Saturday, July 26, 2014

Systemic governance approaches employed

Australia's first ever Community Energy Congress was held recently in Canberra (16-17th June). As the web site indicates their ambitious, but appropriate aim was to 'to create a new approach to energy in Australia – to decarbonise, decentralise and democratise our energy system!'.   With this in mind they set out to design what I would call a governance experiment that combines systemic practices and institutional innovations: 

"The Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE) is a purpose-built governance system designed to enable collaboration for the purpose of creating a vibrant community energy sector and movement right across Australia.

It is the membership of C4CE ~ community energy projects, groups, support organisations and stakeholders in the wider renewable and mainstream energy system ~ who make this vision possible. C4CE initiatives are created and led by one of more members. The overall coordination of C4CE is led by the Steering Group with the support of a Secretariat.

C4CE believes collaboration creates greater impact than the simple sum of individual member efforts. Together, we can make the difference.

C4CE’s objectives are to:
  • Guide and support development of the community energy sector
  • Create a coordinated voice to better advocate for the needs of the sector
  • Grow the sector’s profile, influence and membership (beyond the ‘usual suspects’)
  • Facilitate the alignment of efforts by Members with support, systems, tools and training which enable collaboration for collective impact
  • Identify and create strategic opportunities and attract investment for the sector
  • Coordinate strategic initiatives which build the knowledge, know-how and capacity of Members and the sector
As an unincorporated governance system, C4CE is legally auspiced by Starfish Initiatives*."

There have been a number of follow up media reports ranging from the community-based to national from what was a sellout event of 350.  Presentations were made from all sides of the political spectrum.

If only systemic sense could prevail

Further to my earlier post, colleagues concerned like me, at the continuing systemic failure of governance and public policy have alerted me to intelligent and insightful arguments that point to other ways of understanding and governing. If  only these understandings and associated practices could prevail!

Continuing with the complex, contested issue of Palestine - Israel, an article in the New Yorker on'Israel’s Other War' by draws attention to the longer term systemic consequences of Israeli policy.   

"It’s an awful thing to make a truly tragic mistake, one that costs many lives.  It’s worse to make that same mistake over and over again. Four operations in Gaza, an immense number of Israeli and Palestinian hearts that have stopped beating, and we keep ending up in the same place. The only thing that actually changes is Israeli society’s tolerance for criticism. It’s become clear during this operation that the right wing has lost its patience in all matters regarding that elusive term, “freedom of speech.” In the past two weeks, we’ve seen right wingers beating left wingers with clubs, Facebook messages promising to send left-wing activists to the gas chambers, and denunciations of anyone whose opinion delays the military on its way to victory. It turns out that this bloody road we walk from operation to operation is not as cyclical as we may have once thought. This road is not a circle, it’s a downward spiral, leading to new lows, which, I’m sad to say, we’ll be unlucky enough to experience."

Writing in the Toronto Star, Gabor Maté (published on Tue Jul 22 2014) captures the disillusionment for many now in their 60s and 70s, like me, who grew up supportive of the ideal of a democratic Israeli state - an ideal that no longer survives in a defensible form.  He writes: 

"As a Jewish youngster growing up in Budapest, an infant survivor of the Nazi genocide, I was for years haunted by a question resounding in my brain with such force that sometimes my head would spin: “How was it possible? How could the world have let such horrors happen?”

It was a naïve question, that of a child. I know better now: such is reality. Whether in Vietnam or Rwanda or Syria, humanity stands by either complicitly or unconsciously or helplessly, as it always does. In Gaza today we find ways of justifying the bombing of hospitals, the annihilation of families at dinner, the killing of pre-adolescents playing soccer on a beach.

In Israel-Palestine the powerful party has succeeded in painting itself as the victim, while the ones being killed and maimed become the perpetrators. “They don’t care about life,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, abetted by the Obamas and Harpers of this world, “we do.” Netanyahu, you who with surgical precision slaughter innocents, the young and the old, you who have cruelly blockaded Gaza for years, starving it of necessities, you who deprive Palestinians of more and more of their land, their water, their crops, their trees — you care about life?"

There is, unfortunately, no shortage of contemporary contexts in which ideologues drive us collectively in the wrong direction. Profound systemic consequences are already evident in Sri Lanka, Canada and Australia as these links testify.

On a rare positive note the British government is to be commended for sticking to its carbon reduction targets, as indicated by this announcement from the Secretary of State, who said:

"Above all, maintaining the Fourth Carbon Budget at its current level demonstrates the UK’s commitment to its climate change target of an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. The UK has the world’s most transparent system of binding emission reduction targets, which are used as a model throughout the world. Today’s decision cements the UK’s place as a global leader in combating climate change, which will allow us to play a central role in delivering a global deal to combat climate change at the end of 2015."    

As I have written elsewhere the UK's 'Committee on Climate Change' is an important institutional innovation - so it is good to see that its role in governance is working.  Importantly this case exemplifies how, when there is political commitment to what is ethically and scientificaly justifiable, it is possible to stand up to Treasury idealogues, as this article by Simon Inglethorpe indicates:

"The decision amounts to a personal victory for [Secretary of State] Davey as it means Treasury calls to weaken the budget – and leave the door open for more gas-fired electricity generation in future – have not prevailed.

“Ed Davey deserves praise for standing up to the Treasury’s wrecking efforts, and the prime minister credit for holding firm on this crucial commitment,” said Greenpeace’s political director, Ruth Davis. “George Osborne has done everything in his power to water down the UK’s keystone climate change policy, putting at risk vital investment in our energy system and our credibility in global climate negotiations.”

I imagine it is too much to hope that a moratorium on all fracking will emerge as a systemically desirable national strategy - in the UK and elsewhere. Technologies which perpetuate 'carbon pollution' and attract investment away from renewables have no place in the world we now have to create.   

Cutting the Gordian Knot of Complex Problems: Cybernetics & Policy

This event will be held in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the American Society of Cybernetics which commences in Washington DC on Monday 4th August.

What can a cybernetic perspective bring to the issues of the day?  With examples from Iraq, HealthCare, Transportation, and Finance.
"Monday August 4, 4-6 pm
George Washington Business School, DUQUES HALL, 2201 G Street NW, Room 258

The decision maker of today is faced with a complex world composed of many open, value-laden, multi-level, multi-component systems, situated in turbulent, unstable, and changing environments. When a plane crash in eastern Ukraine with 298 people aboard will affect the European gas supply, health care for AIDS patients, the decisions of the UN Security Council, and international sanctions -- which will then alter trading on the NYSE, world trading partnerships, British real estate prices and the American economy -- that complexity seems both obvious and paralyzing.

Complexity is the source of very difficult scientific challenges for observing, understanding, reconstructing and predicting the multi-dimensional dynamics of present-day systems. Cybernetics is the science of reflexive constraints in systems consisting of many participants -- all of whom observe, decide, act, observe, etc. It examines the role of context and assumptions which together help shape the understanding of both problems and their potential solutions.

When what is happening in your world doesn't make sense, when it doesn't conform to your beliefs about how things work, it's time to ask hard questions. Cybernetics is the science of developing those questions by examining both the situation and the people and institutions charged with achieving adequate management, regulation or control.

While the hard sciences may suggest that decision makers consider all the information they can about both the current situation and the past, and then with a sense of desired outcomes, lay plans of action to get to those outcomes, cybernetics exposes the “wishful thinking” this entails. Cybernetics questions our ability to rely on "predictive" models by noting the blinders built into the models themselves.

We bring into our decision-making process flaws and errors of our own. All of us show bias when it comes to what information we take in. We typically focus on anything that agrees with our view of the world and the outcome we want. We need to acknowledge our tendency to incorrectly process challenging news and actively push ourselves to hear that which fails to match our prior expectations.

Cybernetics helps you develop the very questions you should ask of both yourself and of the situation you are examining. It highlights the pitfalls when one attempts to understand the whole as a "black box." The view of that crash from Donetsk differs greatly from the view in Iowa City.

Cybernetics highlights the constraints as you map and parameterize inputs and outputs, and as you observe systemic behaviors. Most importantly, it demands reflective questioning when you decompose the system into its constituent subsystems, recursively, until you think you have reached a natural stopping place for decision-making. Such questioning may, for example, help guide British policy toward Russian banking sanctions.

In order to deal properly with the diversity of problems the world throws at you, you need to have a repertoire of responses which is (at least) as nuanced as the problems you face. Cybernetics should be part of your repertoire."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Avaatz's narrative about the Palestine-Israel situation makes systemic sense

I am posting a recent communication from Avaatz because I could not elucidate the systemic issues any better.


"As a new round of violence kicks off in Israel-Palestine and more children are killed, it's not enough just to call for another ceasefire. It's time to take definitive non-violent action to end this decades long nightmare.

Our governments have failed -- while they have talked peace and passed UN resolutions, they and our companies have continued to aid, trade and invest in the violence. The only way to stop this hellish cycle of Israel confiscating Palestinian lands, daily collective punishment of innocent Palestinian families, Hamas firing rockets, and Israel bombing Gaza is to make the economic cost of this conflict too high to bear.

We know it works -- when EU countries issued guidelines not to fund the illegal Israeli settlements it caused an earthquake in the cabinet, and when citizens successfully persuaded a Dutch pension fund, PGGM, to withdraw, it created a political storm.

This may not feel like a direct way to stop the current killing, but history tells us that raising the financial cost of oppression can pave a path to peace. Click to call on 6 key banks, pension funds and businesses to pull out -- If we all take smart action now and turn up the heat, they could withdraw, the Israeli economy will take a hit, and we can turn the calculation of the extremists politically profiting from this hell upside down:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_rb/?bPnBtgb&v=42735

In the last six weeks three Israeli teenagers were murdered in the West Bank, a Palestinian boy was burnt alive, an American kid was brutally beaten up by Israeli police, and now almost 100 Gazan kids have died in Israeli air strikes. This is not the "Middle East conflict", it's becoming a war on children. And we are becoming numb to this global shame. 

The media makes out like this is an intractable conflict between two equal warring parties, but it is not. Palestinian extremists' attacks on innocent civilians are never justified and Hamas’ anti-semitism is disgusting. But these extremists claim legitimacy by fighting the grotesque, decades-long oppression by the Israeli state. Israel currently occupies, colonises, bombs, raids, and controls the water, trade and the borders of a legally free nation that has been recognised by the United Nations. In Gaza, Israel has created the largest open-air prison in the world, and then blockaded it. Now as bombs fall, the families literally have no way to get out.

These are war crimes and we wouldn't accept that anywhere else: why accept it in Palestine? Half a century ago Israel and its Arab neighbours went to war and Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Occupying territory after war happens all the time. But no military occupation should turn into a decades-long tyranny which only fuels and benefits extremists who use terror to target the innocent. And who suffers? The majority of loving families on both sides that just want freedom and peace.

To many, particularly in Europe and North America, calling for companies to withdraw investments from financing or taking part in Israel's occupation of Palestine sounds completely biased. But this campaign is not anti-Israel -- this is the most potent non-violent strategy to end the ritual violence, ensure Israelis' security and achieve Palestinian freedom. Although Hamas deserves much pressure too, it is already under crippling sanctions and facing every kind of pressure. Israel's power and wealth dwarfs Palestine, and if it refuses to end its illegal occupation, the world must act to make the cost unbearable.

Dutch pension fund ABP invests in Israeli banks that help fund the colonisation of Palestine. Massive banks like Barclays invest in suppliers of Israeli arms and other occupation businesses. Computer giant Hewlett-Packard supplies sophisticated surveillance to control the movement of Palestinians. And Caterpillar provides bulldozers that are used to demolish Palestinian homes and farms. If we can create the biggest global call ever to get these companies to pull out, we will show clearly that the world will no longer be complicit in this bloodshed. The Palestinian people are calling on the world to support this path and progressive Israelis support it too. Let's join them:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_rb/?bPnBtgb&v=42735

Our community has worked to bring peace, hope, and change to some of the world's toughest conflicts, and often that means taking difficult positions to address the root cause. For years our community has looked for a political solution to this nightmare, but with this new round of horror unfolding in Gaza, the time has come to turn to sanctions and disinvestment to finally help end the horror for Israelis and Palestinians.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Fadi, Ben, Laila, Anna, Ricken, Jo, Nell, Mais and the entire Avaaz team

PS: For further questions check out the Q&A page, and some sources below.

MORE INFORMATION:

UN independent expert calls for boycott of businesses profiting from Israeli settlements (UN)
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43376#.U7_ynqhMrRI

12 more EU countries warn against trade with Israeli settlements (Haaretz)
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.603030

Israelis, Palestinians Pro Peace Process, but Not Hopeful (Gallup)
http://www.gallup.com/poll/161456/israelis-palestinians-pro-peace-process-not-hopeful.aspx

Under pressure, a strong EU-Israel relationship faces uncertain future (Middle East Monitor)
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/debate/9675-under-pressure-a-strong-eu-israel-relationship-faces-uncertain-future

Israel-Gaza conflict: 80 per cent of Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes are civilians, UN report says (The Independent)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-80-per-cent-of-palestinians-killed-by-israeli-strikes-are-civilians-un-report-says-9606397.html

Rule 156. Definition of War Crimes (ICRC)
http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter44_rule156

Palestinians: Most Gaza dead are children, women, elderly (Haaretz)
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.604443

Caught on Tape: US Teen Allegedly Beaten by Israeli Police (ABC News)
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/caught-tape-us-teen-tariq-abu-khdeir-allegedly-24449873

A policy of displacement (Visualizing Palestine)
http://visualizingpalestine.org/infograhic/a-policy-of-displacement

Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry
http://www.whoprofits.org/

Additional sources for this campaign:
http://avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_sources_a/?blast  "

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Privatisation - a pathway to systemic failure

When Margaret Thatcher was PM of Britain one of the many acts of privatisation her government enacted was that of the water utilities. All are now in private hands and most owned by non-UK multinationals - although it is often hard to know who owns what.  In an insightful article in the Guardian on Monday Aditya Chakrabortty reveals how privatisation is failing English citizens:

"Few businesses are more basic than the supply of water. But Thames now doesn't look anything like a water company; it more closely resembles a Russian doll. Holding company sits within holding company sits within holding company: in all, there are five intermediate firms between the business that supplies the water and sorts the sewage and the eventual shareholders. That's before you reach the two subsidiary firms that go out to the markets to raise cash, one of which is naturally based in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands.

Who gains from such a corporate Byzantium? Not regulators and politicians, nor journalists and analysts, because such a layout is the opposite of transparent. But the beneficiaries are identified by John Allen and Michael Pryke at the Open University, who pored over Thames's accounts from 2007 (the first full year after the Macquarie consortium took over) up to 2012. In three of those five years, investors took more dividends out of the business than it raised in profits after tax. Bung in interim payments, and there was only one year in which the consortium of shareholders took less out of the company than it had in post-tax profits. What replaced the profits? In a word: debt, which more than doubled to £7.8bn in that period.

The academics conclude: "A mound of leveraged debt appears to have been used to benefit investors at the expense of households and their rising water bills." Not just investors, mind: those at the top of the business have obviously been cashing in. All the middlemen – lawyers, tax consultants and financiers – associated with the intermediary firms would also have been taking a hefty cut. And in last week's report, Thames chief executive Martin Baggs was revealed to be on a pay package of £1.29m. No wonder staff call him "Moneybaggs"."

From an Australian persective what is significant is that Macquarie Bank is the effective owner of Thames Water despite the Russian Doll-like company structure.  Current Australian Ministers such as Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey are former investment bankers so Australians can probably look forward to the same pressures to privatise despite the growing evidence that privatised utilities systemically fail the societies that they were originally formed to assist.  The history of Margaret Thatcher's actions tends to suggest that privatisation serves another purpose - making your mates richer!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi - new Systems book

The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision has recently been published by Cambridge University Press. Amazon has a review by Prof. Warwick Fox which is very glowing. Some reviews are non-commital. Others are comprehensive and show depth of appreciation. The following is from the publishers:

"Over the past thirty years, a new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation leading to a novel kind of 'systemic' thinking. This volume integrates the ideas, models, and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single coherent framework. Taking a broad sweep through history and across scientific disciplines, the authors examine the appearance of key concepts such as autopoiesis, dissipative structures, social networks, and a systemic understanding of evolution. The implications of the systems view of life for health care, management, and our global ecological and economic crises are also discussed. Written primarily for undergraduates, it is also essential reading for graduate students and researchers interested in understanding the new systemic conception of life and its implications for a broad range of professions - from economics and politics to medicine, psychology and law."

I look forward to reading this book and to adding it to the resources available to the students of our postgraduate program in STiP - Systems Thinking in Practice.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Postcard Berlin

Berlin must be developer/builder heaven at the moment.  For architects as well.  There is so much activity - a new underground linking the main railway station with Alexanderplatz which for the moment leaves part of Unter den Linden fenced off by builders' barriers.  As the panorama below shows this is by no means all of it.  And Berlin is supposed to be a poor city by German standards!!

I am here in Berlin for three weeks for several reasons. One is as a Visiting Professor in the Umwelt (Environmental) Governance Group at Humbolt University. Last Tuesday I presented the following paper to a small colloquium concerned with institutions and climate change adaptation:


Ison, R.L. (2014) Tales of a normal distribution: designing institutions for adaptation. Proc. IV. Albrecht Daniel Thaer Kolloquium: “Institutional Economics & Climate Adaptation, March 18, 2014, Humboldt Universität  zu Berlin.

The presentation stimulated some good discussion.  Next week I deliver a seminar.  I am also here to co-run a Systems PhD training course in conjunction with the European Farming Systems Conference.  We have 25 students who will begin the program on Sunday 30th March and finish Saturday 5th April.  The students are mainly from Europe but international in their spread.  I am also co-convenor of Theme 1.3 in the conference program - Innovation Platforms as Drivers of Institutional Change. With other colleagues I am also co-convenor of a session organised around the re-emergence of interest in Systems within the CGIAR called: "Global Issues: Rebuilding a Systems capability?"

This is not my first visit to Berlin but will be my longest - I would not say I know the city very well, so getting to know Berlin better is also an ambition of my stay.  Last night I took in a concert at the Berlin Philharmoniker - concert for flute and orchestra by Carl Reinecke and Gustav Mahler's 4th Symphony.  Yannick Nezet-Seguin was the conductor.  It was a great evening.

Unlike London the parks in Berlin are not full of flowers - if you look hard there is the odd daffodil and some tulips may bloom soon.  Dussman's has to be among the great bookshops. The panorama from the balcony near the top of the Französische Friedrichstadtkirche makes the climb worthwhile. The Jewish buildings near where I am staying in TucholskyStr and OranienbergerStr have constant police guards.

On my first morning I had breakfast in the Restaurant Dressler on Unter den Linden.  I was the first customer.  Later the conversation at a nearby table was between two American women (from a major energy company) and two German men.  The conversation was about future directions of energy policy.  I was pleased to hear the Germans debunking the US commitment to the concept of baseload...and arguing that wind and solar were central to any future energy mix.

Last night I had a great meal at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, one of Lonely Planet's better recommendations, and far more convivial - for me - than the modern hype of Potsdammer Platz and the Sony Centre. Over dinner the first night the conversation was about the possibilty of war triggered by events in Ukraine...more-or-less, just down the road!.  Having seen the BBC program '37 Days' about the lead up to the First World War I left dinner hoping that history would not place us in some similar count down!








Monday, March 10, 2014

Systems Dynamics News


Are you a book collector? Back in August, Jay Forrester, Bob Eberlein, and numerous Society officers and members convened to discuss how to keep the important publications previously sold by Pegasus Communications in circulation. We are very excited to announce the new home for these books is at the System Dynamics Society. These are some of the best teaching books in the field. The Society’s goal is to keep these books available – they are now on sale at here: http://www.systemdynamics.org/books-for-sale/.

We see this as a huge benefit to the field. To celebrate the launch of the sale of these books through the Society, we are auctioning off a rare first edition signed copy of your favorite author’s book, World Dynamics. It is a great book, but a signed first edition is even better. Have this unique book on your library shelf and help support the System Dynamics Society!

Please visit the
Books For Sale site to see the list of the eighteen titles and to learn how to participate in the auction.

See also details of the SD conference in Delft, the Netherlands from July 20-24.

Roberta Spencer, Executive Director
System Dynamics Society
300 Milne Hall, 135 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
www.systemdynamics.org
office@systemdynamics.org

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Understanding agricultural extension still important - the case of Iran


I have received word of the following conference.  Our work in this field has an Iranian connection. In 1989 we wrote: 

Russell, D.B., Ison, R.L., Gamble, D.R. & Williams, R.K. (1989) A Critical Review of Rural Extension Theory and Practice. Australian Wool Corporation/ University of Western Sydney (Hawkesbury).  67pp.

Soon after this publication was translated into French and then Farsi.
i)                    French Edition: (1991).  Analyse Critique de la Theorie et de la Pratique de Vulgarisation Rurale en Australie.  INRA, France.  79pp.
ii)                  Persian Edition: (1995).  The translation into Persian by Ahmad Khatoonabadi.
 

The organiser Esmail Karamidehkordi writes:

"It is a pleasure to inform you that the University of Zanjan and the Iranian Agricultural Extension and Education Association (IAEEA) are organizing The First International Conference of the APIRAS & the Fifth Congress of Extension and Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management: “Facilitating Information and Innovations for Empowering Family Farmers”in 2-4 September 2014, with the collaboration of the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), the Asian and Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services (APIRAS), World Rural Forum (WRF), the University of Tehran, Iranian Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture, Iranian Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare, and other international and national institutions.

Because family farming is a very important farming system in the world, particularly in developing countries, we preferred to call the main theme of this conference as “Facilitating Information and Innovations for Empowering Family Farmers”. On behalf of the conference scientific committee, I would like to invite you to participate in this conference through your paper submission or supporting it as an institutional partner. The website is accessible through http://iaeea2014.znu.ac.ir and you can submit your abstract and paper online. I will appreciate your kind support if you add this link to your website and introduce it to your colleagues to participate in. We hope this international conference can provide an opportunity for the participants to share their knowledge and experiences regarding rural development and extension approaches to support family farming. Please let me know should you have any questions regarding the conference and your participation."



Friday, February 28, 2014

The worldwide systems movement is gaining momentum?

As posted a few days ago there is a lot happening in the cybersystemic world this year.  Is this a sign of a new momentum?  Folk running EMCSR this year claim this is the case.

Other events this year include:

1. EMCSR

A marvellous programme is already shaping up for the European Meetings on Cybernetics and System Research EMCSR 2014, 22-15 April 2014 in Vienna.

The keynotes by Mario Bunge, John Collier, and Markus Schwaninger are confirmed. Three theme chairs will open the meetings and lead into the themes of Sustainability & Development, Emergence & Design, and Complexity & Strategy. Three theme speeches will set a special focus in these storylines. Distinguished lectures are confirmed in diverse symposia. Diverse Demonstrations like the Evolutionary Learning Labs, a movie screening (Population Boom) and discussion with the acclaimed Austrian director Werner Boote (Plastic Planet) and Systems Analysis for Informing Policy by the renowned International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis will showcase impactful systems thinking and practice.

Do not miss the opportunity to become a contributor and participant, too. The deadline for the
call for papers and participation is still open until 28 February 2014. Choose among the symposia to meet your interests and submit your contribution.


Tell your colleagues and friends. They might want to receive the
newsletter of the EMCSR, which will be the meetings magazine in the upcoming two months, featuring you, the particpants, organizers, and your research and practice.

Join the EMCSR 2014 community. We are looking forward to welcome you in Vienna from 22-25 April 2014. 


At EMCSR organised by University of Maribor, Slovenia

Eva Schernhammer, Matjaz Mulej, and  Simona Krajnc   are organizing a Symposium on Systemic approaches to hunger and obesity: discoveries, innovations, and policies for the global food & health system. We would be delighted if you/your colleagues would participate. Especially the link to social responsibility, innovation, climate change, public policy, transdisciplinarity, agriculture, etc. would be very much welcome. See the EMCSR website.

2. WOSC Event in Colombia, October 2014

Our self-organising world: from disruption to reparation

Systems and cybernetics applied to technology, design, governance and power


WOSC's 16th Congress: Organised by the Universidad de Ibagué, Colombia and the World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics, 15-17 October, 2014

Call for Abstracts

 
Instructions for abstract submissions to the Congress themes are given below:


The call is for extended abstracts of about 1000 words with the 31st March as a deadline. The deadline to submit full papers, of about 5000 words, is 30th September; however the focus for now is extended abstracts. 

Calls for papers for symposia are open until 31 March 2014. Please be aware of the time deadlines! Refer to the Congress website: http://wosc-congress.unibague.edu.co/
 

Submitters will be notified of acceptance or rejection no later than the 30th of April. The earlier you submit, the earlier you can be notified, since the review of your abstract is an ongoing process.

Detailed submission instructions are available at the http://wosc-congress.unibague.edu.co/index.php/instruction-for-authors
 

Accepted abstracts will be accessible to all authors on the Congress website

sincerely yours
WOSC team