This research group (acronym SYMP) studies "wicked problems" (e.g. global warming, social inequality, creative intelligence, worldviews integration, etc.) combining complexity science and interdisciplinarity.
For the sake of clarity, suppose we want to study a complex-enough phenomena which needs several perspectives to be even partially understood such as:
- Different aspects of the phenomena are differetly relevant for different specialization areas
- Contextual interactions and feedback loops are pervasive
- Operations at different time-scales are relevant
- Top-down and bottom-up influences are in play
- Emergent properties can be identified
Examples of such kind of phenomena happen not only in relation to human problems, but also happen in biochemistry, developmental and evolutionary biology, ecology, psychology, economics, sociology, political science, etc. For this reason we attempt to bring in knowledge from different perspectives and make this knowledge operational so mathematical models can be advanced.
- Prof. Christian Jendreiko (Faculty of Design, HSD University of Applied Sciences, Duesseldorf, Germany)
- Prof. Diederik Aerts (CLEA, Belgium)
- Dr. Vincenzo de Florio (CLEA, Belgium)
- Liubov Tupkina (CRI-Paris, France)
- Marc Santolini (CRI-Paris, France)
- Past senior members
- Matthew McCarthy (VUB, Belgium)
- Floor Schukking (VUB, Belgium & University of Utrecht, the Netherlands)
- Emanuele Barreca (VUB, Belgium)
- Marcus Wetzler (Berlin University of the Arts, Germany)
- Gabriel Herrera (Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, Chile/Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
- Olha Sobetska (University of Leipzig, Germany)
- Diego Becerra (Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile)
- Fabricio Moreno (Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla, Mexico)
- Erika Vivanco (Universidad Andres Bello, Chile)
- Ph.D.(c). Daniela Flores (Universidad de Chile)
What We Do
We meet every second week since 2021. At the content level, we develop conceptual frameworks, mathematical models, and applied cases of phenomena where the reductionist paradigm fails due to the systemic nature of the object of study. Of special interest are interdisciplinary phenomena with several entities and complex contextual interactions, such as metabolic and ecological systems, human-environment relations, socio-technological adaptations, and creativity-able systems.
We embody self-organization as a research group:
The group is self-organized. We try to minimize hierarchies at the decision-making level. The operation of the group is mostly done by students who coordinate meetings, summaries, questions, projects, etc. We have seminars from time to time when we feel attracted to know more about a new idea. Various of the outreach activities of CLEA (conferences, workshops, seminars) emerge from this group. You can see a list of our past activities below (watch our invited seminars here).
History and Motivation
The Centre Leo Apostel has been involved in the development of interdisciplinary research for more than 25 years. In the last years, due to the acquired grants and the postdoctoral researchers involved in these projects, the collaboration along the lines of interdisciplinary complex systems modeling has steadily grown. In particular, the framework of Chemical Organization Theory (COT), developed in the mid 2000’s, has caught the attention and has been applied in CLEA for nearly 10 years, and is central to the past CLEA research grant “THE ORIGINS OF GOAL-DIRECTEDNESS: A FORMAL SCENARIO BASED ON CHEMICAL ORGANIZATION THEORY AND CYBERNETICS” (a.k.a. Origins grant), funded by the Templeton Foundation between December 2020 and October 2023 (whose co-PI’s were Francis Heylighen, and Tomas Veloz), which helped us to develop a scenario for the self-organization of goal-directedness from a systemic perspective, applying COT as a systemic modeling framework.
The Origins grant involved a work-package related to goal-directedness in creativity. In this vein, and in coincidence with previous exchanges around the application of Systemic Modeling for creative processes between Dr. Tomas Veloz, Dr. Vincenzo de Florio, Stan Bundervoet (from CLEA), Prof. Christian Jendreiko (from HSD University of Applied Sciences, partner in this IJRG application) and his students, started the systemic modeling group as a parallel project involving teaching and research of systemic modeling applied to design and arts has been in course since May 2021.
The latter efforts started attracting students and researchers from various areas such as urban planning, cognitive science, computational biology, interdisciplinary studies, complex systems modeling, and so on. Therefore, the SYMP group became a venue to foster interdisciplinarity with a strong scientific character, giving a chance to students to collaborate and exchange knowledge relevant for their theses, as well as being in touch with experts on a regular basis.
Part of the
List of Event Organized by SYMP
2020 (ongoing) Systemic Modeling Meetings