Synthesis and recommendations

Our apologies for the time taken to draw together some of the material from our systemic inquiry.

A summary Final Report to VolkswagenStiftung was submitted on 17th December 2015. We invite, in particular, all participants to look at the report with a critical eye – do offer feedback, both affirming and/or improving.  For example are there elements in the report which you would particularly like to support?  What was important to you that we have missed?

Are there initiatives or reflections that have followed from your participation that would be good for us (as an on-going inquiry conversation) to know about?

A more substantive report is being prepared – it is partially finished and should be posted here soon.

Anyone who has photos they would like to see posted to this site are invited to contact Kevin or Ray.

Please note that in the report to VolkswagenStiftung  a suite of proposed follow-up actions are reported e.g. policy briefings; a journal special issue; follow-up focused meetings.  If anyone wishes to offer contributions or suggestions regarding any of these please contact us or post here.

Final draft report circulated to all participants August 2016:

This REPORT – A Systemic Inquiry August 2016 was circulated in early August with the following covering email:

Dear ‘Governing in the Anthropocene’ colleagues,
it has now been just over a year since we met together for two days at Herrenhausen Palace, Hannover.  I have been wondering if you think the issues we began to address have become more or less pronounced, worrisome or an imperative for you since that experience?
Perhaps you have become aware of the small book by Roy Scranton (see ?
Scranton R. 2015. Learning to Die in the Anthropocene. Reflections on the End of Civilization. City Light Books: San Francisco.
The challenge the Anthropocene poses is a challenge not just to national security, to food and energy markets, or to our “way of life” — though these …
Our apologies for not being in touch sooner to send you a full report – which is attached in draft form.  It is in draft because a report of this nature within a systemic inquiry requires feedback and some critical scrutiny from you, the participants before it is committed to permanent covers, an ISBN number etc.  Earlier we sent a shorter report to the VolkswagenStiftung.  If you did not get a copy please look online (see
Ideally a ‘final’ report should also contain some evaluative feedback appropriately generated.  To this end you are invited to complete a short evaluation survey of 10 questions – please go to 
I do hope you will find time to do this short task – perhaps over your summer break if you are in the north?
Web survey powered by Create your own online survey now with SurveyMonkey’s expert certified FREE templates.
Kevin and I have been constrained in finishing this report by lack of support and other resources not to mention other work committments and some changes in our circumstances. We have, however, completed this Blog site which you have been invited to use – though thus far it has generated very little traffic.  Why is that I wonder?
The Systemic Inquiry ‘Governing the Anthropocene. Cybersystemic Possibilities?’ was held at Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover from 30-31st July 2015.
Could I ask you to set aside some time to look over the many resources that are now on the site and use them or add to them if and when you feel able? Or please make links to it from your own pages.
If you cannot access the site then do let us know, copied to so that we can assist.
It would be good to hear if any of you have carried on the ‘systemic inquiry’ we began, and if so how, where and with what results?
For my own part I (RLI) am, amongst other things, finalising the editing of a special issue of Systems Research & Behavioural Science entiltled “Governing in the Anthropocene: Contributions from Systems Thinking in Practice?”    This collection will have papers from the ISSS event in Berlin (2015) as well as some contributions from our Hereenhausen event. My contribution is a paper entitled ‘Governing in the Anthropocene: what future systems thinking in practice?”[i]   This special issue ought to be available in September 2016.

For those of you who continue to be interested in the topic of our event can I encourage you to consider contributing to the WOSC (World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics) conference to be held in Rome in late January 2017 – see .  In particular could I encourage you to consider submitting an abstract for the theme: Governance in the Anthropocene: cybersystemic possibilities? ( )
WOSC 2017: Social dynamics and problem-solving in the 21st Century from a systemic perspective. The official host of WOSC 2017 is the Department of Management …

Many of the themes from our event were also picked up by John Kineman the 2015-16 president of ISSS in the recent conference in Boulder, Colorado.  See  The event also involved the beginning of a promising collaboration with Future Earth.  If you would like to purchase a copy of CDs and DVDsof the ISSS conference speakers, they are available at the following weblink address:

We look forward to hearing from you

Ray & Kevin


2 Responses to Synthesis and recommendations

  1. James Greyson says:

    This was a super event; much looking forward to the synthesis. I’m curious to see the organisers outlook on whether the anthropocene now looks more governable than before. Will the system science community go for change a bit at a time, or can we also explore the options for global whole system change? If so can the policies to enact this, such as circular economics, finally resolve the false choice between growth-as-usual and anti-growth? Thanks to all!

  2. admin says:

    can I invite you to post your perspective on your question after looking at the report submitted to VW?

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