ÖZBEKHAN, Hasan (b. 1921, Turkey; d. February 12, 2007, Philadelphia, pa, usa) – American scholar of Turkish origin, involved in cybernetics, philosophy, and planning, Professor Emeritus of Management at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
He made an attempt to apply systems theory to global issues, and was co-founder and first director of the Club of Rome. Özbekhan was born in Turkey into a diplomatic family. He graduated from the French Lycée Chateaubriand in Rome, after which he studied law and public administration at the Free School of Political Sciences in Paris. He was also a graduate of the London School of Economics. After being elected a member of the Leverhulme Community, Ozbekhan received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University. In 1960s Özbekhan worked as a management consultant to large transnational corporations.
He wrote a number of studies that were carried out by order of the Turkish and French governments, including a model of state policy in the field of science in Turkey and extensive analysis of current events that might affect the future shape of Paris. From 1963 to 1969 Özbekhan served as chief expert and planning director of the System Development Corporation in Santa Monica (ca, usa). In 1970 Özbekhan joined the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where he later became a professor of statistics and operations research, as well chairman of the Graduate Group in the Faculty of Social Systems Science. From 1986 until his retirement in 1992 Özbekhan was a professor in the Management Department at the Wharton School.
Özbekhan was also a member of the Royal Economic Society, the Economic Club of New York, the American Economic Association, the National Academy of Economics and Political Science, the Society of Business Advisory Professionals, the National Belgian Scientific Organization Committee, the American Society of Political and Legal Philosophy, and the international associations Mankind 2000 and Futuribles. Özbekhan attempted to apply system theory to global issues. He was the author of the famous Club of Rome report “The Predicament of Mankind,” which played a key role for club members who subsequently focused their research interest on energy issues, overpopulation, and environmental degradation. This work inspired other researchers in the field of systems theory, which under the leadership of Alexander Christakis developed the science of structural dialogic modeling.
Works: The Isle of Princes (New York, 1957); Toward a General Theory of Planning (Paris, 1968); The Predicament of Mankind (the Club of Rome report) (1970).