President’s Series #10 Raul Espejo and Peter Cochrane

Written by Angus Jenkinson · 3 min read >

January 27


05:40 pm - 05:40 pm

Event Category:

CybSights President's Series

Raul Espejo explores Enterprise Complexity and the VSM while Peter Cochrane examines the notion of validity and truth in the cyberworld

Hosted by our President, Dr. John Beckford FCybS, the CybSights President’s Series is a new programme that will bring interesting people together to explore the relevance and contribution of cybernetics to addressing important challenges.

Each event will consist of contributions by two different speakers. Each will be followed by individual Q&A. These are then brought together by the President in a lively and engaging plenary discussion. Each will seek areas of convergence and divergence between the ideas explored. Speakers present their own views, without formal endorsement.

Events will be held via Zoom on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 1700 to 1900.

Meetings are open to members of the Cybernetics Society and also the general public. Non-members are invited to join or give a donation. Booking is required.

The Cybernetics Society has been hosting conversations and lectures since the late 1960s.

#PS10 : July 14th 2021

This event continues the exploration of the relevance of cybernetics to the contemporary world with contributions both theoretically practical and practically theoretical. The purpose of this series is not just to provide answers but to test whether the right questions are being asked.

FIRST SPEAKER: Professor Raul Espejo

Enterprise Complexity Model and the Viable System Model

An Enterprise Complexity Model (ECM) is offered as a methodological tool for the actors of an enterprise to overcome complex environmental problems. The heuristic for this purpose is the Viable System Model, which guides an enterprise’s self-organization towards policies creating, regulating and producing sustainable development goals. Self-organisation is grounded in correcting imbalanced interactions between an enterprise’s actors and their environmental agents, to increase their requisite variety to achieve sustainability, that is to overcome environmental problems. The interactions between actors and agents are facilitated by current and emergent digital technologies, which support the structuring of collaborative networks.

Professor Raul Espejo

President of the World Organisation for Systems and Cybernetics

Academician of the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences (IASCYS)

is President of the World Organization of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC) and Director of Syncho Research, UK. He is academician of the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences (IASCYS) and Past Professor of Systems and Cybernetics at the University of Lincoln, UK. His research is in organisational cybernetics and systems. His most recent book is “Organizational Systems: Managing Complexity with the Viable System Model” (2011 in English and 2016 in Spanish (both with A. Reyes)). Has co-published five books and edited 7 special issues of journals, most recently in 2018, of Futures (“Futures of Society: the interactions revolution”). Has published over a 120 papers in journal and books. Has organised two of WOSC’s most recent world congresses in 2014 (Colombia) and in 2017 (Italy) and is organising the next world congress online in September 2021. From 1971 to 1973 he was operations director of the CYBERSYN project – the project of the Chilean Government for the management of the industrial economy, under the scientific direction of Professor Stafford Beer.

Followed by brief Q & A

SECOND SPEAKER: Professor Peter Cochrane OBE, DSc


In any conflict it is essential to know and understand as much about the opposition as possible, it is also necessary to establish the validity of any situation. In a cyber world this is orders of magnitude more difficult than the disconnected past, but some new decision support tools are under development. For example; automated fact checkers and truth engines have been demonstrated, and situational awareness technologies are commercially available. But, we still require automated context assessment or we will continue to be ‘blind-sided’ by rapid change and the unexpected.

Professor Peter Cochrane OBE, DSc

Peter Cochrane is an Honorary Fellow of the Cybernetics Society. This is our highest award. He is a seasoned professional with decades of hands-on management, technology and operational experience who retired from BT as CTO in 2000 to form his own consultancy company. This saw the founding of eBookers, Shazam Entertainment, and a raft of smaller start ups. Peter has also seen assignments with UK, Singapore and Qatar government departments; HP, Motorola, 3M, Dupont, Ford, Sun, Apple, Cisco, Rolls Royce, BMW, Jersey Tel, Chorus, FaceBook, et al. In 2017 Peter was appointed Prof of Sentient Systems to the University of Suffolk, and a visiting Prof to The Universities of Herfordshire, Nottingham Trent and Salford. He has received numerousawards including the IEEE Millennium Medal, Martlesham Medal, Prince Philip Medal, Queens Award for Export and Technology and an OBE. He has also received numerous honorary degrees and is widely published in the media and professional journals.

Dr. John Beckford, FCybS, President of the Cybernetics Society

John Beckford is a board member of WOSC, a partner in Beckford Consulting, Non-Executive Chair of the Board of Rise Mutual CIC, a Non-Executive Director of both Fusion21 and CoreHaus (social enterprises) and Visiting Professor in both the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at University College London and the Centre for Information Management, School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University. John holds a PhD in cybernetics from the University of Hull, is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and of the Royal Society for the Arts and a Member of the Institute of Management Services.

Cybernetics Society – a learned society

The Cybernetics Society promotes and offers education and research opportunities in the rich field of cybernetics. In the CybSights series, including the President’s Series, we offer isghts conversations, lectures, case studies, analysis, education, and thoughtful entertainment.,

The Cybernetics Society – – is a specially authorised learned society regulated by the FSA and established by a 1974 Act of Parliament. To join visit our membership system or pick the Join ticket.

Cybernetics plays into and strongly influences many scientific and practice fields including design, epistemology, ecology, biology, psychology and living behaviour, technology and engineering, social policy, and business practice. Many feature in the wonderfully aware and successful designers and thinkers of this series.

Cybernetics offers a distinct “go” — techniques — to address local and global challenges of the 21st century.