The Research Group Socio-Ecological Systems and Design investigates the interdependencies of natural – social – technological systems to develop appropriate design competencies for future oriented thrivable ecologies. We work at the interface of science – humanities – engineering/design.
Biologists, economists, engineers, architects, designers, social scientists and philosophers are invited to start a conversation and to exchange individual tools, methodologies, material and ways of operating. We are looking for developing strategies and designing systems of design for a ‘theory and practice of Gestaltung’ in a newly framed environment. Instead of continuing parallel running research projects, we encourage researchers from science, humanities, economics, and engineering disciplines as well as practitioners to collaborate in a transdisciplinary process in order to decode and encode domain and discipline specific modes of working, to strengthen the involved disciplines.
Design (Gestaltung) is more than a human potential. All we as humans do or not do is Gestaltung. The Research Group conducts research that takes the complexity of ecological, social, and technological systems into account and extends the subject matter into the paradigm of design and Gestaltung as living and learning system.
Emerging interdisciplinary design approaches like Transformation Design have been associated with work within communities for socially progressive ends, but also with work within organizations to introduce human-centered design approaches. Research and practice have been related to the role and impact of organizational development, business model innovation, innovation ecosystems, creative communities and social innovation as well as in urban design and regional development, and even the wide debate on the redesign of public services and the welfare state.
Expertise beyond the designers is a requirement! Transformation design tackles large scale complex issues involving many stakeholders and components, and their interdependencies. Co-creative “design with” the system approaches informed by Evolutionary and Social Systems Design insights are applied in holistic, multi-stage, iterative processes to engage with the complex dynamic systems and their constantly arising novel and coherent structures, patterns and properties during the process of self-organization, called emergence.
The Research Group engages in
- Architecture and Spatial Design
- Biological, systemic and computational design strategies
- Urban design (e.g. sustainable urbanism, smart cognitive cities), and regional development
- Biodiversity, agriculture and rural development
- Designing and governing from biosphere reserves to nature sanctuaries
- Design of supply networks in public services (e.g. energy, water, traffic and public transport, information technologies and telecommunications, health care, and education infrastructures) and value networks in business services
- Designing Innovation and Business Ecosystems (cross-overs welcome)
- Designing research and development systems and governmental systems to address the challenges of future oriented thrivable ecologies.
Stefan Blachfellner is the Managing Director of the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS) in Vienna, hosting the European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research and the Circular Economy Forum Austria, a former Vice President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), and former Vice President and General Secretary of the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR). From 2016 to 2018 he was appointed as Special Adviser to the European Commissioner for Transport.
He has broad experience as an entrepreneur and business consultant, and has taught entrepreneurship, leadership, creativity and innovation management, future studies, and various systems theories at several universities and in professional management training programs in Austria, Germany, Slovenia, France, Belgium, China and the USA.
His current projects are focused on the development of a General Systems Transdiscipline, Systems Design, Systemic Innovation and Impact Assessment to improve methods for addressing complex challenges towards the so called Next Economy, in particular the Circular Economy.
The BCSSS proudly presents the first Special Award for ‘Action on Climate Change’ in cooperation with IIID
In Spring 2020 the International Institute for Information Design (IIID) called for the IIID Award, a great celebration of what Information Designers contribute to Society. They apply Creativity and Design Thinking to solve complex Communication Problems, and to improve every aspect of Human Life. When we travel, information designers help us…
New publications by BCSSS Board member Ray Ison
We proudly present the current contribution “Systemic ‘biodiversity’ governing” by our BCSSS Board Member Ray Ison together with Ed Straw and the Applied Systems Thinking in Practice (ASTiP) Group, STEM Faculty, The Open University, UK in the new publication “Seeds of Change – inspiring a new research agenda for life…
ONE DAY 2020 conference puts systems change front and center
ONE DAY: The Conference is an annual event to inspire and promote youth leadership in Austria and beyond. By bringing together NGOs, academics, companies and passionate changemakers, the conference asks how we can change systems, specifically in regards to three core topics each year, and co-creates solutions with both students…
Call for contributions! Special Award for ‘Action on Climate Change’ by IIID & BCSSS
Call for contributions! Special Design Award ‘Action on Climate Change’ The IIID Award is a great celebration of what Information Designers contribute to Society. They apply Creativity and Design Thinking to solve complex Communication Problems, and to improve every aspect of Human Life. In the framework of the IIID Award…
Call for papers! IRDO 2020, Maribor. Personal and Social Responsibility for Sustainable Future
Call for papers! 15th IRDO International Science and Business Conference 4 – 5 June 2020 Maribor, Slovenia Social Responsibility and current Challenges 2020: PERSONAL AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUSTAINABLE FUTURE IRDO – Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility, in cooperation with the University of Maribor invite scientists, managers, experts…
Save the dates! ISSS 2020, South Africa
Save the dates for your participation in the International Society for the Systems Sciences 64th Annual Meeting! 11 – 14 July 2020 Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch (near Cape Town), South Africa. Systemic Change towards Sustainable Development: Innovative and Integrative Approaches Further detailed information will be published soon at http://isss.org/world/ISSS_2020 …
Call for submissions! INCOSE International Symposium 2020 South Africa
Take part at the 30th INCOSE International Symposium! 18 – 23 July 2020Cape Town, South Africa Systems Engineering for Earth’s FutureUniting Technology and Grand Challenges through Systems Engineering The INCOSE International Symposium is the premier international forum for systems engineering. Participants network, share ideas, knowledge and practices, and learn more…
BCSSS Board member Ray Ison publishes new book on the hidden power of systems thinking
In times of great societal changes and challenges such as climate change, the need for new ways of thinking and acting have become urgent. Together with campaigner and writer Ed Straw, BCSSS board member and IFSR president Ray Ison has published a new book to uncover “The Hidden Power of…
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- A systemic view on the Corona-crisis revisited by BCSSS Vicepresident Felix Tretter
- The BCSSS proudly presents the first Special Award for ‘Action on Climate Change’ in cooperation with IIID
- New publications by BCSSS Board member Ray Ison
- A systemic view on the Corona-crisis by BCSSS Vicepresident Felix Tretter
- Join our joint School of Thinking in Brussels and learn how systems thinking connects with further famous schools of thought