Leading Figures

Dag Forssell - Hayward, California, USA

Dag Forsell

Dag Forsell was born in 1940 in Gothenburg, Sweden. His secondary school had departments of physics and chemistry with large collections of experimental apparatus and excellent teachers. For nine years, several lessons a week, he watched and participated in a broad range of physical experiments. Because of his involvement in Perceptual Control Theory, PCT he has given a great deal of thought to how people think, and he credits the way he thinks, visualizing physical interactions, to the thorough introduction to natural science he received at school.

Dag attended Chalmers University of Technology and graduated in 1965 with a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 1967, he accepted a job offer from Boeing and moved to the U.S. with his wife Christine. He has since worked with toy production, optical effects, tooling components and recreational vehicles, among other things, with engineering, marketing and management responsibilities.

He received his MBA from University of Southern California in 1973. Curious about why people do what they do, by 1989 he had found and read Behavior: The Control of Perception by William T. Powers and he joined the Control Systems Group, CSG, and began attending its annual conferences. Here, he met other students of PCT, and of course its creator, Bill Powers. By 1993, he started videotaping these conferences and became self-appointed deputy archivist for the group. He served as President of CSG 1995-1996.

From 1991 through 1993, Dag made an effort to introduce PCT to industry.

From 2000, he worked with Phil Runkel on People as Living Things, which became a thousand-page trade book. Since this time, Dag has provided publishing for a range of PCT books through Living Control Systems Publishing.

Key Publications and Links

Publications by Mr. Forssell include the series of articles originally published in the Engineering Management Journal (EMJ) and several other introductions and statements about the engineering, physical, or natural science quality of Perceptual Control Theory, collected in the volume Management and Leadership: Insight for Effective Practice.

Mr. Forssell has produced a dramatization of the Rubber Band Demonstration and developed a three-day seminar on PCT and management intended for managers with a technical background. These publications are available at Living Control Systems Publishing.

A key text on PCT is A Book of Readings, edited by Dag Forssell, which is a 272-page ebook that provides an overview of some of the most prominent publications on PCT. It is available to download by clicking here.

Dag's latest volume, Dialogue Concerning The Two Chief Approaches to a Science of Life, is now published. It provides a stimulating exchange of letters between Bill Powers and Phil Runkel. The huge importance of this exchange for the philosophy of science is explained by Dag Forssell in the Foreword.