ASC Home Page

Main Page

2001 Conference

The Praxis of Cybernetics and the Cybernetics of Praxis

May 27 to May 29, 2001
(with extended activities May 23 to 25)

University of British Columbia Conference Center, Vancouver, Canada

Post-Conference Legacy Page

Archival Information
(On Separate Pages)
  Papers and Playshops   Online
  'Treasures of 2nd Order Cybernetics'   'Remaining Human'


THEMATIC OVERVIEW   The Praxis of Cybernetics and the Cybernetics of Praxis

Cybernetics is a way of understanding, not a collection of facts. Thus it is a discipline in which we explore how it is that we do what we do through our participation in whatever we do. Cybernetics incorporates ideas from many other disciplines, and the concepts of cybernetics are also subsumed within other disciplines, such as biology, management, information sciences, ecology, education, healthcare, therapy, art, architecture, music, and many others. Indeed, the practical application of cybernetics lies in a wide variety of domains.

In our 2001 conference we explored and discussed the "praxis" of cybernetics, that is, its application in any domain. Equally important, we also explored the cybernetics of praxis, that is, what the awareness of how we do what we do modulates our activity in any domain. This was a conference for the practical and for the visionary. As such we envisioned it as an event of interest for the practical visionary and the reflective practitioner. We could say that we are concerned with the heart and soul of what we do.


CONFERENCE STRUCTURE   The conference was comprised of three distinct events...

ASC Conference

May 27-29

UBC Conference Center

The first day included thematic round table discussions of pre-conference abstracts which had been circulated among the registrants. The second day was a plenary presentation of the ideas. Experiential workshops, or "playshops" leavened the proceedings in the middle of each day. The third day extended the plenary according to papers received and enabled spontaneously organized activities, such as working groups, conversations, or a counter-conference to take place.


More Info:   Events Schedule

More Info:   Papers

More Info:   Abstracts

Short Course:
Treasures of Second Order Cybernetics

May 23- 25

UBC Conference Center

This was a three-day introductory workshop presenting some of the treasures of Second Order Cybernetics for approximately 30 people. The workshop focused on the contributions of Heinz von Foerster, George Spencer Brown, Gordon Pask, and Humberto Maturana.

Course coordinator: Dr. Scott Carley


More Info:   Short Course

Public Forum:
Remaining Human

Evening: May 25 and 26

Frederick Wood Theater


In the face of our growing dependency on technology and complex organizational systems of human invention, there is a concern that the foundation of our humanness may become obscured in our rush towards "progress" and a the temptation to become "cyborgs". This forum featured several noted scholars:

  • Dr. Humberto Maturana

  • Dr. Brian Swimme

  • Dr. Riane Eisler

  • Dr. Candace Pert

  • Dr. David Loye


More Info:   Public Forum


  This Webpage generated by Randall Whitaker, April 2002   TOP
of Page