepare and distribute papers to all participants in advance of the conference. And instead of listening to speeches, conference attendees took part in extended, non-hierarchical conversations about the conference papers. The conference proceedings were the result of these conversations. Bánáthy felt strongly that systems scholars from all over the world should be given ongoing opportunities to engage in extended conversations so they might put their expertise "actively into the service of humanity worldwide."

Bánáthy wrote, "We aspire to reap the 'reflecting and creating power' of groups that emerge in the course of disciplined and focused conversations on issues that are important to us and to our society." Participants at International Systems Institute gatherings have since the original meeting organized by Bánáthy in 1982 organized them around this principle and referred to them as "conversations."

General Evolutionary Research Group

In 1984, he was co-founder with general evolution theorist Ervin László and others of the initially secret General Evolutionary Research Groupcite web | url=http://www.thedarwinproject.com/gerg/gerg.html | title=The General Evolution Research Group|accessdate=2009-09-09] A member of the Society of General Systems Research since the 1960s, he was Managing Director of the Society in the early 1980s, and in 1985 he became its president. He then served on its Board of Trustees. During the '80s, he served on the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Systems Research. In 1989, he retired from Far West Labs and returned to live on the Monterey Peninsula. He continued to serve as Professor Emeritus for the Saybrook Graduate School, counseling Ph.D. students. He also continued his work with the annual International Systems Institute international systems design conversations, and authored a number of articles and books about systems, design, and evolutionary research. He served two terms as president of the International Federation of Systems Research during 1994-98.

He coordinated over twenty international systems research conferences held in eight countries, including the 1994 Conversation on Systems Design [ [http://www.ifsr.org/node/33 Fuschl Conversation on Systems Design] ] conversation held at Fuschl Am See, Austria, sponsored by the International Federation of Systems Research. He was also honorary editor of three international systems journals: Systems Research and Behavioral Science, the Journal of Applied Systems Studies [ [http://www.unipi.gr/jass/ Journal of Applied Systems Studies] ] , and Systems. He was on the Board of Editors of World Futures [ [http://www.wfsf.org/ World Futures] ] , and served as a contributing editor of Educational Technology.

See also

* Béla A. Bánáthy
* Debora Hammond
* Evolutionary guidance media
* Magyar Cserkészszövetség
* Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center
* Systems philosophy
* Systemics
* Systems theory
* Systems thinking


Bánáthy authored several books and hundreds of articles. A selection:
* 1963, "A Design for Leadership Development in Scouting", Monterey Bay Area Council, Monterey, California.
* 1964, "Report on a Leadership Development Experiment", Monterey Bay Area Council, Monterey, California.
* 1968, "Instructional Systems", Fearon Publishers. ISBN 978-0822439301
* 1969, "Leadership Development — World Scouting Reference Papers, No. 1", Boy Scouts World Bureau, Geneva, Switzerland.
* 1972, "A Design for Foreign Language Curriculum", D.C. Heath. ISBN 978-0669820737
* 1973, "Developing a Systems View: The Systems Models Approach", Lear Siegler Fearon Publishers. ISBN 978-0822467007
* 1985, with Kenneth D. Bailey "et al." (ed.), "Systems Inquiring: Applications", Volume II of the Proceedings of the Society for General Systems Research International Conference. Seaside, CA: Intersystems Publications.
* 1991, "Systems Design of Education, A Journey to Create the Future", Educational Technology, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. ISBN 978-0877782292
* 1992, "A Systems View of Education: Concepts and Principles for Effective Practice," Educational Technology, Englewood Cliffs, CA. ISBN 0-87778-245-8
* 1992, "Comprehensive systems design in education: building a design culture", in: "Education. Educational Technology", 22(3) 33–35.
* 1996, "Designing Social Systems in a Changing World", Plenum, NY. ISBN 0-306-45251-0
* 1998, "Evolution Guided by Design: A Systems Perspective," in "Systems Research," Vol. 15.
* 1997, " [http://www.newciv.org/ISSS_Primer/asem04bb.html A Taste of Systemics] ", The Primer Project, 2007.
* 2000, "Guided Evolution of Society: A Systems View", Springer ISBN 978-0306463822
* 2000, "The Development of the AgoraWebsite: Personal Communication to Agora Stewards," International Systems Institute, Asilomar Networked Democracy Group, Pacific Grove, CA.
* 2000, "Agora Structure," International Systems Institute, Asilomar Networked Democracy Group, Pacific Grove, CA.
* 2000, "Bio: Personal Communication to Agora Stewards," International Systems Institute, Asilomar Networked Democracy Group, Pacific Grove, CA.
* 2000, "Story: Personal Communication to Agora Stewards," International Systems Institute, Asilomar Networked Democracy Group, Pacific Grove, CA.
* 2000, "Reflections: The Circle of Agora Stewards," International Systems Institute, Asilomar Networked Democracy Group, Pacific Grove, CA.
* 2000, "Guided Evolution of Society: A Systems View," Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York.
* 2002, with Patrick M. Jenlink, "The Agora Project: the New Agoras of the twenty-first century," Systems Research and Behavioral Science
* 2005, with Patrick M. Jenlink, "et al." (ed.), "Dialogue as a Means of Collective Communication (Educational Linguistics)," Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York. ISBN 978-0306486890
* 2007, with Patrick M. Jenlink, "et al." (ed.), "Dialogue as a Means of Collective Communication" (Volume 2), Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York. ISBN 978-0387758428

About Banathy

* "Bela H. Banathy" in: International Federation for Systems Research, Newsletter No. 33, July 1994,
* Gordon Dyer, [http://www.afscet.asso.fr/resSystemica/Crete02/Dyer.pdf Y3K: Beyond Systems Design as we know it] , in: "Res-Systemica", Vol. 2, 2002.
* Jenink, Patrick M. "A Biography of Bela H. Banathy: A Systems Scholar," Systemic Practice and Action Research 17 (4): 253–263. August 2004.


External links

* [http://www.whitestag.org/history/founders/bio_bela.html Autobiography: Bela H. Banathy] , at White Stag Leadership Development, September 4, 2003.
* [http://www.pinetreeweb.com/bhb.htm Bela's Story: Scouting in Hungary] (1925-1937)
* [http://www.ifsr.org/ IFSR] : the International Federation for Systems Research
* [http://www.evolve.org/pub/doc/ls_guide_banathy.html Evolve: Guides and Teachers] Bela H. Banathy
* [http://www.saybrook.edu/ Saybrook Graduate School]

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