ISA - International Sociological Association
Honorary Presidents: Walter Buckley, USA; Felix Geyer, Netherlands
President RC51:
Bernd R. Hornung
University of Marburg, Germany
Fax: +49-6421-286-6572
International Coordinator:
Richard E. Lee
SUNY - Binghamton, USA
Fax: +1-607-777-4315
National Coordinator:
Matjaz Mulej
University of Maribor,
Maribor, Slovenia

6th International Conference of Sociocybernetics

Maribor SLOVENIA, July 5-10, 2005



Session 1: Paths towards Sustainability
Chair: Scott Bernard (Cranfield University, Defence Academy, Shrivenham, UK)

  • 08:40–09:20: Menanteau Dario, From Innovation to Sociocybernetic Transformation: A Hopeful Road to Sustainable Social Development
  • 09:20–10:00: Nicolopoulos Philippos, The Large Scale Investments in Alternative Tourism and Sustainable Development: The Case of Crete and Arcadia
  • 10:30–11:15: Posch Alfred, Perl Elke, Sustainability Networks: An Innovative Concept for Interorganisational Cooperation
  • 11:15–12:00: Rohracher Harald, Sociotechnical System Transformation towards Sustainability as a Problem of Intermediation

Session 2: Communication and Innovation
Chair: Geyer Felix (Laren, The Netherlands)

  • 14:00–14:45: Nogales Emilio, The Mass Media System and the Analysis of an Educational Innovation
  • 14:45–15:30: Paetau Michael, Crossroads for Regimes of Knowledge: Universal Access and the Commons
  • 16:00–16:45 Risopoulos Fillippina, How can Communication Support Complex Problem Solving for Innovation?
  • 16:45–17:30: Laflamme Diane, Luhmann’s View of Meaning Production through Moralized Communication: Does it Allow for Moral Invention?


  • 09:00-11:00: WOSC Plenary – Speakers will include:
    • Representative of WOSC (Robert Vallée, _Brian Rudall, John Rose?)
    • Mulej Matjaz, Kajzer Stefan, Potocan Vojko, Rosi Bojan: Requisite Holism by Co-Operation of Systems Theories: An Invention or Innovation in Inquiry of Innovation
    • Lee Richard, The Contemporary Reordering of Social Knowledge: The Role of Systems Approaches and Complexity Studies

Session 3: Past and Future Developments of Sociocybernetics
Chair: Lee Richard E. (Fernand Braudel Center, SUNY-Binghamton,
Binghamton, NY, USA)

  • 11:30–12:15: Umpleby Stuart, A History of the Cybernetics Movement in the United States
  • 12:15–13:00: Geyer Felix, Reflections about the Future of Sociocybernetics

Session 4: Governance and Innovation
Chair: Menanteau Dario (Center for Rural Sociology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA)

  • 14:30–15:15: Scott Bernard, Facilitating Organisational Change: Some Sociocybernetic Principles
  • 15:15–16:00: Buchinger Eva, Innovation Policy and its Media of Steering
  • 16:30–17:15: _varc Jadranka, Beãiç Emira, The Need for an Integrated Approach to the National Innovation System: The Case of Croatia
  • 17:15–18:00: Hornung Bernd, Steering and Control of Innovations in Complex Societies


Session 5: Entrepreneurship & Management
Chair: Mesjasz Czeslaw (Cracow University Of Economics, Kraków, Poland)

  • 08:30–09:15: Bhola H.S., Sociocybernetics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Reconstruct a Just and Moral Order
  • 09:15–10:00: Menanteau Alicia, Observations from the Field: Notes On Innovation and the Application of Scientific Research Methods in Advertising and Marketing Research
  • 10:30–11:15: Stingl Alexandra, Grillitsch Waltraud, Neumann Robert, Innovative Project Management through the Use of Knowledge Management Techniques”
  • 11:15–12:00: Treven Sonja, Mulej Matjaz, Stress Management in Work Settings of an Innovative Society by Systems Theory / Thinking

Session 6: Methodological Problems in Social Sciences/ Sociocybernetics
Chair: Buchinger Eva (ARC Systems Research, Seibersdorf, Austria)

  • 14:00–14:45: Dijkum Cor, Innovation of Methods of Research in the Social Sciences
  • 14:45–15:30: Lunca Marilena, The Quantum Observer: The Insider, the Outsider, and the Scientifically Equipped
  • 16:00–16:45 Mesjasz Czeslaw, Do We Know What We Do Not Know? Main Weakness of the Discourse on Management of ‘Complex Learning Organization’
  • 16:45–17:30: Simon Karl-Heinz, Seeds of Change: Some Aspects of Scenario Building and Modeling


Session 7: Technology and Innovation
Chair: Simon Karl-Heinz (Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR), University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany)

  • 08:30–09:15: Giglietto Fabio, Technological Innovation and Social Systems
  • 09:15–10:00: Jonas Michael, Regional Cluster Building Processes and the Emergence of Patterns of Action
  • 10:30–11:15: Klein Louis, Social Innovation and Kulturtechnikfolgenabschätzung
  • 11:15–12:00: Zamorano Hector, The Impact of Technoscience on Culture and Social Knowledge

Session 8: The Role of Psychology, Personality, and Collectivities in Innovation
Chair: Laflamme Diane (Outremont, Québec, Canada)

  • 14:00–14:45: Balgiu Beatrice, A Psychological View of the Inventor’s Personality
  • 14:45–15:30: Bockstaele Jacques Bockstaele Maria, Godard-Plasman Martine, Pecout Marie-Noelle, Innovation and “Imagination-Cooptation”

  • 16:00–18:00 Business Meeting: Agenda will be available in Maribor
    Chair: Hornung Bernd


Session 9: Theoretical Considerations
Chair: Van Dijkum Cor (Department of Methodology and Statistics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

  • 08:30–09:15: Kirvelis Dobilas, Beitas Kastytis, Evaluation and Prognosis of Human Society Development as Extension of Biosystems Evolution: Theoretical Biosystemic View
  • 09:15–10:00: Löckenhoff Hellmut, Innovation for Societal Evolution: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Guided Change
  • 10:30–11:15: Marcuello Chaime, Innovation and Social Capital: Theoretical Foundations for an Empirical Analysis
  • 11:15–12:00: Pintos Juan-Luis, The Communication of Innovations: The Weakness of the Universalization of Concepts and the Strength of the Construction of Realities by Social Imaginary

Session 10: Prospectives For Innovation
Chair: Marcuello Chaime (Dpto. Sociologia, Universidad De Zaragoza, Spain)

  • 14:00–14:45: Gutierrez Mauricio, Sociocybernetics and Innovation: Methodological Elements for a Theoretic Application
  • 14:45–15:30: Rosick_ Antonin, Two Human Faces: Observer and Designer
  • 16:00–16:45: Steiner Gerald, The Planetary Model as a Framework for Organizing Innovation (With an Application In Industrial Design)

Session 11 Panel

  • 16:45–18:00: Systems Science and Innovation in Global Society
    Chair: Bernd R. Hornung (President of RC51, Member of the ISA Executive Committee)

SUNDAY JULY 10: Choice of two excursions:

1. Starting at 09.00, a short sightseeing of the medieval maribor, then by bus along the river drava to the starting point of a medieval timber-floating kind of boat, two hours including warm food and funny timber-floating program, then bus from Maribor to the roman town of Pptuj (poetovio), its museum collection in the old castle, followed by wine tasting; return to maribor at about 20.00.

2. Starting at 07.30 toward Prekmurje, the flat Panonian area (via wine hills area) of Slovenia next to Hungarian border, seeing pilgrim church, ancient farmers home as a living museum with many events all year round, early lunch, one can also shop honey, pumpkin oil, etc, the production of which will be demonstrated. Then more local handicraft and beautiful small churches by famous masters, then the energy-laden area of Bukovnik lake followed by a typical local dinner on a tourist farm with vineyards around, including a folklore program and dancing music afterwards. Return to Maribor at about 22.30.

Both excursions cost about 40 Euros and will include a luncheon.

Participants are strongly advised to book one of these (or perhaps also some other) tours immediately upon arrival, since places are limited, and tours have to be arranged according to the number of persons interested.


Beatrice Balgiu (Department of Social Sciences, University of Politechnica, Bucharest, Romania)

Psychological Perspective on the Inventor’s Personality

This paper addresses the analysis of the inventor’s personality in the technical field and approaches a complex background for the analysis of the results achieved from the psychological diagnosis of large samples of professor-inventors and of other subjects in the pre-specialization phase. It is about the use of the factorial analysis, systemic method for data condensation and determination of their internal consistency in the samples under research.

Starting from an overall picture of the inventor’s personality we assumed that the personality profile of the technical specialist is a function of configuration of cognitive – affective – stylistic factors dependent on the level of performance and implicitly, of creative training. This method covers five large categories of factors: cognitive factors (such as general, spatial and abstract intelligence, three-dimensional spatial representations, creative verbal and figural thinking etc.), attitudinal factors such as the motives that jointly contribute to the innovative performance, personality factors and stylistic factors (for instance, cognitive bipolar styles: imitative- innovative, rational-emotional). By this method we shall obtain, for the principal inventors’ cluster, factorial configurations discovered entirely or in nuce at the level of the secondary clusters of individuals. The resulting factorial solutions participate in the completion of the psychological picture of the performing subjects in the technical field, which is integrable with a creatological profile of the inventor.

H.S. Bhola (Indiana University, Tucson, AZ, USA)

Sociocybernetics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Reconstruct a Just and Moral Order

A global system that has brought unprecedented affluence to 20 percent of people of this world while keeping the other 80 percent poor or relatively poor is untenable. Both justice and morality demand monumental transformation of the current systems and structures which is indeed possible with the present resources of knowledge, and human capacity for innovations - - both social and technological.

Ideology, political will and the right paradigms of theory and practice will be necessary. We must look at the world of globalization from a systemic perspective; and at innovation in a dialectical relationship with society. Structures of a society must create a climate for pro-people innovations, and innovations developed within nations must in turn reform and enrich the lives of citizens.

Systems thinking, joined with dialectical thinking and co
nstructivist thinking to form an epistemic triangle, must be used both for developing understandings of the sociocybernetics of innovation and entrepreneurship in a society; and to designing interventions for re-structuring the sociocybernetics of the production and dissemination of innovations.

For the design of interventions to organize the sociocybernetics of innovation, we will, again, have to use a model of innovation development and diffusion that can be comfortably located within the epistemic triangle referred to above. The Configurations-Linkages-Environment-Resources (CLER) Model of innovation development and innovation diffusion suggests that we took as the process of innovating for social transformation as an ensemble of three entities - - Planner system, the Adopter system and the Objective of change - - in a set of mutually definitional dialectical relationships.

Jacques & Maria Van Bockstaele (Centre de socianalyse, Paris, France)

Martine Godard-Plasman ; Marie-Noëlle Pécout (Association d’analyse praxéologique et cognitive, Paris, France)

Innovation and “Imagination-cooptation”

Innovation refers to a large field of investigation, not to a unitary concept. The theme « Sociocybernetics and Innovation » leads us to distinguish 3 characteristic levels.
1. An epistemological one: the paradigm of observer/observed relationship and its application to social systems.
2. A methodological one: the cybernetic approach of the « black box » and its relevance to an effective approach of the paradigm.
3. A praxeological one: the socianalytic concept « Imaginer-coopter » which expresses the interaction between cognition and action. (Van Bockstaele & al., 2004).

The Imagination-cooptation process specifies this interaction : there is no action without imagination, and without partners being associated. Yet, this common sense observation only scratches the surface. If the existence of a deeper level is postulated, where percepts, judgments, attributions and references are constructed and organized, signs on the surface cannot account for the dynamics induced on the one hand by the gap between the laws and the explicit rules, and on the other hand the deeper level where those percepts, attributions, judgments, rules and laws are at work. It is on this deeper level that collective action can be reproduced, or to put it more specifically “simulated”. In that regard, the socioanalytical simulation tool opens access to the interdependent mechanisms of the innovation process.


Eva Buchinger (ARC systems research, Seibersdorf, Austria)

Innovation Policy and its Media of Steering

Firms increasingly seek scientific and technical knowledge from external sources and public research organizations and higher education facilities have become more active partners of industry. Therefore, innovation policy initiatives of OECD countries as well as of the European Commission are more and more focused on co-operative modes of knowledge production and the exploitation of new knowledge (inventions) in form of product-, service- and process-innovations. But the steering capacity of innovation policy is limited - following the theory of social systems - at least in two respects: First, steering objects such as firms, universities etc. are autonomous entities and therefore self-steering systems. Second, different self-steering systems must be motivated to coordinate their strategic behaviour.

According to the growing awareness of steering limitations, a change in the mix of steering media could be observed in the past decade. The traditional focus on the steering media “money” has been reduced and more attention has been given to the steering media “knowledge”. This means that financial-support to research and development has been increasingly accompanied by knowledge-support in form of awareness initiatives, service & consultancy and management-capacity/intermediaries. It is expected that knowledge-support is an appropriate mean to address the self-steering dynamics of autonomous steering objects. The presentation will first discuss the system-theoretic background and thereupon demonstrate the relevance of knowledge as steering media on basis of examples.

Cor van Dijkum (Department of Methodology and Statistics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Innovation of Methods of Research in the Social Sciences

It is a struggle since a long time, and sociocyberneticians are often confronted with: progress in the social sciences is realized very slow, and cost too much energy for those that are at the frontier of scientific knowledge. It is a rise and fall of paradigms of methods of research of which sociocybernetic and systemtheory are just two.

In this paper it is explored how much progress nevertheless is gained in methods of research, what innovations are realized, and most of all how those methodological innovations survive amidst blocking mechanism that are defending the interests of a dominating elite.

As a case study, with examples of empirical research, it is shown how the paradigm of dynamic modeling is gradually entering psychology, against a preference for linear static models, associated methods and statistical fuss that hide the regressive content of such models. It is investigated how from outside of this bureaucracy of a domain - consisting of official journals, research programs, standards for publication (APA manual) and certificated institutes of education - from other disciplines and interdisciplinary operating psychological researchers (From: Physiology, Mathematical Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Neuro-psychology, and others) that scientifically regressive system is infiltrated.

It is also examined how the mentioned façade of regressive statistical methods is evolving, possibly as a reaction to infiltrations. At one hand as a defending mechanism, on the other hand very, very slowly moving to a more dynamic point of view. In this way it is showed that innovation of methods of research in the social sciences is possible and that such innovations can even survive amidst an ocean of opposition, but only when such innovations are supported from outside of the social science in interdisciplinary programs.

Felix Geyer (Laren, The Netherlands)

Reflections about the Future of Sociocybernetics

Paper deals with existing relationships between: 1) developments in sociocybernetics; 2) macro-trends within the world system (interdependence, communications explosion cum complexification, globalization, etc.); 3) developments in democracy, also from a cybernetic perspective (requisite variety, self-organization, etc.).

Developments in both sociocybernetics, democracy, and the world at large are hard to predict, as these macro trends promise the liberation of the individual from religion and capitalist exploitation, but have also led to a rationalization of government and production resulting in an infantilization of citizen, consumer and worker.

The training of professional sociocyberneticians (social scientists) as opposed to politicians with their own agendas, should encourage holistic thinking, and include simulation and self-referential exercises, as well as a "learning socioanalysis", intended to eliminate subjective biases caused by their personality structure and/or class position. The increased awareness of societal complexification is not limited to the societal elites, and causes people to become different in their interaction with their wider, non-primary group environment. Five hypotheses will deal with these differences.

The outcome of the existing collusion between industrial-financial interests (the "bad ones") and the media - especially TV, since brainwashed people (the "naïve ones") watch rather than read – will influence the development of democracy. Sociocybernetics should concentrate on 1) laying bare how these power schemes work – i.e., who are involved, who supports them, who gets how much for what from whom, 2) educating the public to recognize when and how precisely they are being manipulated, and should change their voting preferences during the next election.


Fabio Giglietto (Faculty of Sociology – University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”, Urbino, Italy)

Technological Innovation and Social Systems - Or How to Get Rid of Human Beings and Live Long and Prosper

This paper deals with innovation at two levels. Innovation in social systems and innovation in sociocybernetics.
Can a machine communicate? Can a machine understand? Although it would be extremely difficult to give a definite answer to these already widely debated questions, I would like to argue that, it is possible to give a positive answer to the above-mentioned questions by strictly following Luhmann’s definition of communication. As soon as we accept this idea, we are suddenly faced with the prospect of a machine society. We then have the following two options.

1. If we accept Luhmann’s definition of communication we should accept that (1) machines can communicate and (2) that the elements of social systems can be reproduced by means of machines. This also means, of course, that a social system can live and grow without psychic systems;
2. But we can also conclude that Luhmann’s definition of communication, whereby comprehension is simply considered as the comprehension of the information/utterance distinction, is simply wrong.

I will chose the second option. and this brings us to the second level of innovation. Evolution in sociocybernetics. I will present a model to study communication as a liminal phenomenon between social systems and individuals (psychic + biologic systems).

F.M. Gutierrez Alvarez (Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia)

Methodological Elements for an Applied Theory

Three, are the phases of presentation: epistemological, methodological and applied.
Epistemological Phase: The communication of this phase approaches an auxiliary hypothesis of work: “the notion of the reality like a landscape–system, from between artifices and/or operators metaphor of communication, to implying space–time from pure intuition and like basement of the knowledge of the social think”. These artifices will constitute some of the border builders of the animal-man transition of the human been from remote ages (the fire, the tribal, the wheel, the Stone Age, between others) to know: The language, the technology, and the social contract.
Methodological phase: The methodology, at the beginning it recognize and shows it self under three different moments:
1. Insertion and codification step of the social groups like (understudied like a transfinite set – with a minimum of an attribute or property in common of social men that interact between their) fractals trans finites (From Brown)
2. Sustainability and codification step like social systems of auto referencing ( From Luhmann)
3. Exit step to the perspective of societies far away of the balance ( From Geyer)
Applied phase: For an applied theory in anyone configuration social-politic of communication interfaces in the dynamic interaction social-man _ machines and devices _ social-man with some lead examples that came to critical paths of mini-max in its degrees of freedom to the methodical navigation applied in social groups from possible dimensions of codification system – analytical, know Organizations of Inventions

Keywords: Self-Reference, Flowed-Dissipates Structures, Entropy, Code, Minimum-Maximum Principle

Bernd R. Hornung (Data Protection Office, Marburg University, Marburg, Germany)

Steering and Control of Innovations in Complex Societies

Innovation, like creativity, development, and evolution, is, by definition, an open-ended process, the result of which is unknown beforehand. This is the case because innovation itself brings in something new, because a complex system, if all its reactions could be foreseen, would be simple and not complex, and finally because systems theoretical concepts themselves imply the possibility of a multiplicity of side-effects and long-term effects. In a socio-economic-technical system, like modern society, these cannot be grasped in their totality by a social actor or decision-maker.

This argument, at the level of 1st Order Cybernetics, makes it already self-evident that a non-simple system cannot be "determined" from the outside. This is an important and often repeated point of Luhmann and his followers with regard to autopoietic systems. and yet, two basic concepts of systems theory and cybernetics are steering and control, which seem to be in direct contradiction with what was said about the impossibility to "determine" complex systems from outside. The latter view may even be correct if (social) science is based on an ontological framework using an ontological concept of causality.

The paper argues that a constructivist epistemology together with a constructivist model-oriented theory of cognition, and in general a probabilistic approach based on Heinz von Foerster´s concept of causality can provide an appropriate theoretical framework to resolve this contradiction. It will be explored in what sense and to what extent steering and control are possible in innovative, complex, and highly dynamic societies and under conditions of autopoietic systems.

Michael Jonas (Dept. of Sociology, Institute of Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria)

Regional Cluster Building Processes and the Emergence of Patterns of Action

In many European regions leading actors from policy, business and academia have joined forces to foster innovative activities by introducing or developing particular branches of high technology. Often these actors refer to Porter’s ‘cluster concept’ (1990) as theoretical framework for their initiatives. Many authors define a regional cluster as agglomeration of firms based on geographical proximity, as well as vertical and horizontal relationships. Clusters are considered to be based both on competition and co-operation as well as on particular local support infrastructures.

Cluster researchers emphasise that within a cluster, very specific collective features exist that emerge primarily because of spatial proximity. These features are not only cluster specific outputs (e.g. technology) but also specific patterns of action (e.g. co-operation based on trust). But the cluster concept leaves open a number of questions. Is it really meaningful to use geographical proximity as explanandum to clarify the emergence of specific patterns of action and output within a cluster? What is the role of competition and co-operation in this respect? The paper will discuss these questions utilising both literature from economic cluster research and sociology and will argue not to reject the cluster concept in total but rather to call for cluster research, which is more informed by sociology.

Dobilas Kirvelis, Kastytis Beitas (Vilnius University, Lithuania)
E-mails: ,

Evaluation and Prognosis of Human Society Development as Extension of Biosystems Evolution: Theoretical Biosystemic View

Development of human society is interpreted as continuance of biological evolution. The concept of organized system looks promising for comparative analysis of evolution of biological and engineering technologies and for prognoses of evolving social systems. Organized system is a complex system with features of cybernetic (purposeful) system. Most organized systems have features of second order cybernetic system.

Organized system consists of two closely connected qualitatively different subsystems – controlling subsystem and controlled subsystem. Here controlling subsystem stores, collects, processes and sends information, and controlled one handles the material and energy transformations. Systemic analysis of interacting biological populations of different species corroborates that these interactions form three distinctly different classes of symbiosis – competition, cooperation and predation/parasitism. The same tendencies can be found in social history also.

Multicomponent social systems can be analyzed by special mathematical methods (e.g., quantitative matrices) that give a possibility to evaluate proportions of competitive, cooperative and predatory interactions in system. These ranked proportions are diagnostic characteristics of multicomponent social system. System with dominating predation corresponds to agrarian feudal society; system with dominating competition corresponds to industrial capitalist society; system with dominating cooperation corresponds to socialist society of information and knowledge.

Similar development trajectory is characteristic to biosystems too. The possible prospects and problems of information and knowledge society (IKS) can be analyzed indirectly through analysis of functional evolution of neural systems. Such analysis is valuable as instrument of prognosis of IKS development and of finding of most prospective directions in IKS development. Biological evolution has found many valuable ways of information processing and functional organization that can be implemented in human technical and social technologies.

Louis Klein (Systemic Consulting® Group, Berlin, Germany)

Social Innovation and "Kulturtechnikfolgenabschätzung"

The “exhausted self” is the genuine challenge of post-modernism. The idea of Kulturtechnikfolgenabschätzung focuses on the successes of personal mastery and organisational development. Be it coaching or process consultancy the approaches, the practice and the results ought to be appreciated.

Systems theory and sociocybernetics can give insights. The guiding assumption is that sustainable social development works according to the coaching process oscillating between self-recognition and self-creation.

This approach gives way to the notion of the organisation of social practice. It is men-made, be it interactions, organisations or society and culture. The German Term "Kulturtechnikfolgenabschätzung“ summarizes this idea. and the idea is larger then social engineering. A popular notion would add the perspective of design to gain Social Design.

The research however focuses on five layers:
1.) Culture evolves from social practice. The important notion is the idea that culture men-made and object to design.
2.) Personal mastery is continuous oscillating between self-recognition and self-creation.
3.) At the very heart of social engineering we find the operations of distinction and feedback.
4.) Organisational Excellence is the target of a development that evolves from organisational mastery and had started with organisational development.
5.) Kulturtechnikfolgenabschätzung shows the conditions of the possibility of a dialectic development of culture towards cultural excellence.
Thus the sociocybernetical approach to Kulturtechnikfolgenabschätzung allows a practical perspectives on the visions of creative conflict, the healthy organisation ant a strategic development of culture towards leadership in social design.

Diane Laflamme (Outremont, Québec, Canada)

Luhmann’s View of Meaning Production Through Moralized Communication: Does it Allow for Moral Invention?

The concept of “Moral Invention” is used by French philosopher Paul Ricoeur to designate the capacity we have, as human beings, for inventing just behavior suited to the singular nature of what he calls the “tragic choices” that face us when ethical Values (What it is good to be) and moral Norms (What it is right to do) are in conflict in a specific situation. If Values and Norms cannot be interrogated independently in order to determine which orientation we will give to our actions, a valid approach to Moral Invention might be to look at it as a capacity to draw Second-order distinctions arising in a double horizon of meaning.

Values and Norms are meaning-based productions and Luhmann proposes a detailed description of the process that allows for the production of meaning through distinctions arising in a double horizon. Luhmann presents Values as programs of moral communication, orienting expectations, and Norms as a binary schematism that conditions the attribution of esteem and contempt. A better understanding of the process of selection, structural condensations, conditioning, coding, decondensation and generalization of meaning, as described by Luhmann, could provide valuable insights on the emergence of second-order distinctions that would qualify as Moral Invention.

Richard E. Lee (Fernand Braudel Center, SUNY-Binghamton, Binghamton, NY, USA)

The Contemporary Reordering of Social Knowledge: The Role of Systems Approaches and Complexity Studies

The emergence of the social sciences in the late nineteenth century reproduced in the disciplines of the “sciences of man” the long-term, ongoing tensions between the sciences and the humanities. On the one hand, the case was made that the social sciences would be “value-neutral” and free of the commitment to one or another set of value orientations that had characterized analytical frameworks in the humanities, but which were explicitly denied in the natural sciences. Thus, their findings could be deemed authoritative and employed in what could be argued were unbiased policy decisions.

The trade-off, on the other hand, was the internalization to the social sciences of a set of antinomies: for instance, agency-structure, qualitative-quantitative, free will-determinism, interpretation-explanation. Systems approaches (e.g., General System Theory, Cybernetics, Sociocybernetics) and complexity studies (order-in-chaos, order-out-of-chaos, fractal geometry) directly challenge the bases of these binaries and suggest the very different shape that social knowledge will take in the future.

It will be argued that these developments represent a new concern for spatial-temporal wholes comprised of relational structures representing the persisting regularities normally associated with a "scientific" approach, but that simultaneously, these same relational structures evidence the phenomenological time of their reproduction and change (the ineluctable reality of the arrow-of-time), so capturing the play of incommensurable differences associated with a "humanistic" approach. Difference, of course, implies values, suggesting that the search for universal, timeless, deracinated truth in the human world must give way to analyses of possible futures and modes for their attainment.

Hellmut Löckenhoff (Research Consulting, Backnang, Germany)

Innovation for Societal Evolution: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Guided Change

Facing competition for resources, for culture and power worldwide, active guided societal change appears the sole alternative against anomie and decline. But by innovation relating to targets, ideas and means, the existing societal systems will meet challenges. Societal innovation only provides the options space to act upon.
Any innovation arises from societal resources, depends on societal acceptance. Societal change needs be driven by innovation to preserve societal systems open and flexible. The concept of innovation thus comprises all novelties fit to transfer into practice. Innovation covers the range from technology to constitution and society as well as economic, logistic, educational and in general infra-structural systems.

The far reaching consequences qualified innovations request planning. Such concerns scarce resources and the critical assessment of innovations. Strategy takes place in all sectors/institutions of society: industry, politics, infrastructure as e.g. health care. The theoretical and methodical framework includes modelling and simulation. To integrate the distinct disciplinary contributions a bridging transdisciplinary approach is needed. The synthesizing qualities of the systemic and the evolutional approach are reconsidered, the latter drawing from the hypotheses of G.M. Edelman (1992) on the emergence of consciousness and K.Dopfer (2005) on the evolutional foundations of Economics. .

The evolutional approach leads to a concept of Guided Evolutional Control Learning (GECL); an heuristic method of orientation, targeting, planning and learning. An example from industrial practice is addressed.

Keywords: Innovation, Societal change, Modelling, Transdisciplinarity. Paradigm

Marilena Lunca (E-AIPS, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
E-mail: , URL:

The Quantum Observer. The Insider, the Outsider, and the Scientifically Equipped

In keeping with science’s tradition of testing knowledge’s true/false value, and as a consequence of one of the latest innovations, Quantum Information, the paper reports on two findings, both highly relevant for fostering the cybernetics of social disciplines.

A. The classical cybernetic thesis of setting an observer to observe a previous one may be proved to be a particular case within the wider process of observing, analogue to that of Aristotelian logic and Euclidian geometry within N-valued logics and geometries. Hence, the thesis is advanced that a non-hierarchical network of observing positions and qualifications makes up a qualified observer. This may become a quantum observer if classical cybernetics is proved to be a particular case within Quantum Information Science. The quantum observer is defined as being able to insert the how-control into the quantum information paradigm of what-and-why control.

B. Typically for social/heterogeneous systems, information generates information and knowledge generates knowledge, and so does observation. Yet, unlike information or knowledge, observation tends to generate observers and observing devices, rather than observations as data. Quantum information allows for data to be pre-organised in ways that affect the process of qualifying them as knowledge. This is a turning point that causes cybernetics to be re-thought so as to redefine the mediator in quantum terms. The systems built behind each term of the fundamental relation object-observer-observation appear in a new configuration.

Chaime Marcuello-Servós (Dpto. Sociologia, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain)

Innovation and Social Capital: Theoretical Foundations for an Empirical Analysis

The western notion of progress suffered a strong decline at the beginning of the 20th century. This notion was substituted by the idea of development. Initially, it was a simple economic growth and, now, the idea of development has different adjectives: sustainable, human, social… In parallel, the Western societies looked for improving their social conditions.

Development and innovation were walking together, but both concepts experiment important change with the years. Now, our societies are not simply capitalist: we are living in a post-capitalist societies (Drucker,1993). and many others proposed the notion of social capital to describe the basis to connect economy and social links. In this paper, we try to deal with the relationships between innovation and social capital. We want to discuss the theoretical foundations to vertebrate an empirical analysis.

The paper is structured in five parts. First is an introduction in which we describe the context and the objectives. Second, we try to show how social capital and innovation are fuzzy concepts. We can find several definitions and perspectives about both. Third, we do a brief review of the literature to base a research project on non-profit entities and their role in the creation of social capital. Fourth, we consider the necessity to include the sociocybernetic approach to improve the use of these terms in an empirical research. Finally, we offer some results of this project as partial conclusions.

Keywords: Innovation, Social Capital, Sociocybernetics

Alicia Menanteau F., Director of Consumer Insights, Lopez Negrete Communications, Houston, TX, USA)

From Innovation to Epidemic: The Role of Advertising in Tipping Trends

Taking the sociological model of diffusion as its theoretical foundation, Malcolm Gladwell (2000) examines the process of how a “contagious idea,” product or innovation moves through a population in his recent bestseller, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Difference. Innovations do not effortlessly slide from Innovators and Early Adopters to Early Majority and Late Majority. Rather, Gladwell contends, key players (e.g., Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen) use their specialized skills to cause an epidemic to tip in the marketplace and advertising facilitates the diffusion of cutting edge ideas, tipping trends from innovation to epidemics.

The worlds of advertising and market research have adapted a number of research methods from the disciplines of anthropology and sociology, a number of which are instrumental in identifying social epidemics and keeping a pulse on product innovations among consumer segments. This paper will seek to relate how innovation is viewed from an advertising perspective and how market research has borrowed and innovated on sociological methods to inform creative campaigns and product launches. The key process this paper will analyze will be the dynamics of communication which, as suggested by Luhmann, is a key element in social life and, we can contend, the raison d’être of advertising. Finally, will explore how sociocybernetics can be the heuristic tool to adjudicate the diverse disciplines in the direction of socially beneficial innovation.

Dario Menanteau-Horta (Center for Rural Sociology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA)

From Innovation to Sociocybernetic Transformation: A Hopeful Road to Sustainable Social Development

Innovation involves the introduction of something new that differs from existing forms and deviates from established patterns. Innovation implies the notion of change of conditions in a number of areas including agriculture, industry, medicine, communication, science and technology.

Change due to innovations varies in different parts of society. Differences in the rate of change of cultural systems are explained by Ogburn’s “Cultural Lag” hypothesis which tends to be confirmed by efforts to introduce economic, political, and social development. Industry, trade and commerce, are usually areas of faster expansion, while political and social conditions remain static.

This paper reviews the model of diffusion of innovation reported by Rogers in the United States and the application of this model in my own research on food production problems and agricultural development in Chile. The adoption of selected innovations is structured in five major stages: (1) Awareness, (2) Interest, (3) Evaluation, (4) Trial, and (5) Adoption in a sample of 244 farmers in central Chile.

The analysis explores areas of differences and similarities between the Innovation Model and the sociocybernetic perspective. Possible points of similarity between the two models can be suggested in the innovation stages mentioned above and the systems’ theoretical constructs such as cognition, communication, self-reference, reflexivity, and system viability.

The paper concludes that social development requires a sociocybernetic approach to move us from individual innovation to a holistic transformation of society.

Czeslaw Mesjasz (Cracow University of Economics, Kraków, Poland)

Do We Know What We Do Not Know? Main Weaknesses of Discourse on Management of "Complex Learning Organization"

The terms such as learning organization, knowledge,. complexity, organization on the edge of chaos, fractal organization, turbulence and globalization, etc. are frequently used in management theory and practice without any intellectual rigor. Instead of attempting to elaborate more or less precise and "objective" definitions, the stress is put on the categories whose meaning is emerging as a product of intersubjective discourse.

Such an approach, relating directly and indirectly to postmodernism, is undoubtedly very useful in theory and practice of modern management as long as in applications of postmodernism the rules of formal (logical) correctness of the discourse are observed. However, too often in theory and practice of management all the above ideas and the similar ones, are treated without adequate formal cautiousness. They are considered as "objectively" defined categories and not as metaphors and/or analogies. They are "reified" with all logical consequences stemming from that.

The aim of the paper is to present the basic limitations and errors made in applications of "fashionable" terms in management theory and policy. The following notions are under scrutiny: complexity of organization, self-organization, organization on the edge of chaos, fractal organization, turbulence, globalization, learning organization, organizational knowledge, knowledge management, intellectual capital and intelligent organization.

Philippos Nicolopoulos (Univ. of Crete and University of Indianapolis, Athens Campus, Greece)

The Large Scale Investments in Alternative Tourism and Sustainable Development: The Case of Crete and Arcadia

After the historical and structural difficulties of the peripheral and semi-peripheral countries to catch up with the so- called metropolitan capitalist industrial countries, as well as after the creation of a generalized ecological crisis, a new serious interest has been created about an other type of development. This type is less connected with the second sector (mainly manufactured production) of economy.

Many countries( developed or less developed) try to turn to account some of their natural and cultural resources, on the basis of a non industrial type of development. It is a more general world -wide reaction against the “backfires” of the industrialism. The innovative dimension of this kind of development consists in the new qualitative combination of some elements of the three sectors of the economy, based on the principles of sustainability ,with priority to those socioeconomic activities which avoid the disastrous results of the old type industrial spirit.

A more specific economic activity of this type of sustainable development( that can take place mainly in rural areas) is the alternative qualitative types of tourism(A.Q.T). In addition those types of tourism can be combined with organic type of productive activities of 1st sector of economy. In my paper I refer to developmental attempts of that type in two historical regions of Greece: Arcadia and Crete, based on some data from empirical social researches.

The systems theory and the spirit of sociocybernetics can have an important theoretical and applied contribution to the scientific framework of these attempts, especially in the cases of large scale investments (L.S.I.) with high quality infrastructure (H. Q. I.) and touristic services (H.Q.S.), which increase the complexity of the integrated environmental and socioeconomic system of the concrete area and region.

Please note: Due to its length this abstract could not be published in its entirety. The complete text can be obtained by emailing the author.

Emilio Nogales (UNED. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain)

The Mass Media System and the Analysis of an Educational Innovation

The line of investigation tries to establish, from empirical data about some contradictory strategy oriented to a so called virtualization of distance teaching and learning entities, the methodological difficulties for a sociological evaluation and comprehension. Efficiency and duration of acceptance with massive users seems to be a sufficient criterion at a first glance.

But our argumentation propose a systemic approach in a glossary or set of luhmannian theoretical concepts and definitions. Deeply observed, the problem is which kind of feedback may be observed in a massive and anonymous system connected at a distance and communicated through new technologies (virtual communication: movil telephone, internet, computer…).

Main concepts to define are: passing, reentry and cross in Spencer-Brown logic; feedback and variety reducing variety in cybernetics (Ashby); observing systems and second order observation (Maturana, Von Vorster); contingency, variation, reduction, repetition (Husserl, Deleuze); non structured complexity or structured complexity, time, event and element/relation, recursivity, redundancy, resonance (Luhmann).

The problem of unequality in teacher-learner relation in the education of liberty can be structurally substituted by a new feedback, better reentry of the system difference in the system. Initially the social change in a system begin with a lack of meaning in the structures. This perhaps was the case of the aula teaching. Now the problems arise in systemic feedback for massive communications at a distance, which is anonymous and difficult to evaluate in a situation of non control far of the face of any master… But density of communications grew all over a grown space…and new imaginaries can reduce complexity of the system.

Michael Paetau (Fraunhofer Institute for Autonomous Intelligent Systems, Sankt Augustin, Germany)

Crossroads for Regimes of Knowledge: Universal Access and the Commons

My paper is about the change, which the so-called regime of knowledge currently is passing through. I want to discuss the thesis that a bifurcation of two rival principles is actually being observed. Both are imaginable as possible pathways of future development, and both are implicating two very different forms of innovation in a technological and societal sense.

On the one side stands the proprietary principle of commercial and profitable access regulation with the fact of concentration of ownership rights (private copyright) and the attempt to ensure this in a specific technological way ("Digital Rights Management"). On the other side one can identify the principle of a free and community based disposition ("the commons") with a corresponding juridical, organisational and technological implementation ("Open Archives", "Creative Commons", "GNU-Public License", etc).

Remarkable - and for many people astonishing – is that the concepts oriented to the principle of the commons create artistic and technological high quality products with effects of organisational robust and commercial successful innovations, which are in many aspects superior to their proprietary alternatives. and this is so although – or maybe even therefore – this innovative framework is based on networks with a heterogeneous, highly partitioned and self-organised communication structure. But the crucial point in the context of my paper is, that referring to the question of universal access these concepts are profoundly innovative in a social sense and are technically and economically successful. The paper wants to reply the question »why?« from a sociocybernetic point of view by describing the social structure, the history and the institutional and management rules of these diverse networks.


Juan-Luis Pintos (Dept. of Sociology, Univ. of Santiago de Compostela, Spain)

The Communication of Innovations: The Weakness of the Universalization of Concepts and the Strength of the Construction of Realities by Social Imaginary

The line of reflection tries to establish, from empirical data about the rejection of projects of investigation on the part of financial organizations, the practical difficulties that exist for the bureaucratic organizations to recognize what can be innovating in order to be able to promote it.

The axis of the argumentation consists of describing the impossibility to universalize a concept that indeed is defined "from another side": The "new thing" always supposes "something different" from the already well-known thing accepted by the community. It implies the possibility of failure and frustration of expectations about the yield of the innovation.

The concept of "social imaginary" is presented as a functional equivalent of the universalization of concepts. It provides an operative code for the construction of realities and operates from the perspective of 2nd order observation.

Alfred Posch; Elke Perl (Institute of Innovation and Environmental Management; University of Graz, Graz, Austria)
Email: ;

Sustainability Networks: An Innovative Concept For Interorganisational Cooperation

The concept of sustainability networks extends the normal intra-organisational corporate social responsibility and corporate environmental management to inter-organisational approaches. Sustainability networks are local/regional systems of voluntary but organized co-operation among different stakeholders exhibiting a common vision of sustainable development, and are innovative organizational frameworks at the meso-level allowing a wide variety of different forms of inter-organizational cooperation for sustainable development.

These practical measures can include, e.g. recycling materials and cascading energy, joint-development of sustainable products, improving and integrating processes, encouraging common acceptance of social responsibility, and promoting inter-company learning and knowledge generation. In this contribution, the concept of sustainability networks will be introduced, and the potential of this approach for establishing innovative organizational structures at meso-level that promote sustainable development of society, will be discussed.

For this, also empirical results of surveys of Austrian industrial companies and of members of selected existing networks such as the recycling networks and the automotive value chain in Styria will be analysed. As a result of this analysis, a path how to create sustainability networks from already existing network models will be illustrated. Here, the integration of and interaction between stakeholders will be the most essential starting point. In fact, this strong focus on stakeholder interaction and cooperation is an essential innovation in comparison to other charts of industrial ecosystems.

Filippina Risopoulos (Institute of Innovation and Environmental Management, University of Graz, Graz, Austria)

How Can Communication Support Complex Problem Solving for Innovation?

Communication as a whole is the basis for any human action. It seems to be paradoxical but first of all communication as a highly complex issue needs to be reduced in order to build up complexity again. In concrete situations it often is not a question of right or wrong but more a question of fitting or not fitting. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of using adequate language – in most cases it helps to use positive language.

A person using adequate language can act as an interpreter within complex situations and can help to develop potential solutions. Universities, for example, are in the role of interpreters by focusing on complex cases in society and acting in a transdisciplinary way. Transdisciplinarity means that special issues in the society are investigated and analysed from both sides: by people from the university and people from society. Within the cooperation between academics and practitioners the role of the academics is to ensure awareness that complex problem-solving is not a process of cause and effect, but more a process of emotional realisation.

From a constructivist point of view it is obvious that complex problems do not deal with one reality but with many. This demands that the people involved deal with different identities which again demands different languages.

Harald Rohracher (IFZ - Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture, Graz, Austria)

Sociotechnical System Transformation towards Sustainability as a Problem of Intermediation

The paper investigates the growing importance of intermediation for the governance of innovation systems and sustainability transitions as a result of socio-economic trends such as globalisation, institutional diversification and new modes of governance to deal with the increasing complexity of our society. The general background and theoretical consideration of intermediation processes in system change is exemplified by current energy system transformations. Intermediaries are organisations or individuals mediating between different functional levels of society or different actors: between policy and economy (e.g. agencies), between companies (e.g. knowledge intensive business services), between users and producers (e.g. consumer organisations, advocacy groups) or between consumers/citizens and the policy level (e.g. NGOs, interest organisations).

Intermediation is of special importance for the coordination (and governance) of distributed innovation and production systems as well as for the transfer and accumulation of information in increasingly knowledge-based economies. The paper sketches the new conditions for the management of sociotechnical systems and their transformation towards sustainability and analyses the role and function of intermediary actors within this new context – their various types and functions, their role for the shaping of innovation processes towards specific aims (such as sustainability), the diffusion of (social and technical) innovations (sustainable technologies and practices) and implications for the design and implementation of policy strategies taking into account the new role of intermediaries.

Antonin Rosick_ (University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic)

Two Human Faces: Observer and Designer: Technological and Collective Aspects of Social Systems Complexity

However cybernetics principles have laid foundations of computers at the same time modern (2nd order) cybernetics has affected in a substantial way information systems slowly and lately. This domain is traditionally connected with doctrine of systems engineering where a human being is considered in three typical roles. The first discussed as a task of system’s designer has obtained increased attention while the second - function of system’s operator loses ground in the era of personal computers. Finally the last and probably the most important role seems to be the position of the (end) user. The fundamental mistake refers to universal or total conception of user ignoring individual essence of his knowledge.
Most of “information professionals” as well as managers ignore prime face of any particular user that is the observer well known just from cybernetics. They restrict information on (objective) facts and speaking about information they keep in mind rather data. Many of them do not ponder on actual nature of knowledge that will be discussed in the proposed paper as well as some facets of human information processes influenced by information technology and (designed) information systems.
Herein we meet the problem of difference and diversity (its significance and consideration) that is - consistent with Ashby – most important cybernetics idea. We should catch on real variety within social system resulting from individuals (individual knowledge) on the one side and shared (generalized) concepts of designed systems on the other side. In other words this topic touches original “law of requisite variety” and/or recent “notion of requisite diversity”.

Please note: Due to its length only the first part of this abstract could be published. The complete text can be obtained by emailing the author

Bernard Scott (Cranfield University, Defence Academy, Shrivenham, UK)

Facilitating Organisational Change: Some Sociocybernetic Principles

Innovations in the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), give rise to organisational change as a more or less intended concomitant. At the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, ICT is being deployed in a number of innovative ways to support the delivery of education and training and associated business processes. Part of my role, as a learning technology specialist, is to act as a facilitator of organisational change. As well as drawing on the action learning, action research and organisational change literatures, I also explicitly draw on sociocybernetics to provide key concepts and principles.

In this paper, I set out my understanding of these key concepts and principles and illustrate their relevance and application using my Defence Academy and some other experiences as case studies. I make specific reference and use of the concepts and principles of: self-organisation and autopoiesis; the law of requisite variety; the principle of the redundancy of potential command; inadvertent and malevolent pathologies of communication; and positive and negative synergy.

The paper describes how the concepts and principles have been helpful in understanding and facilitating the processes of organisational change with which I have been engaged. I note especially (i) the problem of autonomy and negative synergy (ii) the need for positive synergetic emergence of a shared vision, shared plans and commitment (iii) the need to model and abstract from specifics in order to control variety (iv) how to address pathologies of communication and nurture a positive ethos of trust and goodwill.

Karl-Heinz Simon (Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR), University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany)

Seeds of Change: Some Aspects of Scenario Building and Modelling

In future studies the issue of change and where change might come from is of high relevance. As there are many uncertainties and even in principle knowledge gaps about future developments, scenario approaches are usually used for bridging those gaps and to enable model developers to build useful models of dynamics aiming at future system states. But also experiments have been carried out to build self-organising models that react to certain system states automatically with a reorganization of structures or goals.

In the case of scenario approaches we discuss briefly the contributions of Kahn and Meadows. Interesting differences in their approaches exist which are worth to be recognized, for example, an ideological one: Kahn objects against analysts (like Meadows) who suspect, in Kahn’s view, the future as catastrophe. But Meadows is fighting with systems analytical tools for a better future and uses the scenario approach to test certain possibilities for stabilizing paths of world development.

Whereas scenario approaches externalise sources of change and use different methodological approaches to find plausible sets of “driving forces” there are also approaches that try to incorporate the necessary adaptation processes into the models, e.g. on the basis of value hierarchies to decide during the model run whether “normal” or “critical” situations have developed that quest for change in model structures or not. In our contribution we aim at presenting these ideas about “self-organising” models and want to discuss how these ideas are related to scenario based model experiments.

Gerald Steiner (University of Graz, Graz, Austria)

The Planetary Model as a Framework for Organizing Innovation (With an Application in Industrial Design)
For innovators there is usually no single option with respect to the development of innovations. Further, innovators mostly have little experience in attaining the goals of sustainable development, especially because in many cases there is only very limited understanding about the potential outcomes of sustainable innovation and sustainability-oriented business processes. Therefore, the development of innovations can be considered as an ill-defined problem, characterized by an unknown or ambiguous “target state” of problem solving. Moreover, the initial state cannot be precisely described and the barriers which need to be overcome are not exactly known in advance. The development of an innovation is always heavily influenced by a wide variety of impact factors that are not controlled or even not known by the innovator. For example, it is not possible to define the maximization of profits or the minimization of negative impacts as targets, since in reality the height of the maximum or minimum can never be known in advance. We are confronted with a highly complex situation with dynamic, non-linear phenomena. Feedback processes between cause and effect produce further uncertainty.

Based on a sociocybernetic point of view the “Planetary Model” will be introduced as a meta-model to help innovators and their team to organize innovation processes for the uncertainty and dynamics of complex innovation problems. Specific fields for application are not only the process of generating objectives, strategies (including strategies for environmental protection, but also strategies for the involvement of the relevant stakeholders within the problem solving process), and products (including the usage of by-products as resources), but also the process of finding and exploring complex problems.

Keywords: Innovation, product development, industrial design, collaborative problem solving

Alexandra Stingl and Robert Neumann (Dept. for Organizational-, Human Resources- & Management Development (OHM), University of Klagenfurt, Austria)

Waltraud Grillitsch (Dept. for Business Technologies, University of Klagenfurt, Austria)

Innovative Project Management through the Use of Knowledge Management Techniques

More and more companies need to deal with knowledge management in projects and the question how to organise and institutionalise knowledge transfer and learning as well as how to collect and use project experience and lessons learned. Interdisciplinary project teams are a familiar and good approach to foster the creation of new ideas and innovations to meet customer needs and to challenge competition under the pre-condition that the team and knowledge transfer processes are running smoothly and efficiently. Referring to this we deal with organisational conditions and a field-tested process model is introduced.

The success of knowledge oriented project management lies in the balancing of the organisational framework and the supporting IT-infrastructure: each company needs its own specifically designed and adjusted knowledge management solution to foster innovation and the development of business excellent strategies, structures, processes and products. The investment in knowledge management needs to be directly interconnected with the consciousness and ability to change and transfer the organisation step by step.

Keywords: Innovation, Communication, Creativity Techniques, Organisational Framework & Development, Knowledge

Dr Jadranka _varc (Institute of Social Sciences “Ivo Pilar”, Zagreb, Croatia)
Emira Beãiç (Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, Zagreb; Croatia)

The Need for an Integrated Approach to the National Innovation System: The Case of Croatia

Paper discusses, on the example of Croatia, the need for building the national innovation system (NIS) in the CEEC transition countries as a strategic tool for moving towards knowledge-economy and successful integration into European Union that itself aims at transforming into “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world” by 2010.

The main thesis of the paper is that successfulness of NIS strongly depends on comprehensive and systemic approach that presumes integration of all the sectors relevant for capitalization of knowledge through innovation and new technologies. To prove the thesis, the shortcomings of the first innovation policy program in Croatia, program HITRA, coming from its fragmented approach to fostering innovation is presented.

In order to analyze Croatian NIS and improve policymaking an attempt of benchmarking NIS in Croatia is for the first time exercised within this paper. The benchmarking exercise reveals that Croatian NIS is rather weak in comparison with other European countries in both supply nd demand side. Especially the absorption capacity and human capital are poor and influences the low technological and innovation performance. Paper concludes that NIS requests pro-active innovation policy a nd policy learning that depends on social as much as on technological change.

Sonja Treven and Matjaz Mulej (University of Maribor, Faculty of Economics and Business, Maribor, Slovenia)

Stress Management in Work Settings of an Innovative Society by Systems Theory/Thinking

In the paper the authors first present the economic consequences of stress as well as define the term stress. Then they describe the factors within the work environment and the factors without the work environment that may cause stress. In particular, they examine the individual differences that influence our inclination to stressors and also how to manage them efficiently. Besides, they present the strategies and programs developed in organizations as an assistance to their employees for easier stress control. To the usual lists of stress sources they add sources that emanate from the modern narrow, one-sided specialization. and among the measures against them they suggest the training in system thinking, connected with the ethics of interdependence and mutual trust.

Stuart A. Umpleby (George Washington University, Washington, USA)

A History of the Cybernetics Movement in the United States

Why cybernetics has unfolded as it has in the US is an often discussed topic at meetings of the American Society for Cybernetics (ASC). There are, of course, a variety of opinions. I shall offer mine. This paper addresses several questions. Why was the ASC founded rather late, in 1964, about 10 years after the Macy Conferences ended? Why has the ASC remained small (300 or 400 members at its peak)? Why are there currently no departments or institutes of cybernetics in the US? How has thinking about cybernetics changed during the forty year history of cybernetics in the US? Since most intellectuals in the US now spend a few hours a day in “cyberspace,” why do most of them know nothing about cybernetics?

One way to understand the history of cybernetics in the US is to claim that there is more than one cybernetics. For example, one can claim that there is Turing’s cybernetics, Wiener’s cybernetics, and McCulloch’s cybernetics. Turing’s cybernetics became computer science, artificial intelligence, and robotics. It is nurtured and sustained by the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. Wiener’s cybernetics became part of electrical engineering. It includes work on automation and automatic control equipment. This branch of cybernetics is represented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, including their Systems, Man, and Cybernetics group. McCulloch’s cybernetics became second order cybernetics and is represented by the American Society for Cybernetics. This is by far the smallest of the three groups. It has no industry sponsors, and it is the only one of the three groups which currently claims there is a scientific field called “cybernetics.” The paper offers both a sociology of cybernetics and a description of the emergence of interest in the cybernetics of society.

Héctor Zamorano (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Estadística Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina)

The Impact of Technoscience on Culture and Social Knowledge

Some Ideas: The aim of this paper is not to analyze innovation products, but rather to look for the “doors” where innovations come into the system. Innovation is knowledge, and this knowledge allows us to produce devices or new procedures. So we can see innovation as a new device or as a new procedure. These are the technoscience products which impact on culture and social knowledge. Nowadays, to be culture we must be experts in some topic. This is a very important change because, for example, in enterprises, the experts are the decision makers, not the capital owners.

The Goal: We are sociocyberneticians, and we have a very important scientific paradigm made by cybernetic, informatics and General System Theory. This paradigm has tools to apply the concepts to reality. Using a System Thinking methodology a causal graph will show, as the Call for Paper asked, the feed-backs across a variety of different social subsystems, and where we can see, as a photograph, how the behavior of the system is, where the “doors” for the innovation are, how what we called “knowledge society” emerges, what happens in the countries that do not produce innovation. With this model it is possible to observe the principals loops of feed-back among the elements of the system under analysis.

To Sum Up: Culture and social knowledge is affected by the scientific paradigms and what we called knowledge society that is made by globalization influences and the innovations that are produced by technoscience.

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Created, SEPTEMBER 17, 2004
Updated: JUNE 24, 2005