2009: Cybernetics and the Global Crisis

The Cwarel Isaf Institute held its 2 nd Conference on the topic of Cybernetics and the Global Crisis, in St Gallen Management Zentrum, St Gallen, Switzerland on March 19 th , 20 th 2009.  The first day the speakers’ emphasis was on
understanding the global crisis in the light of our current scientific paradigms in fields as management (Malik), economics crisis (Heinsohn), growth dynamics (Modis) and socionomics (M. Lampert). The focus of the second day was on how systems thinking and Beer’s work give us a language to better understand the core issues of complexity and sustainability (Leonard); demographics and war
(Heinsohn), the current situation in Sri Lanka (Saravananuttu). The stress was upon how the tools of cybernetics help are particularly relevant for addressing current societal and sustainability issues. Michael Ben Eli spoke passionately on the need for “grand visions” to be grounded in immediate practical activities:in his own words: ‘Transforming World society and its economy to a sustainable basis is the
most significant challenge of our time’. He and Malik committed to collaborate on the issue, linking MZSG and Ben-Eli’s Sustainability Institute in New York.
The group meetings on the afternoon were focused on suggesting from different perspectives the blueprints for such a transformation towards sustainability. The later panel and closing session there was commitment and enthusiasm about the possibilities of collaboration with M&M on this world initiative, that Malik called ‘the Great Transformation’.

As in 2008’s Conference, this year also a group of Metaphorum members attended the CII Conference and most of them also stayed for a workshop on Saturday the 21 st , attended by Martin Pfiffner on behalf of MZSG. We wanted in this workshop to reflect on particular projects having bearing on the current crisis that – as a loose cybernetic community – we might help enable. We attempted to nudge to
light what initiatives people are currently engaged with, or might be interested in engaging in, which could potentially identify critical issues and ways forward.

 

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