The quest for the ecological sustainability of planet earth could be much more successful than is currently the case. The purpose of my presentation is to corroborate this claim and to propose a structure by which a sustainable future can be achieved. The issue of sustainability has been addressed in different contexts – local, regional and worldwide. I maintain that these efforts can only be effective, if actors at multiple structural levels strive simultaneously and cooperate for materializing the vision of a sustainable world. The distribution of tasks along these organizational strata is a nontrivial issue. To master it, a recursive structure based on the Viable System Model is presented. This is an organizational architecture for synergy,
by which the efforts for sustainability can be organized in a much more powerful way than by conventional approaches. The proposed structural framework enables agents at each level – from individual to global – to generate repertory of behavior (in cybernetic terms – variety”), in balance with the complexity they face. This presentation should also help decision-makers understand that pertinent frameworks are needed to enable actors at each level, in their quest for a sustainable world.


Markus Schwaninger

Interdisciplinary Studies of Synergy e-session


Photos by : David Rytell