The 17th UK Systems Society conference took place at St Anne’s, Oxford, from Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 September 2013
Professor Raul Espejo, Director-General at World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics, delivered the keynote address: Cybersyn: one step to the past several to the future.
Prof. Espejo offered personal reflections about Cybersyn Project in Chile, 40 years after its demise the 11th of September 1973. This project, Stafford Beer’s creation, was underpinned by his Viable System Model. The emphasis of these reflections were in contrasting its rather limited achievements with its vision and relevance for our societies today. Its claims were large; it was presented as a project that achieved important results in a short period of time. Prof Espejo compared its actuality with these claims. Particularly he explored the project’s methodological and epistemological shortcomings. He argued that unravelling these shortcomings gives us a platform to gain an understanding of its potentialities. Stafford Beer’s vision of a ‘Liberty Machine’ was ahead of its time and furthermore had profound implications for our current societies, in particularly for the organization of our economies.