Introduction

The Systemic Inquiry ‘Governing the Anthropocene. Cybersystemic Possibilities?’ was held at Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover from 30-31st July 2015.

This blogsite with all presentations and other outputs is under preparation; an evaluation has already been conducted with the PhD students and a follow-up evaluation is planned, along with a report and proposals for future research funding.

This site is intended to operate as a Blog – in the first instance as a continuation of the conversation amongst participants at Herrenhausen.

The 135 inquiry participants came from 32 countries (Brasil, Colombia, Germany, Australia, Austria, New Zealand, Mexico, USA, Canada, Sweden, UK, Ireland, Italy, France, Japan, Chile, Ecuador, Switzerland, Spain, Norway, South Africa, Ghana, Belgium, Slovenia, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus, India, China, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Thailand), 27 of the participants are PhD students studying in nine different countries (Germany, Australia, Austria, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Colombia, USA). Participants represented 35 professional and academic organisations concerned with Systems and Cybernetics scholarship.

To our knowledge this was the first ever joint meeting of scholars from cybersystemic and institutional economics backgrounds. At least 26 of the latter participants came from Germany or from academic backgrounds in Germany. It was also the first purpose-designed event to bring together scholars from such a wide range of organisations concerned with ‘cybersystemics’ (cybernetics + systems sciences).

The Inquiry was a collaborative activity between WINS (Berlin Workshop in Institutional Analysis of Social-Ecological Systems) Humboldt University of Berlin and Prof. Ray Ison (ISSS/Open University & Monash University) funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

The collaboration with WINs developed during Prof. Ison’s sabbatical leave (April-May 2014) at Humboldt University (Program Umwelt Governance led by Prof. Andreas Thiel). It built on earlier collaboration that has led to a recent Special Issue of Environmental Science & Policy devoted to “Crafting or designing? Science and politics for purposeful institutional change in Social-Ecological Systems.

The ‘systemic inquiry’ event was co-designed by Kevin Collins and Ray Ison, facilitated by Kevin Collins and built on research/design carried out in Australia as part of the ‘transitioning to water sensitive cities’ events held around Australia in 2009 (research which continues under the aegis of Water for Liveability).

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