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Theme 1. Philosophical and methodological foundations for the development
of the systems approach and cybernetics

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Challenges and threats to the future of humanity are increasing pressure to develop and implement systemic approaches and cybernetics. We want to debate their philosophical foundations, with particular emphasis in ontology, epistemology and methodology. Focusing on the specifics of the formation of self-developing reflexive-active environments of hybrid reality. New ideas are needed concerning scientific rationality, the problem of the observer, transdisciplinary approaches, and problems related to complexity, reflexivity and ethics. We must increase the convergence of civilization and culture in the development of systemic approaches and cybernetics. Systems thinking and cybernetics should enable a rich social construction for an interrelated and coherent world.

WOSC 2021 invites congress participants to reflect upon today’s critical crises situations, such as pandemics, climate change and social and environmental sustainability, from a systemic perspective with  an increased awareness of the complexity of the contextual constraints imposed by the structural coupling of social agents in co-evolution with their ecosystemic chains.  In this context of systemic thinking we invite reflections about designing communication mechanisms, from the local to the global, for which cybernetics should be a major contributor.  Social designing of communications and conversations, as well as the development of organisations with requisite variety are proposed as tools to respond to our current crises situations. 

Awareness of complexity offers opportunities to develop the functionality and coherence of societies. Meta-contextual aspects go beyond the interactions of organisational actors and environmental agents, but need to consider their framing in cultural and meta environmental interactions. This way we can reflect on aspects of societal significance, such as ecological chains, constrained resources, as well as economic inequalities limiting fairness and justice. WOSC 2021 wants to make inroads into the mechanisms shaping interactions, communications and relationships in complex systems, whether communities, enterprises, government agencies, small businesses, families or people. In particular, we want to offer an opportunity for Congress participants to contribute empirical approaches, emerging from their practical experiences in the life-world of societal, ecological and economic situations. Epistemological and methodological debates about social boundaries, systemic structures and communication and interaction mechanisms can influence good practice and improve people’s contributions to society.

Theme 1 Sections

  1. A World in crises; how can Cybernetics, Systems Thinking and new technologies help? (Stuart Umpleby, USA; Vladimir Lepskiy, Russia; Michael Lissack, USA; Paul Pangaro, USA)

  2. Critical Systems Thinking and the Management of Complexity (Viacheslav Maracha, Russia; Michael C. Jackson, UK)

  3. Ontological Cybernetics; methodologies to support self-developing reflexive-active societies (Vladimir Lepskiy, Russia; Raul Espejo, UK)

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