Dr. Özbekhan (1921-2007), who was described as "probably one of the best systems thinker of the 20th century" by his friend Aleco Christakis, was a cyberneticist, philosopher and planner of Turkish origin who was Professor Emeritus of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. During his twenty-two years' tenure there he was Professor of Operations Research and Statistics, then Professor and Chairman of the Social Systems Sciences Department. In 1986 he became Professor of Management. Concurrently with these positions he held the Chairmanship of the Graduate Group in Social Systems Sciences.
Prior to joining the faculty of the Wharton School, Dr. Ozbekhan was cofounder and first director of The Club of Rome, with Aurelio Peccei an Italian Industrialist, and Alexander N. Christakis, a physicist and systems research designer. In 1970 Ozbekhan wrote the original prospectus for The Club of Rome "The Predicament of Mankind."
Earlier, Dr. Ozbekhan had published his famous "futures creation" planning model "Toward a General Theory of Planning", in PERSPECTIVES OF PLANNING 47-155 (OEDC Report, Jantsch, ed. 1968), which was elaborated by Christakis, "A New Policy Science Paradigm," in FUTURES, Dec 1973, at 543.
He was a Fellow of the Royal Economic Society and member of Economic Club of New York, the American Economic Association, the Comite National Belge de l'Organaisation Scientifique, Mankind 2000, etc. Before being invited to join the Wharton School Professor Özbekhan acted as management consultant to large multinational corporations -- e.g. CIBA-GEIGY in Switzerland, the VAN LEER GROUP OF COMPANIES in The Netherlands. The work he did for governments includes Science Policy design for Turkey and a large study for the French Government analyzing the nature of present events that, most probably, will shape the future of Paris. The recommendations derived from these analyses currently constitute the basis of the policies adopted by the French Government with respect tot he city's long-term development.
Born in Turkey into a diplomatic family he completed his Baccalaureate at the Lycée Chateaubraind in Rome, then studies Law and Political and Administrative sciences at the Faculte de Droit and the Escole Libre des Sciences Politiques in Paris, and terminated his graduate studies with First Class Honors at the London School of Economics, which during World War II had merged with the University of Cambridge where he undertook his postgraduate work after being elected to the Leverhume Fellowship.
He was a member of the Editorial Board of FUTURES Journal, England, of the Advisory Board of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and the Academic Advisory Board of the Center for International Business Studies, Webster University, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Concomitant with some of the above Professor Özbekhan was appointed Principal Scientist and Director of Planning of the System Development Corporation (SDC) in Santa Monica, California. It was during this period that he conceived of the joint venture that resulted in the formation of Doxiadis-SDC, and was elected a member of that corporation's Board of Directors.