Systems Science and Pattern Literacy

The mission of the Research Group Systems Science and Pattern Literacy is the development of Systems to promote Pattern Literacy. 

We understand Pattern Literacy as the capacity to recognize, mobilize and re-use patterns as repetitive structures for coping with complexity. We believe that the ability to grasp general patterns in their domain specific manifestations and to generalize domain specific patterns, enabling their reuse, can support solutions challenged by on-going urbanisation, economic growth and burst of technologies.

This approach of making patterns explicit to support repeated applications is found today in the practice of pattern language in software development, architecture, design and other domains and we learn from their experience to fulfill our mission. 

We see Pattern Literacy as an essential component of new literacies, embracing domains of System Literacy, Computational Literacy, Visual Literacy, Coding Literacy, that evolve being challenged by dynamics of technological, societal and environmental changes. 

Systems to promote Pattern Literacy should integrate working theories, knowledge transfer, analogue and digital methods and tools to activate embodied capacities for recognizing and mobilizing patterns and to support design and application of patterns in praxis.

We use an interdisciplinary approach to transcend borders between different areas of research and between research and praxis in order to detect analogies, general algorithms, intelligent codes, successful grammars and convenient pattern designs that can serve as universal templates to support coping with complexity.

Our research on patterns embraces domains of natural sciences, linguistics, cognitive science, systems science, complexity research, network research, information technologies as well as domains that emerge in the interfaces between sciences and applications – like biomimetics, organisational bionics, bioinformatics, morphogenetic engineering.

We build our work on existing and evolving knowledge about systems based on General Systems Theory and Cybernetics to forward the mission of the BCSSS with new approaches of Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s quest for general systems principles and the unity of science.
We rely on an international network of high-profile experts and practitioners and put value on collaboration with experts and groups who work in interfaces connecting different domains.
We intend to create a nexus for information flows from leading competence centers all around the world to stay tuned to state-of-the-art of pattern research.

We welcome creative fusion of traditional and avant-garde ways of communication, supported by collaboration with arts and innovative technologies.

We see our group as a learning group in motion and are ready to face new challenges and integrate new perspectives, which evolve and unfold on the way of exploration.  

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

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


Maria Lenzi

Implementation & Project Management

After completing her post-graduate management studies at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz/Austria in 2001 Maria Lenzi has been occupied with application of System Methods in consulting and research. Her main intention was implementing systems knowledge in praxis. She studied and applied different systemic methodologies and tools, including viable system model, sensitivity model by Frederic Vester, qualitative and quantitative system dynamics and soft systems methodology. Maria Lenzi developed simulation models for software projects, for business and governmental structures. Together with her partners in Germany, France, Austria and Russia she worked on system thinking based solutions in domains of disaster management, anticipation of risks, sustainable development and adaptive organizations. Her special interest lies in application of cybernetic patterns for complexity challenge, self-organization and adaptive design.

Maria Lenzi holds a Master in International finance from Moscow State University of International Relations/Russia and a Master of Advanced Studies in Management from Johannes Kepler University, Austria.


Helene Finidori

Research & Development & Outreach

Helene Finidori’s work has been focused for many years on the dynamics of change and the movements and strategies that power them, and more particularly on Patterns, Languages and Systemic Transformation (PLAST). She pursues a PhD at the University of Hull’s Centre for Systems Studies, is an affiliate researcher of the Evolution, Complexity and COgnition group (ECCO), and a Research Fellow of The Schumacher Institute. Her doctoral research explores how pattern-based approaches could help develop collaborative sense-making and decision-making tools and methods to bridge multiple dimensions of complexity and domains of systemic intervention and action. The aim is to enhance pattern literacy in support of systems literacy at the individual and collective level.

Helene Finidori holds a MSc in Management from HEC-Paris. She has a broad experience in operational marketing and branding strategy, in organizational change and cross-cultural collaboration, and as a lecturer of Management and Leadership of Change.

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