International Workshop:
Open Systems Thinking

At the crossroads of a complex world

May 15-17, 2013 :: Sierra Pambley :: León :: Spain 

The foreseen activities for this international gathering include an open course for the public (in Sierra Pambley), a training course for academics (in the Language Center of León University), and a Webinar broadcasted by OCS Video Channel. All these activities are conceived as extended events which can be followed through the virtual rooms of UNED. It constitutes a first milestone in the development of an international academic programme coordinated by University of León for the promotion of interdisciplinary studies. The activity is a result of the collaboration among several European universities (Vienna University of Technology, Munich University of Applied Sciences, UNED, Mälardalen University –Sweden-, University of the Aegean –Greece) and other scientific institutions (BITrum, Bertalanffy Center for the Study of System Science, Cybersociety Observatory and MyUniversity project).

Coordination: J.M. Díaz-Nafría (ULE, BITrum)


Interdisciplinarity in education and science represents a fundamental path for facing global challenges, as recognised by several international education and scientific policies –substantiated in important funding policies. This approach is rooted in the fact that the complexity of the problems concerning our modus vivendi –regarding its biospheric, geo-politic, intercultural and socio-economic dimensions– grows in higher degree than the capacity to cope with problems by science articulated through the traditional schema of subdivided specialities. Hence, the possibility to master the complexity of our problems will rely on the capacity to jump over the barriers between specialities and to success in the effective collaboration among them. Nevertheless, despite efforts is repeatedly observed the insufficient advance in the cooperation between scientific disciplines.

There is however science and technical methods, widely and successfully used for decades (for instance, cybernetics), used to jump over the borders of traditional disciplines in order to understand and steer systems of high complexity, as ecosystems, robots, socio-economic dynamics… In this workshop, a general outlook on methodologies for the combination of scientific and technical domains will be shown, aiming to range the challenges of the scientific organisation and the possibilities of a systematic and open approach to interdisciplinarity. It belongs to a coordinated effort among several European scientific and higher education institutions for the PRomotion of Interdisciplinary Methodologies in Education and Research (PRIMER) which integrates systems science, open innovation and design science. Through this “open system thinking” several scientific and educational projects are tackled dealing with different theoretical and practical complex problems. By hosting the event at the Sierra Pambley Foundation, who has been involved for 125 years in a movement devoted to the integral education through the articulation of culture and sciences, the venue in itself offers a living example of systematic facing complexity.

Access to Video-Recordings and Documentation

  • The activities were simultaneously held online through an UNED virtual room.
  • The lectures were recorded and can now be reproduced in a page combining videos and presentation, or in this reproduction list (if you press the bar tagged by  "reproduction list...", the video index unfolds and you can select the one you may be interested in)
  • The recordings of the lectures and presentations done within the training course are available at its corresponding page.
  • An archive offers access to texts in which the authors develop the approaches developed within the workshop as well as complementary material for the understanding of the matter of the course.
  • The Spanish pages offer additional contents
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