Stafford's Work

Ctrl+Shift+Del - Rebooting Society

The Nautisch Kwartier Hotel (Huizen, Amsterdam)

November 1st-3th 2019

The Conference topic

This wasn’t be the first time that we’ve held a Metaphorum get-together to share experiences and knowledge on ways to apply and develop Stafford Beer’s original innovations, the Viable System Model and Team Syntegrity, as useful tools to support more conscious, self-evolutionary individuals, organisations and societies. This time, the challenges of our current international environment couldn’t be more demanding: the escalating impact of global climate change;  the massive domination of global capitalism through trans-national corporations; the mind-boggling increase in inequality, continuing poverty for the majority of people in the southern half of the planet; and the escalating risk of wars, given the rising geo political tensions.

Everyone seems to be calling for massive, urgent and dramatic system change at all levels. New forms of economy need to be invented; new forms of businesses need to emerge; new ways of relating to each other inside organisations are in high demand; in other words, we need to reboot society! (Ctrl/Shift/Del!!) We need to invent a new (sustainable and equitable) economic model, new business models, and new ways of relating to each other.

The time for Stafford’s ideas has finally arrived !

This conference was an invitation to the Metaphorum community to join us in the search for inspiring examples of ways to continue developing Stafford Beer’s work to co-design a new, revolutionary  platform for dramatic and massive systemic change in business and society. We welcomed any contribution involving systemic change supported by the Viable System Model and Team Syntegrity, at any scale (from the individual, to the family, neighbourhood, communities, private and public organisations, to the whole planet) is welcomed. We wanted to  contribute to the urgent need for innovations which can help us to progress towards a fair, people-centred, self-directed, sustainable, and self-evolutionary society.

Dates and Venue

The conference took place November 1st-3rd 2019, in The Nautisch Kwartier in Huizen, the Netherlands.


We started with a social gathering and meal on the evening of Friday the 1st November, with a social event.

On Saturday and Sunday  there were a series of talks, from those presenting a topic for discussion. There follows details of the timetable and on the full agenda.

Timetable Metaphorum Huizen

Metaphorum 2019 Agenda Final

See also below, a summary of the agenda, with links to some of the presentations (those chosen by the academic committee, and whose authors have granted permission to share in this website).

You can view them by clicking the link in the presentation.

Where there are video recordings of some of the talks you can access them by clicking on the title of the talk. Thanks to Javier Livas for editing the videos, and to Camila Fornaguera for videoing the conference for us.

METAPHORUM Huizen, 2019 – Presentations

A Espinosa & J Walker
Video: Ctrl Shift Del): Rebooting society: The nature and scale of the required global systemic change & How we can help it ?

Metaphorum 2019 AE JW

Wolfgang Lassl
Video: “Shift + F5” – Reloading Organizational Viability

W Lassl VSM_Presentation Metaphorum_v2 PDF

Ivo Velitchkov
Video: Essential Bio Balances in Organisations


Teodora Ivanuša
 A Reflexive Look at several 3rd Order Cybernetics


Pedro Pablo Cardoso-Castro
 Video: Viability Analysis of Public Watter Supply Policy using Institutional Analysis Development Framework and Viable System Model 


Allenna Leonard. 
Viable System Model  Playshop

Playshop for VSM

Restaurant Case Study


Michael Bewick, Seán Conlan and David Somekh
Video: The Power of Social Networks. Collaboration between Metaphorum and EHFF as a fruitful option, seeking to move from system 2 to system 3 mode?

Bewick et al (CareRooms November 1st 2019)

Trilly Chatterjee.
Video: Adaptive State Podcast - Season 1 – Synopsis
Thomas Swann 
Video: Anarchist cybernetics in and against the institutions

T Swann

Leonie Solomon
Relevance arising from Connecting the Dots ... Leading to Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka

LS Relevance arising from Connecting the Dots

Javier & Hernan Livas
Rebooting Christianity: Management Lessons from the Bible’
Gary Alexander
PlaNET: A prototype platform for a global commons based on viable systems principles
Ian Kendrick
 Enabling the coordinated Transformation for our planet using an approach guided by the VSM and delivered with a Multi Sided Platform 
Severin Deutschmann
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO), a new tool in the cyberneticians toolbelt?


Joe and Chris Truss. 
The One Day Reverberator
Stephan Verveen &  David Beatty.  
Sharing results from an experiment in online group conversation for empowering crewmembers of spaceship earth
Igor Perko
RE-View the reviewing process, Blockchains as a catalyst?

Igor Perko-View the reviewing process

A Leonard
Closing up- participants self- assessment

Allenna +Group Assessment

There will be soon links to some of the videos of the presentations and discussions. Thanks to Camila Fornaguera, for recording the sessions of the conference. And to Javier Livas for editing the videos.

The last session on Sunday morning was leaded by Igor Perko, who suggested an experiment in re-thinking the review process, by collectivilly sharing the review of papers and presentations of the conference. Several participants are now part of the experiment. Progress on it will be posted later in 2020.

The final session on Sunday started with a discussion on some of the main issues arising from the conference. Participants choose 4 topics to work on, and organised in groups to discuss them. It was agreed to continue the conversations after the conference in the same teams; and to update the community on their progress, using the Slack platform.

The Conference was closed by Allenna Leonard, in a self-assessment workshop, which results are presented here. Allenna +Group Assessment

There was an extra workshop on Monday, for those interested in staying an extra night, led by Joe Truss, Christine Cullen and David Beatty, in Utrecht, from 11 a.m.-17:45 pm, called: “ Embodying the Cosmic Code’. See attached flyer with more information. See David Beatty’s invitation to the workshop

Cosmic Code Primer (2)

Additional Workshop JT CT DB

Special thanks also to Jan Kuiper,  Sarah van der Leun and Peter Kuiper for organising the venue and the logistics and for been great hosts for the Metaphorum Community

Organising Committee:

Angela Espinosa, Jon Walker, Jan Kuiper,  Sarah van der Leun, Allena Leonard, and Mark Lambertz.