The Russian Centre of Interdisciplinary Research of Reflexive Processes and Control joins WOSC

We welcome the Russian  “Centre of Interdisciplinary Research of Reflexive Processes and Control of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences” (CIRRPC)”.

Its main purposes are: Intensification and coordination of scientific research and development connected with a socio-humanistic perspectives of system analysis and control (cybernetics) in the following directions:

  • reflexive processes and control;
  • reflexive mechanisms of control of complexity; philosophical and methodological bases of the third-order cybernetics (post-non classical cybernetics of self-developing reflexive-active environments);
  • integration into the third-order cybernetics of certain areas of modern knowledge (synergetrics, management of complexity, personal knowledge, ethics of strategic subjects, etc.);
  • development of transdisciplinary approach in the context of the third-order cybernetics;
  • development of socio-humanistic technologies of the organization of self-developing reflexive-active environments; 

Tasks of the Center

  • organize (time in two years) the international interdisciplinary scientific and practical symposiums “Reflexive Processes and Control” (ten symposiums are organized);
  • publication of the international journal “Reflexive Processes and Control” (it is published since 2001).

Head of the Centre: Vladimir Lepskiy.

It will be an active contributor to WOSC 2017

New Board Member: Prof Clas-Otto Wene

We welcome Professor Clas-Otto Wene, from Sweden, to WOSC’s Board.

Clas-Otto Wene is Professor Emeritus at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, where he held the chair of Energy Systems Technology from 1981 until 2000. He has worked 1997-2003 at the International Energy Agency in Paris with issues related to energy technology learning and technology markets. In two periods, 1986-1996 and 2006-2014, he was appointed by the Swedish Government to the National Council for Nuclear Waste. Dr. Wene is also Dozent in Physics at Lund University where he obtained his PhD in nuclear physics in 1974. He received the Lindbohm Award from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science in 1981.

Wene has participated in and led numerous projects involving development and application of energy system models to support decisions in local, regional and national energy systems. . During his stay att IEA he authored Experience Curves for Energy Technology Policy, co-authored Creating Markets for Energy Technologies, and initiated EXCETP, an international network on Experience Curves for Energy Technology Policy. He has also been engaged in front-running projects to link energy technology models to energy-economic models (hardlinking Markal-Macro, softlinking IIASA Message III and ETA-MACRO).

Some recent publications

C.-O. Wene (2015) ,”A cybernetic view on learning curves and energy policy”, Kybernetes, Vol.44 Iss 6/7 pp. 852 – 865.

C.-O. Wene (2015) “Future energy system development depends on past learning opportunities”, WIREs Energy Environ,. doi: 10.1002/wene.172.

C.-O. Wene. (2013), “Learning curves tracing the optimal path for technology learning systems”, Proceedings of the 13th IAEE European Conference, Düsseldorf, 18-21 August,

C.-O. Wene. (2007), “Technology learning systems as non-trivial machines”, Kybernetes, Vol. 36, No.3/4, pp. 348-363.

K.Andersson, B.-M. Drottz-Sjöberg, R. Espejo, P.A. Fleming and C.-O. Wene (2006), ”Models of Transparency and Accountability in the Biotech Age”, Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 45-56..

Course on Social Cybernetics in Lincoln UK

The Social Science Centre, Lincoln is running a module on Social Cybernetics – an approach to effective self-organisation of management and other systems through networks and structures that promote autonomy among actors, leading to identity formation and the co-creation of social value.

The module will be facilitated by Professor Raul Espejo, a world-authority in the field and the current Director-General of the World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics. Raul was a member of a team in Chile in the 1970s that worked on the Project Cybersyn<>, and attempt to link socialist planning with technology enabled social communications and policy processes.

The module is free of charge.

The module will begin on Thursday 21st of January from 7-9 pm and then every two weeks until Wednesday the 16th of March. The venue for the module is the Involve Centre, 12 Mint Lane Lincoln LN1 1UD<>.

If you would like to attend the course please contact<>


Course outline

Key concepts to explore in the module include:


*   Purpose, feedback, homeostasis

*   Communications, value-coproduction, eigen behaviours

*   Complexity, variety, requisite variety, variety engineering

*   Structure, structural recursion

*   Organisation, relationships

*   Self-organisation

*   Self-regulation

*   Self-reference and identity

*   Social systems, organisational systems and institutions

*   Reflexivity

*   Power

*   Governance

*   Cybersyn



The module will be organised around three key readings written by Professor Espejo:

Espejo, Raul. 1994. What is Systemic Thinking? in System Dynamics Review, June 1994 pp199-212

Espejo, Raul. 2014. Cybernetics of Governance: The Cybersyn Project 1971-1973, in Social Systems and Design. Edited by G. S. Metcalf, pp 71-90, Springer: Tokyo, Heidelberg

Espejo, Raul. 2015. Good Cybernetics is a must in Policy Processes. Kybernetes, Vol 44, 6-7, pp 874 – 890


Other key references

Ashby, W. Ross. 1964. An Introduction to Cybernetics. London: Methuen & Co.

Bateson, Gregory. 1973. Steps to an Ecology of Mind. London: Paladin

Beer, Stafford. 1981. Brain of the Firm (2nd edition). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Beer, Stafford . 1979. Heart of Enterprise. London: John Wiley & Sons.

Publications and activities 2015

Publication of selection of papers presented at WOSC 2014

Raul Espejo was the Guest Editor of Vol 44, Issues 6/7 of the Journal Kybernetes, published  at the end of September 2015. This double issue included 23 of the contributions  to our last Congress. Copy of this editorial is in the file below:

Governing the Anthropocene: Cybersystemic Possibilities

Professor Ray Ison, the President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, extended an invitation to WOSC to participate  in the event “Governing the Anthropocene: Cybersystemic Possibilities” at the Herrenhausen Palace, Hannover Germany, last July 30th and 31st. Funding support for this event  was given by the Volkswagen Stiftung  (Foundation) through collaboration with the Berlin Workshop in Institutional Analysis of Social-Ecological Systems based at Humbolt University in Berlin. WOSC was represented by Professor Jose Perez Rios, Dr Igor Perko, Mrs Zoraida Mendiwelso-Bendek  and Professor Raul Espejo.

Problem statement

The prevailing paradigm in the governance of the relationship between humans and the biophysical world is characterised by commitments to scientism and linear, causal and dualistic thinking. Currently governance, if understood as enacting cyber-systemic processes that maintain the quality of relationships between humans and the biosphere, can be seen to be failing on many fronts. The Anthropocene has emerged as a conceptual framing for this issue, but to date little cyber-systemic understanding and praxis (theory informed practical action) has meaningfully informed the unfolding discourse.

Link to the related blog:

The Cybernetics of Governance Chile 1971-1973

Last December Raul Espejo gave a talk about Cybersyn at the University of Westminster, London. Video recording of this event is now uploaded in YouTube:

The talk highlighted Cybersyn’s  governance approach in contrast to current approached as well as its methodological and epistemological strengths and weaknesses. The talk was followed by a lively debate.

Humberto Maturana, Ximena Davila y Fernando Flores at WOSC 2014

Como ya informamos en un mensaje anterior el lanzamiento de WOSC 2014 para la comunidad Latinoamericana  tuvo lugar en la Universidad Nacional de Colombia en Bogotá el 14 de octubre pasado.


Ahora la Universidad Nacional ha subido el video de este evento en YouTube. El enlace de este video en Español es el siguiente:

The above is the YouTube link to video in Spanish with the recording of WOSC 2014 launching at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia the 14th of October, 2014.


A view of the plenary sessions at WOSC 2014

The plenary sessions at WOSC 2014 offered varied reflexions of systems thinking and cybernetics. Entrepreneurship,  the Cybersyn project and big data, disruptions and reparation of social issues in the light of the Viable System Model, wicked problems, self-organisation, requisite variety, Luhmann’s autopoiesis, second order cybernetics and technology learning, the cybernetics of policy-processes and zero-time cybernetics were topics discussed in these plenaries. The attached document offers a reflection and their summary. They offer much to think about. Reflexions about WOSC 2014 (2)

Aditionally first WOSC 2014 keynote speakers videos are freeely published.

The wicked problems remain wicked: has the craft and science of transforming whole systems moved forward, and how could we do better? Requisite Variety, Autopoiesis, and Self-organization Autopoiesiss