WOSC 2017 Congress in Rome, Italy

WOSC 2017:

Science with and for Society: Contributions of Cybernetics and Systems

http://wosc2017rome. asvsa.org

The official host of WOSC 2017 is the Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, at the University of La Sapienza.

Professor Sergio Barile is Chair of the Congress and Marialuisa Saviano, Associate Professor of Business Management at the University of Salerno and President of ASVSA (Association for research on Viable Systems) is in charge of the administration.

WOSC, as a world organization, is inviting scientists, policy-makers, professionals and students across the globe to contribute to the debate of the dynamics underpinning contemporary societal problems from a cybersystemic perspective.

As articulated by Prof. Barile:

“Systemic thinking is gradually developing conceptualizations that are outrunning the scope of the so-called formal sciences. It is a response to the reductionism and linearity of much current scientific work and also to the wide spread fragmentation of policy processes and decision making. Enriched by the work of biologists, physicists and mathematicians, and also strengthened by much work in medicine, psychology, economics and sociology, it is producing a veritable paradigm, appropriate to tackle issues both theoretical and operational. Corroborated by the application of related theories, such as those of the “complexity” and “sustainability”, systemic thinking is contributing to a science of organization and governance.

WOSC 2017 is inviting contributions to the debate of “Social dynamics and problem-solving in the 21st Century from a systemic perspective”. These contributions can be related to the different dimensions of an unpredictable world, with unexpected disruptions which demand models with plasticity, able to represent not only the observable phenomena focused on the outcome, but also, and especially, paying attention to the process itself through which the phenomenon is realized. It invites a new perspective of investigation, in which organizational and governance processes are the focal point. Systemic thinking allows observation and comparison among multiple conceptions, ranging from behaviorist to constructivist; from allopoietic to autopoietic; from living to viable; from external observation to participant observation and so on. WOSC 2017 wants opening the debate of scholars from different disciplines and sometimes of opposing positions; it wants refutable contributions able to

enlighten comparisons between the different views, enabling a positive use of each other’s knowledge, and perhaps reaching new shared conceptualizations.”

We will invite submissions to this Congress and inform about its timetable in the near future. Watch this space.

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<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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<https://goo.gl/maps/hbehu5g2TMU2>.

If you would like to attend the course please contact info@socialsciencecentre.org.uk<mailto:info@socialsciencecentre.org.uk>


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.

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.

WOSC Congress 2014 is concluded

WOSC 2014 is now concluded
We want to highlight:

Attendees of 26 countries from around the word gathered in Ibague, Colombia.

10 keynote speakers presented current issues and future perspectives on cybernetics and system thinking.

Fernando Flores Eden Medina Geoff Mulgan Carlos Gershenson Allenna Leonard
Clas-Otto Wene  Raúl Espejo Dario Rodriguez Humberto Maturana Ximena Dávila

Professor Dr. Humberto Maturana was distinguished with WOSC’s Norbert Wiener Memorial Gold Medal

Participants contributed papers to 9 themes

No Themes Theme Coordinador
1 Digital Society & Business Ecosystems Igor Perko and Raul Espejo
2 Complexity, Sustainability and Self-Organisation Angela Espinosa
3 Ecosystems – Renewal for Sustainability Markus Schwaninger
4 Design and Control of Self-organising Systems Carlos Gershenson 
5 Power, Citizenship and Democracy Zoraida Mendiwelso-Bendek and Germán Bula
6 Computer modelling, power and the management of complexity Hernán López Garay
7 Networks of influence: systems dynamics José Pérez Rios
8 Transdisciplinary modelling and decision processes Jerzy Jozefczyk 
9 Cyber-systemic Governance Autopoiesis and Social Processes Sandro Schlindwein


Prize and Commendations to papers 


Congress Theme Paper Title Authors Resolution
Networks of influence: systems dynamics A system dynamics model of the nutritional stage of the Colombian population by socioeconomic status Jose David Meisel, Olga L. Sarmiento, Camilo Olaya & Roberto Zarama Kybernetes prize for the Outstanding Paper of the Congress
Digital Society & Business Ecosystems Sharing business partner behavior Igor Perko, Andreja Primec & Robert Horvat Highly commended paper
Power, Citizenship and Democracy Towards a Non-trivializing Education Germán Bula


Highly commended paper
Computer modelling, power and the management of complexity Modeling and Simulating Moral Emotions in Organizations: exploring its impact on collaboration Oswaldo Terán, Christophe Sibertin-Blanc & Benoit Gaudou Highly commended paper


















You may find more details on the Congress homepage wosc-congress.unibague.edu.co.

American Society of Cybernetics 2013 conference

Ranulph Glanville, President of the American Society of Cybernetics writes:

I am pleased to announce the launch of the web site for the American Society of Cybernetics 2013 conference, “Acting, Learning, Understanding)” which will take place in Bolton, UK.

The main conference is 30 July to 1 August (3 days), inclusive. It is preceded by a 2 day pre-conference and followed by a 2 day post-conference (which are free).

Bolton is situated in some of the most beautiful countryside, on the edge of Manchester, and is well connected both internationally and nationally.

We would appreciate you help in announcing this conference as widely as possible especially to your members, and, of course, would be delighted to welcome you to the conference.

Please visit the web site at www.asc-cybernetics.org/2013. I also attach a flyer/poster 2013_ASC_Conferencethat provides the key information, and which I would be glad for you to pass on.

Thank you, and welcome to Bolton!



EMCSR 2012

The  21st European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems Research (EMCSR) took place in Vienna from April 10 to April 13, 2012.

The book with the abstracts of the papers presented to this meeting can be downloaded from: http://www.emcsr.net/book-of-abstracts/

The following papers were delivered in the Symposium “Design and Self-organization in the Emergence of Effective Organizations”, which was organised by WOSC:

Session 1: Paper Presentation

Chair: Raúl Espejo

  • Markus Schwaninger: Towards Optimal Organizational Designs, The Fractal Dimension of Self-organizing Systems
  • Hans Losscher: Leadership and Chaos Theory

Session 2: Paper Presentation

Chair: Markus Schwaninger

  • Penny Hart: Using an interpretivist methodology to investigate knowledge sharing in a research establishment
  • Tom Ryan: Working ‘Cybernetically’ at Organizational (Re)design

Session 3: Paper Presentation

Chair:  José Perez Rios

  • Louis Klein:  Narrative Approaches to Organizational Research, Exploring the organisational collage of memetic paradigms
  • Helmut Nechansky: Problems of Organizational Cybernetics,beyond Beer’s Viable Systems Model
  • Zoraida Mendiwelso-Bendek: Supporting Civil Society’s Self-Organisation

Session 4: Paper Presentation

Chair:  Tom Ryan

  • José Perez Rios & Xosé Lois Martínez Suárez:  An Organizational Cybernetics approach to University Urban Planning
  • José Bermeo: Designing an effective conversation in an organization
  • Raúl Espejo & David Hooper: Variety Engineering and the Re-structuring of the English National Health Service

Conference in Valencia

The Business Systems Laboratory (www.bslaboratory.net)  and SESGE (Sociedad Española de Sistemas Generales) – Universitat de Valencia held  the INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM The Economic Crisis: Time for a Paradigm Shift – Towards a Systems Approach at the University of Valencia  on the 24-25 January, 2013. Keynote speakers were Professor Raul Espejo, Director General of the World Organization for Systems and Cybernetics (UK), MATJAŽ MULEJ Distinguished Professor at Maribor University and Professor Gaetano Golinelli, from the Sapienza University, Roma, Italy 
The Three keynote speakers received awards for the advancement in Systems Thinking applied to management

An Ecology of Ideas- Meeting of the American Society for Cybernetics



Organised jointly by the American Society for Cybernetics and the Bateson Idea Group, “An Ecology of Ideas” offers a chance to develop ideas that connect to those of Gregory Bateson and his “Ecology of Mind”. Bateson died in 1980, and was one of the widest ranging, deepest and most inclusive thinkers of C20: his work merits re-animation.


The conference brings students of Bateson and of Cybernetics (of which he was a founder) together with a more general public who are intrigued and interested to learn from and extend key concepts of both. To facilitate this, there will be workshops and conversational presentations under the theme headings of Paradigm, Recursion and Praxis.


Asilomar is a State Park and Conference Centre on the Pacific Coast, a site of Architectural excellence, and a place closely associated with Gregory Bateson, and the early years of Cybernetics.


We invite you to explore the website for the conference at




If you are interested to attend, there are a few places still available. Please apply directly from the website for both accommodation and board, and the conference fee:




(The process is a little complex because of various deals that are



If you wish to contact the conference co-ordinator, Dr Pille Bunnell is at




We hope to welcome you there.


Best Wishes,


Ranulph Glanville

President, American Society for Cybernetics.