Frederick Steier explores systemic and ecological approaches to the understanding and transformation of systems of diverse kinds, with attention to design, learning, communication, and quality of life. He has directed or co-directed systems-based participatory action research programs in settings ranging from science centers, to government institutions, including NASA, to therapy-based organizations. Design for learning and for sustainable futures has been a key theme, fostered by dialogic approaches, including the use of the World Café.
He has had the honor of being a scientist-in-residence at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, Florida, and recently (2019) had the distinction of receiving the Norbert Wiener award for lifetime achievement from the American Society for Cybernetics.
Currently Professor in the School of Leadership Studies at Fielding Graduate University, and in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida, he has developed his research and practice over a career that has included being on the faculty of Old Dominion University (where he was also Director of the Center for Cybernetic Studies in Complex Systems), the University of Oslo (Norway) and the University of Pennsylvania, He is the editor of the volumes, Gregory Bateson: Essays for an ecology of ideas, and Research and Reflexivity. A Past-President of the American Society for Cybernetics, he also had the honor of being a King Olav V Fellow of the American-Scandinavian Foundation. Dr. Steier received his doctorate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in Social Systems Sciences, in 1983.