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2008: Action Research and Organisational Cybernetics

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The aim of the conference was to provide an opportunity to gather and discuss Action research and Organisational Cybernetics, both from a postgraduate and senior practitioners point of view. Twenty people were involved in making presentations or facilitating workshops over the two days. Themes adressed on day one ranged from case studies and worshops from the world of business, as well as research on complexity management and sustainability. At the end of day a short film by J. Livas summarized and presented the history of Cybernetics, its connection to Chaos Theory and with the newest developments in the Digital Era, as well as the philosophical paradigm that it has developed. Day two  included subjects as global, regional and national governance,education and short workshop on methodologies he employed and wrote about for peace and conflict resolution in developing countries and communities. The closing session on day two was a workshop on the organization of Metaphorum itself, led by Allenna Leonard and Angela Espinosa. Day three was dedicated to a workshop on Frederick Vester’s Sensitivity Model and the Ecopolitics game by Gabrielle Harrer, in which she guided the audience through the steps of the model using the model’s software with its existing case studies in the morning and, after lunch were able to try to apply it to the Metaphorum organization.


Action Research in Business and Management I (Chair A Espinosa)

Luc Hoebeke


Learning the VSM-language from experience, not from the classroom


Steve Morlidge


Money, Time and Variety Engineering: the application of cybernetics to the diagnosis and design of Financial Performance Management Systems


Stefan Wasilewski


Emergence of Viable Businesses from a Complex Economic Landscape in the Banking and Insurance Industries

Organisational Cybernetics in Education and Learning (Chair A Espinosa)

Robin Asby

Penny Marrington


Education and learning: creating the autonomous survivor?’ 


Mark Johnson


The Viable System Model, Learners and self-efficacy

Complexity & Sustainability (Chair R Harnden)

Angela Espinosa


Complexity Management and Sustainability: Research Approaches and ongoing Projects


Russell Clemens


Applying the VSM to Environmental Scanning and Foresight Development: A system 4 Perspective on the Meta-system Communication Dynamics for Success


Pedro P. Cardoso


Self organisation in community regeneration


Kathryn Knowles


A Cybernetic Approach to Environmental Management Systems and the Engagement of an Organizations’ Culture

Cybernetics, Science and Philosophy

Javier Livas

The Kubernetes Universe –

Film and discussion


Global, national and regional Governance

(Chair – R. Harnden)

Leonie Solomons


Governance Issues in Sri Lanka, A Cybernetic Diagnosis and Solution ‘Process’: Workshop


Michelle Watts


Collaborative implementation network structures: Cultural tourism implementation in an English seaside context


Jon Walker


A Global Meta-system for a Viable Planet

Methods and Tools I (Chair: L Hoebeke)

Arthur Dijkstra & Steve Brewis Workshop (1 hour)

VSM Modelling of an airline organisation

Document for preparation: ACOSM.pdf: Aim: to assign systems 1s of the generic airline model.

Methods and Tools II (Chair: L Hoebeke)

Gabrielle Harrer

(20 min)

Systemic and cybernetic planning and management with the “Sensitivity Model of Prof. Vester

Conflict resolution (Chair A. Leonard)

Dennis Finlayson Workshop (40 min)

A ‘Soft’ approach to ‘environmental conflict resolution’ and other community action research situations: A Case study on the Amnesty Group in  Arauca, Colombia


Allenna Leonard   & Angela Espinosa

Workshop: Metaphorum as a learning community


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