Metaphorum Conference 2016


VSM Experten treffen sich in Leeds

Ich freue mich sehr bei der diesjährigen Metaphorum Conference teilzunehmen – und staune über die Koinzidenz, dass die Veranstaltung passend zum 90. Geburtstag von Stafford Beer stattfindet und ich just in diesem Jahr das Buch veröffentlicht habe. Die Konferenz bietet mir hoffentlich die Gelegenheit, einige ehemalige Weggefährten von Stafford kennenzulernen und noch mehr über ihn als Menschen zu erfahren.

Leider habe ich keine Webseite zur Konferenz gefunden, sodass ich alle weiteren Infos hier aus der E-Mail Einladung einfüge. Ich hoffe ich treffe den einen oder anderen Leser vor Ort!

PS: Ich werde am Call for Papers teilnehmen und wahrscheinlich eines der dicksten Bretter der heutigen Zeit bohren. Mehr Infos folgen 😉


Metaphorum Conference
October 5-7th October 2016

Governance and Complexity: Innovative research and applications of the Viability Theory – Viable System Model (VSM).

Stafford Beer introduced the Viable System Model as a complexity management approach to social organisations through one of the most interesting and less documented experiments of public governance in the 20th century, the Cybersyn project in Chile. Since then the application of the Theory of Viability has evolved and gained momentum (particularly in the last 10 years) as it seem to be highly relevant for governments and organisations of all kinds to develop resilience and capability to adapt, qualities that are urgently required for them to cope with the challenges of the social, environmental and economic change of the 21st century.

The Centre for Governance, Leadership and Global Responsibility explores new developments on governance and sustainability and is developing a discussion towards the use of unconventional approaches to better understand key challenges for the governance of organisations in the changing and challenging environments unfolding during the second decade of the 21st century. Taking into account that this year would have been Beer’s 90th birthday, we are joining forces with The Centre of Systems Studies at Hull University Business School and Metaphorum – a community of researchers and practitioners interested in the preservation and development of the VSM theory and legacy – to invite interested researchers to discuss the development of Viability Theory to support organisational governance. We consider this may well open an innovative research path, which would potentially bring together classic theories and models of governance with contemporary principles derived from developments on complexity science and Organisational Cybernetics.

In this event we want to provide a space where all the people interested in VSM research and practice can get to know more about the basic principles of the theory; and VSM and governance researchers can get to know each other and discuss interesting applications in organisations of different scales and types. We also want to provide a rich research context for researchers and PhD students engaged in academic research involving VSM theory or application, to come and discuss their research projects with their peers and colleagues with input from the key workshop speakers.

We would appreciate it if you could confirm your interest in attending the workshop by sending a message to

Proposed Event Schedule

Wednesday 5 October 2016
9:00 – 10:00 – Registration
10:00 – 12:00 – Welcome & Opening presentation from the first key speaker
12:00 – 13:00 – Lunch
13:00 – 15:00 – Second key speaker and first round of paper presentations and posters
15:00 – 15:30 – Coffee break
15:30 – 17:00 – Third key speaker of the day and second round of presentation of papers/posters

Thursday 6 October 2016
10:00 – 12:00 – First key speaker of the day and first round of papers/posters
12:00 – 13:00 – Lunch
13:00 – 15:00 – Second key speaker of the day and second round of papers/posters
15:00 – 15:30 – Coffee break
15:30 – 17:00 – Final round of papers/posters
17:00 – 17:30 – Break
17:30 – 19:00 – Closing presentation and dinner

Friday 7 October 2016
09:00 – 12:00 Meeting of the Metaphorum Group board, fellows and participants to evaluate outcomes from the conference and plan the next Metaphorum conference.

Saturday 8 October 2016
Metaphorum Day
09:00 – 13:00 – Discussion to include: –

· Reflections on the VSM Workshop

· Re-organisation of the Metaphorum

· Agenda for the next Metaphorum conference

Calls For Papers and Presentations

Deadline: 30 July 2016
Notification of Acceptance: 10 September 2016

Additional Information

If you would like to participate, please contact Pedro by emailing You will receive a link to the conference webpage instructions for registration.

Registration Fees

Day rate includes lunch & refreshments and dinner on the Thursday evening.

Early Bird – For Payments made before September 2016
Non-Student – £70 per day
Student Rate* – £17 per day

Payments made after September 2016
Non-Student – £90 per day
Student Rate* – £17 per day

Order your ticket here

*Includes lunch & refreshments but does not include dinner on Thursday evening

Travel & Accommodation

Click here to get information about travel.

We have a selection of nearby hotels offering corporate rates for your stay with us in Leeds. All hotels are within 10-15 minute walking distance of the Rose Bowl.

Wednesday 5 – £129 B&B
Thursday 6 – £89 B&B
Friday 7 – £69 B&B

Park Plaza
Wednesday 5 – £119 B&B
Thursday 6 – £89 B&B
Friday 7 – £79 B&B

Holiday Inn Express
Wednesday 5 – £79 B&B
Thursday 6 – £79 B&B
Friday 7 – £79 B&B

Radisson Blu
Wednesday 5 – £125 B&B
Thursday 6 – £125 B&B
Friday 7 – £89 B&B


++++++++++ Update vom 01.08.


Dear colleague,

We have extended the submission deadline for extracts and presentations to 25th August 2016. Please make sure you have your submissions to us by that date – we will notify you by 5th September if your abstract has been accepted. We have produced a formatting guide for your abstract – please click here to download (.pdf). If you have any further questions about how to submit your abstract please email Pedro (

Note: if you have not already received the original invitation email, click here to view a copy. Bios If you are planning on submitting an extended abstract or presentation, you may also like to send us a short bio. Please could you send a head and shoulders photograph with your name, title, qualifications, position and very brief biographical details. These brief bios may be published in the programme, Conference Proceedings and other publications arising from the METAPHORUM Conference. Please try to keep to a 70 word maximum. Please could you send this to by 25th August or if you do not want your details to appear, then please let us know.

If you were part of the Scientific Committee last year and wish to use the same bio please let me know. Change of Itinerary

Please note there have been a few changes to the Friday of the conference. – Dinner has now been moved to Wednesday 5 October. – From 09:00-13:00 there will be a VSM Clinic and between 14:00-17:00 the Metaphorum steering group will be meeting. If you’ve not already booked your place on the conference then you can do so by clicking here. We will be looking forward to your participation in the discussion developing throughout this event around contemporary issues on governance and the application of the Viability Theory.


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