Heinz von Foerster & Vienna Congresses


Heinz von Foerster is one of the founders of the field of cybernetics and was a major force behind the evolution of second-order cybernetics. He was important to the Macy Meetings, where anthropologists and mathematicians, psychiatrists and philosophers, linguists and neurophysiologists articulated the principles of the field.

A series of congresses have been held at the University of Vienna in honor of von Foerster's contributions to science and cybernetics. The following links offer presentations at the congress made by Paul Pangaro on von Foerster's work and those closely related to him.

See also the Heinz von Foerster '17 Lecture, Designing Our World: Cybernetics as Conversation for Action.

Vienna 2011

Contributions to the Viennese Archives of Gordon Pask
On contributions from Pangaro to Pask's archives in Vienna including origins and artifacts, collaboration with Pask on research contracts based on conversation theory, and applications of conversation theory to teaching design, designing teams, and developing software

Invitation to Recursioning
On daily praxis and the influences of Heinz von Foerster including concepts of recursion and learning, second-order cybernetics and ethics

Vienna 2003

A Past-Future of Cybernetics: Von Foerster & the BCL
On the connections between von Foerster, Gordon Pask and Humberto Maturana, contributions to cybernetics rooted in the BCL, and insights von Foerster offered to the community he gathered there

New Strategic Possibilities through Changing Language
On the requirements for bringing about organizational change as a problem of creating new language in order to see and act upon an evolving environment, and the epistemological and social impediments to such change.

heinz von foerster
von Foerster in Pescadero, California, in 2000
Photo (c) Paul Pangaro

Photo © Copyright Paul Pangaro 2000. All Rights Reserved. Text © Copyright Paul Pangaro 2011.