Emergent Systems, Information and Society

The Research Group Emergent Systems, Information and Society contributes to the Foundations of Systems Science through elaborating on systems theoretical approaches towards techno-social systems, in particular, computerised systems.

It is a transdisciplinary group building upon the expertise of two scientific communities:

  • Researchers working in the field of evolutionary systems taking the General  Systems Theory as its starting point – that is, a field revolving around self-organisation and information, comprising systems philosophy, philosophy of information and philosophy of technology, theories of living systems and theories of social systems;
  • Academics and practitioners in the field of computer science in the perspective of its social context – that is, a field considering social responsibility of computer engineers, comprising social informatics (as it is called in Anglo-Saxon countries), “Informatik und Gesellschaft” (as it is called in German speaking countries), information studies, ICTs and society, and else.

The core issue of that research group is to contribute to the assessment of technologies that raise or might raise public concern. The problem analysis to be executed looks upon technological systems as part of social systems. The perspective of techno-social systems shall be underpinned by insights in systems evolution. Information technology needs to be shaped for a global sustainable information society that is a possible and needful step in the evolution of societies on Earth.


Please find here past and current projects of the research group!


That research group is a joint initiative supported by the Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, the International Society for Information Studies, and the BCSSS. It was founded to honour and continue the lifetime achievement of Prof. Klaus Fuchs-Kittowski.


For further questions and suggestions please contact the Research Group leaders:



Wolfgang Hofkirchner is Associate Professor (Ao.Univ.Prof. Dr.phil.) for Technology Assessment at the Institute for Design and Technology Assessment, Faculty of Informatics, Vienna University of Technology, Austria. Being educated as Political Scientist and Psychologist, he has been working since in the field of Science–Technology–Society. In 2001 he acquired the venia docendi in Technology Assessment and was University Professor for Internet and Society from 2004 to 2010 at the University of Salzburg. Among various stays abroad he did research and teaching at the University of León and the Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. He has been appointed an academician of the Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften zu Berlin in 2006 and of the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences in 2010. He was President of the International Society for Information Studies in the years 2013 to 2015 and has been volunteering as President of the BCSSS since 2004.



Hans-Jörg Kreowski is retired Professor for Theoretical Computer Science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, University of Bremen, Germany. He studied Mathematics, got his PhD and the venia legend in Computer Science at the University of Technology Berlin and became professor in Bremen in 1982. His major fields of interest are formal modeling, graph transformation, logistics as well as computer and society. He has been appointed an academician of the Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften zu Berlin in 2013. He was Chair of the Forum Computer Professionals for Peace and Social Responsibility (FIfF) in the years 2003 to 2009 and is a board member since then.


Rainer E. Zimmermann is Pofessor of Philosophy at the University of Applied Sciences Munich, Germany. 1971-1975 Studies in Physics and Mathematics (TU and FU Berlin, and as DAAD scholar at Imperial College London), 1974 Diploma of Imperial College (Mathematical Physics), 1975 Diploma in Theoretical Physics (FU Berlin), 1977 PhD in Mathematics (FU Berlin), 1982-1988 Studies in Philosophy, History, and Literature (TU Berlin), 1988 PhD in Philosophy (TU Berlin), since 1995 Professor of Philosophy at the UAS Munich, 1998 Habilitation in Natural Philosophy (University of Kassel), until 2009 member (Privatdozent) of the department there, 1999/2000 Visiting Scholar at the History and Philosophy of Science Department and Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall, both at Cambridge (UK), since then Life Member of Clare Hall, 2003 Senior Visiting Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Bologna, 2006 International Visiting Professor at the ICT&S Center, University of Salzburg, 2010/11 Visiting Professor at the Centre of Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin, 2014 Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Informatics, TU Vienna. From 2008 on chairman of the executive board and scientific director of the Institute of Design Science, Munich, co-editor of the institute’s monograph series, 2011 Elected Academic Member of the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences (IASCYS), Vienna, 2013 Elected Academic Member of the Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften zu Berlin. About 350 publications, among them some 30 books.
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