After the meeting is before the meeting

EMCSR 2012 Grouppicture

Dear Participants and Attendees,

we are excited about the success of the EMCSR 2012. What a great meeting it was. We´d like to take this opportunity to again express our thanks to you for making this event a unique experience. But we also have to apologize, because although we are a very dedicated team – thanks to all who supported us – we are still a small team and the postproduction took us longer than we thought. But we hope that you will enjoy the results as much as you have enjoyed your visit in Vienna.


At the EMCSR 2012 we could count an overall number of 198 registered participants. We could welcome 142 presenters and contributors, we invited 5 keynote speakers, among them Merrelyn Emery who held the traditional W. Ross Ashby Memorial Lecture sponsored by the IFSR on how to conceptualise technological systems. Besides the IFSR other transnational organisations of the systems movement like the European Union of Systemics (EUS/UES) and the World Organisation for Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC) were part of the game. We had 19 Symposia and a PhD Day. We had new subjects and a focus on general implications of our research that will allow for having an impact on society for the better. We opened the sessions to different formats than conventional paper presentations only. And we invested in media and Social Media to raise awareness about our concerns.

Watch and spread the word

You can already watch the first videos on our Youtube channel including two flashbacks, an interview with Ervin Laszlo and Merrlyn Emery,  the symposium The Past, Present and Future of Cybernetics and Systems Research, and the keynotes of the EMCSR 2012, in case you missed one. More videos will be ready very soon, we will keep you posted. For the great opportunity to broadcast some of our highlights we have to thank a dedicated team of students from the University of Applied Science Upper Austria Campus Hagenberg who have all already finished their masters in Communication, Knowledge and Media studies.

Let us mention just another three highlights of our meeting:

  • Edgar Morin and Ervin László provided a wonderful framing of our meeting. Edgar Morin, former Director of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), who was going to celebrate his 92nd birthday this summer, gave a talk with the Counsellor of the French Embassy in Vienna listening. Though it is rather uncertain that current societal trends will change, he said, there is still hope for humanity to master the global challenges. Ervin László, founder of the Club of Budapest, founder of the Giordano Bruno Globalshift University (GBGU), warned that the window of opportunity for change is shrinking day by day.
  • The Bertalanffy Center donated a prize of € 1.000,00 for the PhD Day. It was not clear whether or not the jury, based upon the reviews and based upon an evaluation of the performance of the competitors would decide to award it. The PhD Colloquium and Award Committee that included representatives of the International Academy of Systems and Cybernetic Sciences (IASCYS) and the GBGU, eventually, took a decision. The Ludwig von Bertalanffy Award for Young Scientists went to Jessica Dylan Foley from Ireland “in recognition of the most promising transdisciplinary research demonstrating the principle of Unity through Diversity”. “I was pushed out of my quiet study and into a public realm of the academy, and this was a vital move for me”, Jessica said. “I am thrilled for my work to have been received so warmly and enthusiastically. My confidence has been boosted by this experience and I feel that I am more prepared to actively communicate my research to the public and to the academy.”
  • Symposium M was a round table about the history and the future of all the different approaches that might be ascribed to the systems movement. Keynote speaker Péter Érdi from the USA stressed the importance of the ideas of the founders of systems theory and cybernetics. Others brought modern developments to the fore. Helena Knyazeva stressed complexity, Stefan Thurner underlined complex adaptive systems, and keynote speaker Péter Csermely from Hungary accentuated networks. Csermely placed emphasis on scientists being humble and open to the discussion of approaches that compete with their own ones. One point of such a discussion was touched by Alexander Laszlo – the relationship between predictability and emergence. If you have missed it, watch it here.

It is our vision that the 22nd meeting will have an even stronger focus on the foundations of the different approaches to sort out which fundamental assumptions are helpful or needful to actually affect the course of civilisational development.


The next step we would like to go with you is to publish the proceedings. We have already published the Book of  Abstracts (ISSN:  2227-7803) fully citeable. With the many contributions it was one of the major projects in the postproduction and we have to thank Robert Bichler for his endurance as Managing Editor as well as all our contributors. It looks marvelous.

And we have established a new medium for the systems movement: systems. connecting matter, life, culture and technology!

systems. connecting matter, life, culture and technology (ISSN: 2305-6991) will publish the proceedings of the EMCSR 2012 and the upcoming meetings with the first issues in 2013, but will be open to all organizations and researchers in the field of systems sciences and cybernetics. Special open calls will be an additional vital activity of this peer reviewed open access journal. Reading and publishing will be free with this high quality eJournal. We already have to thank a wonderful team of people who decided to support our project as International Editorial Board members as well as a great number of member organizations of the International Federation for Systems Research, which nominated Associate Editors for a distinguished international board.

Submission details are already available at the journals´s website. You need to register and submit your full paper. All papers will be double blind peer reviewed. Full papers will be included only after a rigorous review and positive recommendation by two reviewers. The publishing process will be continous in 2013 with three issues of systems. connecting matter, life, culture and technology to come.

The full papers we are calling for now are expected to include the discussion in the Symposia and the PhD Day as well as in the wrap-up Closing Plenum. The official call for papers to all our participants will be disseminated through our e-Mail channels next week.

What a workload, what a joyful experience, as we said at the beginning, we hope, you will be as excited as we are, looking forward to the next steps. We will keep in touch even after the meeting and will keep you posted during the upcoming months before our next meeting in Vienna 2014.

Best regards,

Wolfgang Hofkirchner & Stefan Blachfellner

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