World Complexity Science Academy

11th WCSA Conference – Brussels




BRUSSELLS SEPTEMBER 10th to 15th, 2023



As the current President of the World Complexity Science Academy (WCSA), a European-based policy-modeling think-tank headquartered in Bologna, I am delighted to launch the “2023 WCSA General Call for Papers and Panels” for our 11th Worldwide Conference in Brussels. The conference will take place hybrid, from September 10th to 15th. The conference is hereby titled:

The Complexity of Sustainability


Co-chairmen of the conference

  • Rudy Aernoudt, Prof UGent
  • Eric Van den Broele, R&D director Graydon

The Board of Honor Members

  • Marcelo Amaral, Fluminense Federal University, Rio de Janeiro
  • Adele Bianco, University Gabriele d’Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara
  • Piero Dominici, University of Perugia and World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS)
  • Edit Fabó, Institute of Hungarian Research, Budapest
  • Emilia Ferone, University Gabriele d’Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara
  • André Folloni, Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Curitiba
  • Roberta Iannone, University La Sapienza, Rome
  • Garry Jacobs, President of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS)
  • Louis Klein, European School of Governance (EUSG), Berlin
  • Laura Leonardi, University of Firenze
  • Loet Leydesdorff, University of Amsterdam
  • Sergio Marotta, Suor Orsola Benincasa University, Naples
  • Edgar Morin, 6th WCSA MEDALIST
  • Victor Neumann, University of Timisoara
  • Vincenzo Omaggio, Suor Orsola Benincasa University, Naples
  • Riccardo Palumbo, University Gabriele d’Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara
  • Janani Ramanathan, The Mother’s Service Society Trustee, World Academy of Art and Science
  • Massimiliano Ruzzeddu, Niccolò Cusano University, Rome
  • Alfredo L. Spilzinger, President of SFAI, Buenos Aires
  • Liborio Stuppia, University Gabriele d’Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara
  • Marco A. C. Villatore, Federal Universities of Paraná & Santa Catarina, Curitiba & Florianópolis


CONFERENCE MANAGEMENT CHAIR: Melissa Sessa – Sapienza University of Rome

  • Giovana Camila Portolese, Special Secretariat of the Federal Revenue of Brazil, Curitiba,
  • Emilia Ferone, University Gabriele d’Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara, Budget analyst and Manager, CFO and Treasurer
  • Sara Petroccia, University of Cassino, Member
  • Vera Kopsaj, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Member
  • Romina Gurashi, Sapienza University of Rome
  • Ilaria Iannuzzi, Sapienza University of Rome


Sustainable in a broad sense has to do with ‘environment’ but also with ‘continuity of companies’, social interpretation, democratic and liberal commitment, social behavior, thus a clear conceptual and semantic univocity is strategic to effectively and multidimensionally categorize and measure sustainability and how it is implemented in the financial and enterprise world. For instance, the complex story of economics is to turn a profit-driven economy towards a value-driven one where unicorns will be replaced by zebras. The link between corporate social responsibility and profitability, efficiency, and leverage, etc. will be discussed. From a geopolitical and strategic scenario analysis, the turbulent emerging of a convergent world order witnesses that the trend towards a cosmopolitan win-win globalization requires and implies a multipolar complexity which cannot be oversimplified through old, obsolete, bipolar categories such as the Cold-War ones. Redesigning citizenship towards cosmopolitanism, globalization, speed, entrepreneurial spirit and empowerment of social networking and institutional lobbying worldwide is pivotal to create viable research-based policies in this case, hyper-citizenship policies for global players are an evolutionary chance for our turbulent and convergent times in which memetic horizontal global cosmopolitan exchanges are much more win – win than old fashion vertical, cultural transmission models.

COMPLEX IS EASY: Presidential Speech (full text  below)

COMPLEX IS EASY: Systemic Principles of Strategic Sustainable Global Governance Design.

Let’s draw a systemic distinction (Spencer Brown) between active ecologism and sustainable governance strategies. The former is an ideological, perception-opinion based mindset inspired by very trivial common-sense beliefs such as scarcity, rationing, stigmatization and prosecution of the “infector” (the polluter in this case) and it might lead to the green dictatorship of those who are in power to decide what is ecological or not according to the values, political, ideas, opinions, and beliefs. The latter is a technological (in M. Foucault’s meaning) strategic governance policy designed based on knowledge and science intensive, epistemology, methodology and data construction in which subjective perceptions/ beliefs / opinions/attitudes of the observer cannot be eliminated nevertheless they can be downsized as much as possible as in every knowledge and science based systemic process (Ardigò). Ecology is based on subjective values shaped as ethics or morality which we know well from Luhmann are extreme and reductionist attempt to find simple a wrong solution to complex challenges. The clarification of a multidimensional concept of sustainability starting from UN Agenda and the shaping of multidimensional sustainable systemic principles is the key contribution of this panel already providing a first systemic principle set. A value and a principle are two very different items not to be confused or mixed up. A value is based on mutual consent and nothing else. A sentimental couple can work if based as exclusive faithful relationship and if it is sexually open to variety. It can work both ways with no problems if there is consent in the couple. Problems begin when there is no consent between the two in the couple. A principle is entropy for example or the fact that any machine needs some fuel to work. Different machines can have different kinds of fuel but even the most mechanical machine needs the joule produced by the physical effort of a bike rider for example. No way to find a political consent with the machine. To work effectively and to be functional, these principles need to coevolve complexity and ease in their direct proportion.

The more complex, the easiest as shown in the four cases below. The global and epochal challenges facing the entire human species require citizens to be more focused on isotropic, functional principles than on subjective values which also means:

1. a large amount of qualitatively reliable and valid knowledge,

2. a sharp awareness of oneself in the world,

3. a remarkable speed in discerning what is relevant and what is insignificant on a knowledge and science intensive base,

4. a full ability to formulate clearly, conceptually, and terminologically unambiguous challenges, problems (problem setting) identifying the easiest solutions and complex (problem solving).

This means discerning what is easy and complex from what is complicated and simple. Well, one does not have to be a world-renowned scientist to know that human rationality is limited but this does not mean giving in to the stupidity of perceptions, emotionalism and of cognitive saving that seeks the simplest and least efficient solution just because it is simple. The fact that human and/or automatic pilots can make mistakes or be faulty – it happens and aircraft accidents unfortunately they do exist-it is still not a good reason to put a chimpanzee in charge of the plane blindfolded and drunk just because the majority finds it nice and funny. That’s why politics, whatever the problem is, it is not the solution and has no solutions. So let us see, in a nutshell, the four characteristics required for global citizens to be up to the challenges of global governance in our time.

Principle 1. Discern knowledge from what is not. What is not knowledge?

An opinion, a feeling, a perception, an emotion, a value judgment (moral or ethical), a belief (political, denominational, etc.), a popular proverb, an attitude, a behavior automatic i.e., now so habitual that it no longer makes sense. None of this is knowledge. Knowledge to be such emerges from transparent procedures, unambiguous terminological-conceptual (prerequisite for any classification and measurement) and has a strategic, applicative and high generalizability, if not universal in a synchronic, horizontal and global scenario. The world changes and knowledge through the years ages until it inevitably arrives at the obsolescence replaced by new knowledge built through transparent procedures, unambiguousness terminological- conceptual and has a strategic, applicative, and high generalizability value, if not even universal. The speed of knowledge upgrade within the above modes becomes strategic and decisive.

Principle 2. A sharp awareness of self in the world (Ervin Laszlo).

Each of us lives four lives simultaneously, whether we are aware of it or not:

A) A psycho-social life (that of our inner selves and our most important affective and symbolic relationships),

B) A life on a micro scale (our neighborhood, our work context, neighborhood or at any rate the places like a restaurant, a coffee shop, a bookstore, a park, etc. in which we feel basically at home or at least are accustomed to and all these places are neither said nor need to be in the same place, e.g., in the same city).

C) A life on a meso-scale (for example, when you go to vote in national general elections or when you read the data on the unemployment in one’s own country or when trying to find out whether one’s bank is sound compared to what results from the assessments of the national central bank) and finally, but equally and perhaps even more important.

D) A life on a macro scale (global financial markets and technologies, WTO, WIPO; UN, ILO, WHO, OECD, changing global geopolitical scenario, ecological issues, energy, health, monetary, scientific-technological revolutions such as artificial intelligence etc.) all seemingly out of the control of the high three lives-and in fact the control is rather limited by those three to this fourth but it has a power of impact on the other three that does not allow them to pretend that the world is circumscribable to a horizon, at most meso, if not exclusively psycho-social and micro. Citizens who are aware of all four of their lives and are not fleeing in search of complicated solutions and simple (two of the most common: looking for justifications in history-the dustbin of obsolescence, if not in addition to justifications, even solutions in the past for the future nonsense, seek the culprit, creating the monster or the untorn, the paranoia of an enemy, almost always fictitious) are and will be the protagonists of our time and years to come. The others will become herds to be managed emotionally placed in the enclosures built for them by politicians, gurus and ignorant acrobats who want to be the leading ox in a world of oxen and therefore must create the prospective illusion that the whole world to be inhabited exclusively by and to the size of oxen.

Principle 3. A remarkable speed of discernment between what is relevant and what is insignificant.

First by distinguishing between what is knowledge and what is other, noise. Secondly

observing every social fate through all four of our lives. Third, the quick ability to Complex and easy problem setting and problem solving. Complex is easy, as we will see in the following.

Principle 4. Complex is easy in problem setting and problem solving.

I field here two pairs of concepts: complexity/complication and ease/simplicity. I will define but rather illustrate from four examples:

Example A) an individual finds himself feet in the middle of the desert, without food, water nor technologies. The sun beats violently, and the temperature exceeds fifty degrees Celsius.

Example B) A fisherman has a small house on the beach, a small boat with nets for fishing, and at the behind his house is a small village with a bank hospital, post office, a bar, a supermarket and

little more but there he has “everything he needs.”

Example C): The traffic jam. None of those who take the car have as their intention or motivation to create a traffic jam, however many reasons -more or less rational- why you take the automobile, creating u traffic jam is not one of them. Neither does the Department of Transportation, the mayor and the related technical committees designed the road system in order to create traffic jams and on, on, through our four lives, neither the central state government nor the European Union with its policies of ecological transition nor has the UN with its seventeen sustainability goals premeditated traffic jam, which moreover is a detriment both in ecological terms and in terms of sustainability tout court e.g. Because it increases inefficiency in time use, as well as pollution. Yet traffic jams are form and they are not that exotic.

Example D): a metropolitan brunch. Imagine you are on a main street in a metropolis. It is lunchtime and you are hungry. in addition to the eat at home option (and you have in a couple of blocks two- three large supermarkets open 24/7 for whose problems in shopping there are none), you have under your house within 800m 40 premises between cafes, restaurants, pizzerias, taverns, bistros, kebabs, piadineries, etc. You have half an hour to Have lunch and return to work where an important meeting awaits you.

You do not feel like cooking, and you eat out that day. You have to choose; indeed, you are spoiled for choice. choice, literally. And start selecting by excluding:

(i) those whose cooking you don’t like.

(ii) those that make a bad impression on you in terms of hygiene, courtesy, service, customer care

(iii) those who are courteous and clean but slow because you fear you will not make it in time for your business meeting

(iv) those that are too expensive

(v) those too cheap, who knows what junk they might foist on customers!

(vi) those who maybe for a gallant dinner or an official and important business appointment yes, but to eat alone on the fly is not worth it. And so on. You do this in at most a couple of minutes – but usually thirty will be enough seconds-and for that day choose X venue.

Principle 5. Eliminate false solutions complicated and simple.

Example A to example D are respectively in order from the most complicated and simple to the most complex and easy (in ‘example A the individual’s margin of choice in the desert is there but it is very small, almost nil), in example B, the fisherman has more freedom of choice than the individual in the desert the fisherman, however, has his whole life in, say, three kilometers. All it takes is a tidal wave from the sea that his whole existence and his world come to an end.

The traffic jam in Example C shows a situation where the choice spaces have increased, the variety of pure motivations and lifestyles and thus also the complexity but the level of management and organization of such freedom and variety is not yet up to the mark: it is still too complicated and simple to handle a complex road system. Finally, the metropolitan brunch in Example D shows an efficient scenario of easy management and complex. Thus, example A is by far the most complicated and simple case, example D the most complex and easy. If you lose your job, it could be absolute drama in a total scarcity scenario like A and on the other hand, no big deal in Scenario D, whereby promptly and digitally sending your well-done cv done within a very few days you may find an equivalent, if not better, job.

That is why governance choices based on the logic of scarcity, rationing of slowness (the three main characteristics of complicated and simple situations) are choices always linked either to completely incompetent policymakers or completely in bad faith driven by the illusion that they can dominate by being “the cocks on the dung” to use a colorful and very clear Neapolitan expression.

Just as human rationality goes as far as it can, and that is no reason to indulge in irrationalistic drifts such as the chimpanzee -pilot mentioned above, similarly the research scientific and recruitment of its white collars is also inevitably affected by contextual variables extra scientific (political, denominational, amoral familism, localistic tribalism, etc.) since even science-or rather one’s human apparatus-is socially conditioned (synonymous with greater complication and greater, inefficient, simplicity) e.g., from forms of organizational tribalism rather primitive and it would be naive not to take this into account. Complicated and simple organizational models yet they fail to handle complex and easy threats and opportunities except in a paradoxical and self-destructive: whether it is a public university, a private research center, or any agency of even applied research, tribal mechanisms of complication can also work in allocating the resource in the desired way (“bad currency drives out good currency” say economists wisely), but this is all the more possible the more insignificant at the level of the impact a discipline. If a researcher in Byzantine history is hired tribally, the harm is there but it is relative, but if a construction engineering researcher incapable of distinguish a load-bearing wall from a can of tuna fish? Or a heart surgeon who on a scientific basis would have been fine, at most, to do cosmetic pedicures? That is why rationality and science are not absolute nor perfect, and a fortiori their evolution and governance require thought strategic particularly attentive to complex and easy problem setting and problem solving that is the viable form of intelligence on our planet.

Principle 6. If it is not strategic, it is not practical (some examples).

I like to hypothesize at least two strands of research on which the political and social sciences of complexity could join forces in an interdisciplinary way. At least two strands, without any claim to exhaustiveness on my part, indeed I applaud any broader synergy, precisely because I support easy and complex strategic thinking.

1. “Justice is what the judge ate for breakfast” goes the motto of Jerome Frank one of the leading exponents of the so-called ” Legal Realism ” motto that has had its validation empirical thanks to famous psychological research by Shail Danziger of the Ben Gurion Univ. that has developed a correlation between sentencing severity and judges’ glycemic rate with results embarrassing for the judges. Ruthless just before lunch, very lenient as soon as lunch was over. So how can such a function be taken seriously? Chinese AI to date has come to an Artificial criminal judge can handle 8 crimes, a little small but for example the circa 735 articles of the Italian penal code are perhaps a bit too many with classifications and axiomatizations of little consistency.

Conceptually even within the same crime (vehicular homicide/femicide etc. as if there exists the possibility of being ” differently corpse”) and this nourishes the subjectivity of the judge and increases its discretion if not arbitrariness. Synergistic research between Neuroscience (in which I obviously include Psychology, a major player), Behavioral Sciences, Physics, and Computer Science-Robotics could be aimed on the one hand at empowering the artificial judge so that from 8,say, he can assess 30 crimes on the other to rationalize the criminal code, summarizing it into, say, 60 crimes/articles well conceptualized formalized and unambiguous, gradually continuing along this path the skills of the judge artificial and a much more streamlined and concise criminal code will converge on X number of offenses that expresses both the evolutionary power of AI, and the highest synthetic conceptualization of the penal code. Of course, it will be an imperfect, limited rationality, etc. but it will still be more valid and valid of the glycemic humor of the human judge.

2. There is an app from the European Commission called Citizen and that to date, thinking in terms of the complex and easy, it is mainly a complicated and simple showcase. A search could evolve it from current “showcase” of what is happening in the EU to a true multiservice digital center through which the European citizen wherever he is can apply for services, initiate procedures, vote for elections European policies etc. without the need for the mediation of cumbersome intermediate levels including colleges territorial elections. Who knows whether these two strands of research may contribute, albeit drops in the ocean, to enhance our collective, complex, and easy species intelligence.

Principle 7. Algorithmic complexity resolves the old holism/reductionism antinomy.

In essence, an interdisciplinary approach to decisive challenges of global impact is possible within a strategic management of algorithmic complexity that serves as a triple helix between technological platforms of the hard sciences, content providing of the Humanities, and evolutionary and complex social systems (SSECs) of global governance. Algorithmic complexity that managed by SSECs averts both the vacuous prolixity made up of semantic noise mistaken for lexical richness of the Humanities and the reductionism so dear to the hard sciences that forgetting at times that algorithmic complexity is the formalization and formulation of a sequence in its most synthetic of viable ways make it a little too simple and complicated and to describe a dairy production process summarize ” cows make cheese “.

Principle 8. The self-referentiality of complex systems and the selection of environmental noise.

Complex social systems are relatively few in number and each specified by its own binary code (with its own binary schematism and related symbolic generalization) and its own program. I synthesis social systems can even be listed in alphabetical order: Art, Law, Economics, Politics, Religion Science. It is law for example that can generate law, states are temporary forms that the legal system makes use of disposable: When there was the USSR the legal system used (also) the USSR form to produce or reproduce law having disappeared the USSR other forms were used by law to reproduce itself e.g., Russian Confederation. The same is true with Yugoslavia, Serbia, Croatia or Rhodesia and Zimbabwe with Czechoslovakia today Czech Republic and Slovak Republic etc. One only must look at a world map of 1790, 1820, 1850, 1870, 1920, 1950, 1990 and today to understand the changing forms of the legal system. Brazil itself, as well as Belgium, Germany and Italy are relatively recent inventions and we do not know how durable. Those who are at least 40 years old today have seen the USSR, Yugoslavia, Rhodesia, etc. disappear. Belgium is a form that has existed since about 1830 when it separated from the Netherlands, Italy since 1861 (since 1870, if we include the annexation of Rome),Germany since 1871, Brazil, as you know better than I do, has existed since August 29, 1825 which however meant signing a treaty of reparation to Portugal and of ” commission” to the United Kingdom for diplomatic mediation thus an increase of interconnection between forms, not a recognition of systemic self-referentiality.

Principle 9. Forms (such as the state) and Media (such as money) are devoid of self-reference, so they are not systems.

The example of the state form within the legal system we have seen above, and I will not elaborate further. Nor are media systems and money is an example of that. A medium in this sense is at most the language spoken by the system in the case of economics the language is that of the counted value of anything, money is the symbolic medium that formalizes the communication of the economic system, it is not the economic system. Suppose a formula, an equation, a+b+c/3X= c(6x-a). We are not interested in developing it since it is not a seminar of mathematics. We are interested, rather, in introducing a distinction: the formula /equation is a form, while letters, numbers and symbols that compose it (a, b, c, X, 3, 6, = etc.) are average. Neither form nor average are systems, the reference system here is science but no one would claim that a formula is the science system.


Complexity and peace in a sustainable world

Sustainable in a broad sense has to do with ‘environment’ but also with ‘continuity of companies’, social interpretation, democratic commitment, social behavior, but the real question beyond semantics is how to measure sustainability and how it is implemented in the financial and enterprise world.


Sessions can be PANELS (SP) or WORKSHOPS (SW)

  • S1. SP1: “Complexity and peace in a sustainable world (plenary)”
  • S2. SW1: “Measuring sustainability
  • S3. SW2: “Measuring complexity
  • S4. SP2: “How sustainability correlates with complexity
  • S5. SP3: “Towards a value-driven economic society

The complex story of economics is to turn a profit-driven economy towards a value-driven one where unicorns will be replaced by zebras. The link between corporate social responsibility and profitability, efficiency, and leverage, etc. will be discussed.

  • S6. SP4: “Value-driven enterprises
  • S7. SW3: “Sustainability versus profitability
  • S8. SW4: “What is a value-driven society?
  • S9. SP5: “Sustainability and smartness: a relationship that still deserves to be debated 
  • S10. SP6: “Hypercitizenship & scenario-thinking

Topic: From a geopolitical and strategic scenario analysis, the turbulent emerging of a convergent world order witnesses that the trend towards a cosmopolitan win- win globalization requires and implies a multipolar complexity which cannot be oversimplified through old, obsolete, bipolar categories such as the Cold War ones. Redesigning citizenship towards cosmopolitanism, globalization, speed, entrepreneurial spirit and empowerment of social networking and institutional lobbying worldwide is pivotal to create viable research-based policies in this case, hypercitizenship policies for global players are an evolutionary chance for our turbulent and convergent times in which memetic horizontal global cosmopolitan exchanges are much more win – win than old fashion vertical, cultural transmission models.

  • S11. SW5: “Hypercitizenship: A European identity?
  • S12. SW6: “Europe’s need for a cultural policy
  • S13. SP7: “The emergence of a new world order

– Asia rising in the global hierarchy: features, issues and perspectives

The rise of Asia heavily led by China, India, Russia and other regional powers is testing the established global liberal order. These countries have become a source of enormous change in recent decades and their integration process has led to a progressive change in the international balance of power, with profound implications for themselves, for the US-UK-EU system of alliance and for the entire world.

The panel aims to investigate the main manifestations and impacts of these transformations as well as to analyze the different political and economic perspectives of the countries involved in the changes of global-regional balances of power. Political, historical, geographical, social, and economic studies are welcome.

  • S14. SW7: “Brussels between local and global: A Visual Sociological Analysis and Design
  • S15. SP8: “Human security and peace
  • S16. SP9: “Historical Sociology and the Imagination of the future
  • S17. SP10: “Digital Taxation
  • S18. SP11: “Hypercitizenship Beyond Passport Apartheid
  • S19. SP12: “Post-pandemic and post war globalization world order at the second beginning of the 21st century
  • S20. SP13: “Similarity and difference. The relationship between the part and the whole
  • S21. SW8: “Hyperconsulting”
  • S22. SP14: The Visual Construction of Observation in Political and Social Science Knowledge: The Case of Sustainable Areas”

The visual knowledge tradition in political sciences was strongly focused on phenomenological / symbolic interactionist / grounded theory approaches featuring visual knowledge within a rather inductive and often naive framework which did not facilitate the epistemological and methodological legitimation of visual knowledge among the political and social sciences. The aim an scope of this special issue is to revise and upgrade the epistemological and methodological framework of visual knowledge within the political and social sciences by connective the constructivist complex social system approach and visual knowledge. As a matter of fact, the constructivist complex system approach- from Heinz von Foerster to Ernst von Glasersfeld, from Niklas Luhmann to, more recently, Elena Esposito- was and is strongly focused on the construction of the operation of observation.

The concept of horizon in Luhmann, for example, is already very clear about the meaning of observation and of what can(not) be observed. Key tools of Visual Social Science Research just like the shooting script, the re-photography process and the different kinds of visual essays can be reconsidered and redesigned as constructivist systemic observations of the society by linking the constructivist systemic pillars quoted above with the most important contributions to visual social science (Jon Wagner John Rieger, John Grady, Charles S. Suchar, Luc Pauwels and Richard Chalfen among the most important ones). This topic leads to the strategic, epistemological, and heuristic shaping of concepts and data, specifically visual ones which can be modeled abductively as Umberto Eco already wrote in the 1970s.

A universal language does not exist (yet?) nevertheless, visual, and mathematical logics are the two key access towards a “as universal as possible” language which is the key challenge of scientific knowledge to provide the highest generalization level as possible and this is a matter of epistemology and logics of scientific knowledge construction not just a matter of quantitative vs qualitative methods. At the epistemological level qualitative and quantitative converge.

This panel welcomes for consideration abstracts and papers concerning this starting and not mandatory list:

  • Epistemology and conceptual construction of observation
  • Methodology and research design
  • Sociological Visual Techniques
  • Fieldwork Shooting Scripts
  • Visual Essays
  • Theory of Visual Knowledge in Political an Social Sciences
  • Digitalization, Connectivity and Visual Knowledge
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Epistemological and Methodological Convergence
  • Data Construction and Visualization
  • Imaging in unified epistemology between Hard and Political Social Sciences
  • How to construct the visual conceptualization of sustainability (which is the key case of this panel)

The coherence of the submitted abstract /paper with the panel general topic is mandatory, instead.

  • S23. SW8: Constructing the Observation of The Hypercity as A Sustainability Benchmark”

A working sustainable policy is based on a global, conceptual and “as universal as possible” definition of sustainability providing a general benchmark to be slightly adapted locally (compliances). Local definitions of sustainability would merely make this kind of policy implode and self-destroy. This panel welcomes epistemological, theoretical, methodological, technical, fieldwork and applied contributions starting from the HYPERCITY SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGES PROJECT (link) to decline it towards conceptual and policy modeling of sustainability.

A non-mandatory photomap – shooting script is provided below for those who wish to submit a visual research contribution starting from THE HYPERCITY SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGES PROJECT (with its 38 visual item check list) (link) :

The 38 Photo – item check list for the HYPERCITY general project

1) crowded metro/tram/bus stops.

2) “habitable” balconies and terraces.

3) road signs, such as street names.

4) in general store signs and restaurants/cafeterias in particular

5) large buildings, even skyscrapers, with brands of global multinational corporations

6) large, medium, or small stores brands of huge, continental chains if not even global

7) newsstands, small workshops

8) Digital displays with financial information accessible anywhere and in real time

9) billboards of commercial advertising, social advertising, and political communication

10) Banquets for petitions, processions, and high forms of political street movementism

11) screens of cell phones with their downloaded apps.

12) posters of in-person, online, or hybrid events dealing with issues at the intersection of science and politics: ecology, energy, assisted reproduction, euthanasia, etc.

13)) golf, social, tennis & more clubs

14) textures

15) metaphors and further rhetoric figures

16) universities, research centers & more

17) street photography of places particularly of movida, art galleries, tables of cafes and restaurants, cinemas, theaters etc.

18) kindergarten spaces in stores, offices, etc.

19) photos of public gardens and parks with human presence

20) crosswalks at points of higher population density or commercial movement.

21) images of technologies in urban context

22) from cars to cell phones, from electric car charging stations to gas stations etc.

23) nerdy lifestyle e.g., in a coffee shop full of young people each at a small table with their laptops

24) pictures of public transportation from both outside and inside

25) pictures of riders from Amazon, Glovo etc. in action

26) any image that can metaphorize the instantaneousness or at least the immediacy of the demand/supply intersection (instantaneousness of this intersection= zero time of desire)

27) images of multiple participants in Zoom & related events.

28) Borderless wide horizon landscapes and scenarios

29) symbols of worldwide high global impact organizations

30) Street photography of social stratification

31) insider outsider dynamics visualized

32) high speed technology symbols

33) celebrating innovation images

34) metaphors and further rhetorical figures about mapping, variety, abundance & more

35) teambuilding and win-win situation images

36) glittering, shining and fashionable global symbols

37) universal or global platforms of any kind (currencies, payment methods, fintech symbols, genome, language learning tools, mathematic formulas, computer language, medical imaging, data visualization etc.)

38) visualizing any shape of intangible added value

  • S24.  SP15:  DATA INSPIRED SCENARIO. From “How Data Can Help Humanity” to “How Humanity Can Help Data”

The macro-area refers to the complexity of business innovation, mainly focusing on the importance of the SCENARIO DEFINITION.

The goal is to understand the role and the opportunities of the human in an increasingly automated context.


  • AI, Big Data, Dystopian Futures
  • Balance between person and data
  • What is a scenario? What means scenario building? Why is that useful?
  • Which is the state of the art about Big Data and the related jobs?
  • Awareness about the power of Data
  • Human manage/handle/interpret Data
  • How to handle AI?
  • Only data driven vs only human driven is like only engineers vs only designer work together
  • Can we figure out a dystopian scenario fully Data Driven?
  • And one fully Human Defined?

Our aim is to find the correct balance between the potential expressed by technology and the centrality of human brains.

  • S25. SP17: DATA INSPIRED SCENARIO. “Human and business: ethical business behavior in complex times”

As a matter of fact, in our times “cash is king”.

That seems to give a high priority to business as first engine to generate cash. But how much “cash” does humanity need and how can we define the difference between “cash” and “profit”?

What is the real meaning of “ethic” when we talk about business and when we talk about non-profit organization nor Benefit organization? Is there a universal code we can try to imagine and share to get a balance above different cultures and societies, above different ways of doing business, above different ways to produce money?

The necessity is to tackle practical actions and business cases that can be defined as prototype of a new kind of reflection, based on practical behaviors and made in a defined social and economic context, trying to match all the hints that can be shared to improve the wellness both of business and humanity.

  • S26. SP18: “From world literature to global literature – a unified, or a divided model?”

The term “world literature” has been in use since Goethe defined Weltliteratur as the collection of literary works (from Europe and outside Europe) which are read, translated and interpreted by the Europeans. This has established the Eurocentric model on which the discourse and methodology of world literature studies have worked until the end of the twentieth century. When Ernst Robert Curtius wrote European Literature in the Latin Middle Ages, in 1948, the premise was to regard European literature as a whole, a single space, glued together by Latin culture and the Christian spirit, a model for all “universalistic” works, even from “national” literatures. This approach, as Franco Moretti argues in his Distant Reading (2013), is based on the classical binary logic, being an “either-or argument”, in which “Europe is an organic whole or is nothing at all” (p. 5). Another feature characterizing the methodology of world literature has been its close attention to and high regard of the canon. In other words, world literature has been defined as an elitist, exclusivistic set of masterpieces, products of high culture. Critic Harold Bloom offers the most substantial example of what and who the “Western Canon”, explained in the subtitle as “The Books and School of the Ages”, consists of. Praised as a titanic effort to prove why “some” writers have triumphed over “others” with aesthetic arguments, Bloom’s canon is also rendered vulnerable by its narrow scope – most authors are English-speaking, very few are female, the only non-Europeans (except the Americans) are authors who write in a European language (Spanish), etc. Moretti argues that this closely-knit set, or select club, has made comparative literature, approached in the “universalistic” vein, take roots due to the “conceptual cogency that a small set of texts allows for” (2013:2). Against these models, which rely on a horizontal level, a geographical separation (the Eurocentric model) or on a vertical level, an aesthetic selection (of masterpieces with “universalistic” relevance and impact) and whose main methodology is close reading, Moretti suggests the counter-model of distant reading, focusing not on the set of works, but on the connections among them, their circulation and reception. Rather than a traditional method of analysis, distant reading looks at large-scale patterns. However, even this approach has been criticized by theorists who propose a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to reading literary texts, to facilitate a view and a viable explanation of models that work outside the area of humanities (Ted Underwood, in Gold and Klein 2016).In recent years, responding to these drawbacks of more traditional literary theory and criticism, as well as to geopolitical and economic realities outside literature (but nevertheless contained and reflected in it), a new term has gained more momentum, global literature. Publishers and universities proposing global curricula define it as “literature that incorporates the shared values and beliefs of cultures” ( While, under the influence of nineteenth-century theories and patterns, literature production is often still regarded in terms of the nation, in the twenty-first century, as a result of the transformations engendered by globalization, literature also starts to respond to the “particularly pressing and dramatic” transformations of this age (Black, 2009). According to Yale scholar Shameem Black, larger and larger groups are aware and critical of past and present realities, considering their mirroring and expression in an equally critical (and also ethical) literature as a must. Secondly, global literature is seen as incorporating colonial and postcolonial texts, which reflect – and the study of which encourages the observation of – the largest variety of cultural encounters, from oppression and discrimination, through conflict and resistance, to migration and counter-colonization. Thirdly – and more broadly – “global” is understood as transnational, a discourse and a method of analysis which regards very diverse cultures in a network, as interconnected marks of societies which are dynamic agents of, as well as subjects to change. By referring to a fictional corpus of works in English from the nineteenth century, the postwar years and the contemporary period, the presentation aims to look at the way in which authors in these periods have populated the literary space with critical reflections on the most pressing social and cultural issues of their age. At the same time, it will argue that these very same issues are faced by the post- or ex-colonial societies and that global literature should be read and taught as a creative response to our world’s crises, whether political or moral, due to its capacity to respond to events more sensitively and more efficiently than other discourses.

  • S27.SP18: “Appropriate Methods for Dealing with the Complexity of Sustainability, Cooperation & Networks”

We would like to use this panel to inquire as to the topics of sustainabilitycooperation and networks. In particular, we are convinced that most social action takes place in environments constrained by the embedding of agents in particular network structures. These can involve culture, familial ties, or formal or informal organizational or inter-organizational relations such as inter-locking boards, intermarriages, etc. The panel participants would be concerned with interpreting what effect changing levels of complexity (e.g., group vs. organizational interactions) has on the respective epistemological and methodological perspective required to suitably analyze such network structures.

Ultimately, the panelists will conclude that the complexity entailed by the interaction of  sustainabilitycooperation andnetworks requires relational approaches. Therefore, especially in economics, there is a need to overcome the reductionism and methodological individualism of the standard neoclassical approach, with its focus on statistics and equilibrium. Sustainability necessarily involves situations out of equilibrium, in fact concerns many fundamental transformations. Channeling these requires a large degree of cooperation between not only individual stakeholders like citizens, but also between various networks, which structure relationships.

  • S28.SP19 “The new frontiers of un-sustainability”

Every human activity, from the simplest to the most complex, generates processed and at the same time waste. In this sense, output should be understood both as the result of an accomplished elaboration, the achieved result of a project and the outcome of processing, and as substances and materials that could not be used, that is, included in the finished product. 

The characteristic feature is that the more a society has evolved, the greater, in quality and quantity, are the wastes produced and complex their management and disposal. Norbert Elias explained why civilized societies hide the presence of activities and products considered “not very presentable in society.” Recently, however, gradually gaining awareness of the impact of waste on ecological balances and thus on the lives of all of us is the talk of waste management.

This often too ignored “law of nature” is not escaped even by the new technologies and processes of sustainable and smart transition, often seen as the solution. 

This panel is dedicated to the trend in contemporary society and in our development model to expand the areas of waste generation and storage. New technologies-often seen as solving in terms of reducing pollution-related problems, but also considered as a sustainable solution for our future-also produce waste (e-waste) in turn or assume irrational and unsustainable use of raw materials and components needed to make them. Again: technological development and its impact beyond the earth, the expansion of new technologies into the spatial dimension, result in the production of new types of waste, a phenomenon that is on the rise and poses growing dangers. 

Colleagues are invited to propose contributions – max 300 -500 words – dealing with the “dark side” of new technologies, the possibilities of managing the waste they too produce, both in terms of recycling and alternative modes of production and consumption. 

Some aspects that fit into this theme

–      Planned obsolescence of devices

–      Waste management

–      Working conditions in the extraction of useful raw materials for technological devices

–      The issue of rare earths

–      Outer space and the exploitation of its raw materials



Giliberto Capano, University of Bologna (CV)

Victor Neumann, University of Timisoara



Prof. Dr. Alfredo L. Spilzinger is the recipient of the 2023 7th Edition WCSA Medal for the Distinguished and Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award.



A 4 BOOK EVENT debating key challenges and opportunities of our times

To nominate a published book to be discussed please send your proposal to



Alexander Laszlo, President of the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science, Vienna, & Director of Research at the Laszlo Institute of New Paradigm Research, WCSA Presidential Delegate Enrique Caceres-Nieto, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, WCSA Medalist for Systemic Research (3rd edition) Lucio d’Alessandro, Rector of the University Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples Paolo de Nardis, University La Sapienza, Rome, WCSA Medalist (4th edition) Abram de Swaan, Distinguished Professor, University of Amsterdam, WCSA Medalist (4th edition) Klaus Krippendorff, University of Pennsylvania, WCSA Medalist (2nd edition) Ervin Laszlo, Club of Budapest, WCSA Medalist (1st edition) Loet Leydesdorff, University of Amsterdam Felix Ortega, University of Salamanca Alexander Riegler, Free University of Brussels Dario Rodriguez Mansilla, Diego Portales University, Santiago Christopher Thornhill, University of Manchester, WCSA Medalist (5th edition), EDGAR MORIN, WCSA MEDALIST (6th Edition), Victor Neuman, University of Timisoara


By the date of the publication online of this call, Panel Proposal submissions will be accepted for consideration by scholars belonging or not to WCSA while the panels and workshops already listed in this call emerged by an internal WCSA members only pre-call.

The submission of the full panel proposal is in the care of the panel proponent. The panel proponent will be responsible for sending invitations to the authors (presenters), accepting all panel abstracts submitted to the panel, and facilitating the registration of presenters at the Conference.

Panel and paper proposals for any session must be submitted in English.

Panels require a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 9 accepted papers/abstracts to be accepted in the Conference Program. Larger or smaller panels are subject to special consideration and approval. 3-9 except the panel chair.
Panel proponents may appoint a panel chair. The panel proponent may act as a chair, co-chair, or paper author in the panel.
Each panel will last approximately the time to provide:

  • 10 minutes in total for the panel chair.
  • 15 minutes per presentation.
  • 15 minutes for the Q&A time.

A Panel Proposal should include:

  • Title of the panel
  • Short Abstract/description of the panel: 500 words in length.
  • Proponent: Name, affiliation, e-mail address, and WhatsApp number, profile picture and short bio (maximum of 5 lines, format Times New Roman 12).
  • Indication of one (1) chair: Name, affiliation, e-mail address, and WhatsApp number.
  • List of five to seven (5-7) speakers: Name, affiliation, email address, and Whatsapp number.
  • Paper abstracts: title and abstract (minimum of 200, maximum of 400 words length).
  • Please do not include references in the abstracts.

Any Panel Proposal should be submitted by email to the 11th WCSA Conference Organizing Committee ( as a document (.doc or .docx extension) named after the title of the panel. In the email subject line, please specify 11th WCSA Conference: Panel Submission.
Panel Proposals will be peer-reviewed before acceptance.


DEADLINE to submit a SESSION (panel/workshop) proposal:
March 1
st, 2023


By March 15th, 2023, notifications of acceptance/rejection of the Panel Proposal and instructions on how to become a WCSA member and to register in the Conference will be electronically communicated via email to the panel proponent. Panel proponents are responsible for notifying the results and the instructions to all members of their panels.

Please note that panel proponents and paper proponents (authors) do not need to be a WCSA member to submit a panel or a paper/presentation proposal, However, all proponents must become a WCSA member to register in the Conference. Proponents that are already WCSA members must be in the rule with their dues for registering in the Conference.

By March 30th, 2023, panel proponents whose Panel Proposal were accepted must confirm their participation in the Conference. For the confirmation purpose, panel proponents must ensure the completion of the registration in the Conference and the payment of the combined Membership and Conference fee both for themselves and their panel members. Please note that accepted panel proposals will only be included in the Conference Official Program after the completion of the registration and payment processes. Panel proponents Conference fee may be waived only in the case where all panel members register in the Conference and pay their dues by April 15th, 2023.




By the date of the publication online of this call on the WCSA official website, single PAPER PROPOSAL submissions will be accepted for consideration. Single Paper/Abstract Proposals may be accommodated in a specific panel or in a general Conference session. The updated list of specific panels is available on the Conference Page. Paper proposals must be submitted in English. Each paper presentation will last approximately 15 minutes.

A Paper Proposal should include:

  • Name, affiliation, e-mail address and WhatsApp number
  • Title of the paper
  • Paper abstract: minimum of 200, maximum of 400 words length
  • Please do not include references in the abstracts
  • Not mandatory:  The panel the abstract proponent would think its paper would better fit among the panels listed in the call.

The   Conference direction and, management specify that according to the panels and abstracts effectively received, the final program might recombine, reconfigurate and merge panels to have a more rational schedule of the conference itself.   

Any Paper Proposal shall be submitted by email to the 11th WCSA Worldwide Conference Organizing Committee ( as a document (.doc or .docx extension) named after the title of the paper. In the email subject line, please specify 11th WCSA Conference: Single Paper Submission.

Paper proponents (authors) do not need to be a WCSA member to submit a paper proposal. However, all proponents must become a WCSA member to register in the Conference. Proponents that are already WCSA members must be in the rule with their dues for registering in the Conference.

Paper Proposals will be peer-reviewed before acceptance. Please note that the acceptance of a single paper proposal in a specific panel is at the discretion of the panel proponent while the acceptance in a general Conference session is at the discretion of the WCSA scientific board.


Deadline to submit Paper Abstracts: May 15th, 2023


By May 31st, 2023, notifications of acceptance/rejection of the Paper Proposal and instructions on how to become a WCSA member and to register in the Conference will be electronically communicated via email to the proponent.

By June 15th, 2023, authors whose paper proposal were accepted must complete their registration process and pay the combined Membership and Conference fee. Please note that accepted papers will only be included in the Conference Official Program after the completion of the registration and payment processes.



Please note that all senior fees include a €100 membership fee, and all junior fees include a €50 membership fee.

In presence Conference
(it includes Senior membership = 100€ or Junior Membership = 50€ accordingly)

  • Senior scholar/professional fee: €400
  • Junior scholar/professional (under the age of 30) fee: € 250

Virtual Conference on Zoom Platform

  • Senior scholar/professional fee: €250
  • Junior scholar/professional (under the age of 30) fee: €120

Participation with a Presentation (PPT in English only, no speech) to the POSTER VIRTUAL GALLERY ONLINE

  • Senior scholar/professional fee: € 150
  • Junior scholar/professional (under the age of 30) fee: € 75


This section is devoted to a different kind of proposals concerning the link between constructivism and visual social science research to construct, model and visualize social systemic complexity and world order policy modeling.

  • Photo-essay (with images and/or on images)
  • Short sociological docufilm (max 12 minutes)
  • Rephotography essay (with images and/or on images)

The conference fee (which includes the membership one) is shaped as follows:

In presence

  • Senior scholar/professional fee: € 280
  • Junior scholar/professional (under the age of 30) fee: € 120

Virtual participation

  • Senior scholar/professional fee: € 180
  • Junior scholar/professional (under the age of 30) fee: € 80

Attendance at the Conference as audience
In presence Conference (full package means all the conference days are included, with  a reserved seat  and coffee breaks included )
– full package attendance fee (Senior): € 500

– full package attendance fee (Junior): € 200

Presidential Guests: free entrance by official invitation letter /email
Virtual Conference on Zoom Platform: Free till available accesses



As a follow up of each conference of its WCSA starts an editorial plan usually 2-3 publications.

By December 1st, 2023, the WCSA Conference Manager will contact all the speakers to provide the guidelines to submit the FULL PAPERS, should you wish to have your presentation to be included in the proceedings of the 11th Conference.
Please note that all full papers submitted in the framework of a WCSA Conference are subject to a double-blind peer-review process before publication.
Submissions rules will be announced in due time.



This is our 11th Worldwide Conference. The previous ten conferences have generated several noteworthy proceedings:

1st Conference, BOLOGNA:
-The Next Global Scenarios (Proceedings 1st Conference)

2nd Conference, PALERMO:
-Nuova Atlantide (Proceedings 2nd Conference)

3rd Conference, VIENNA:
-Mapping Systemic Knowledge (Proceedings 3rd Conference)

4th Conference, TENERIFE:
-Redesigning Worldwide Connections (Proceedings 4th Conference)

5th Conference, BUDAPEST:
-Inventing the Future in an Age of Contingency (Proceedings 5th Conference)

6th Conference, AMSTERDAM:
-Systemic Actions in Complex Scenarios (Proceedings 6th Conference)

7th Conference, RIO DE JANEIRO:
-Governing Turbulence, Risk and Opportunities in the Complexity Age (Proceedings 7th Conference)

8th Conference, ROME:
-RTSA v. 66, issue 3, 2019 (Proceedings 8th Conference (a))
-CEPSR v. 20, issue 76, 2019 (Proceedings 8th Conference (b))

-Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Conference book 2020 (Proceedings 8th Conference (c))

9th Conference, ISCHIA (switched into virtual due to COVID-19 Emergency)

-Cambio Journal, v.10, issue 19, 2020 (special session) (Proceedings 9th Conference (a))

-RTSA, v. 68, issue 4, 2021 (Proceedings 9th Conference (b))
-WCSA JOURNAL SPECIAL SESSIONS, v.1, issue 2, 2020 (

10th CONFERENCE, LISBON, publishing all of them in progress:

Società MutamentoPolitica 1 /23

CEPSR issue 90

WCSAJ special sessions

11th CONFERENCE, Brussels, publishing agenda setting (goal:  two or three publications expected). The WCSA Sustainability Policy Modeling Book, first of  all.

Stay tuned. Further information will follow.



The 11th WCSA Conference will be also the venue for the presentation of the seventh edition of the WCSA Medal Awards for Systemic Research, “the 2023 WCSA Medal”.

The 2023 WCSA Medal is structured into three award categories:

  1. The Best Conference Presentations (Senior and Junior) Award
  2. II. The Distinguished and Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award
  3. III. The top management contribution to WCSA growth medal

Prof. Dr. Alfredo L. Spilzinger is the recipient of the 2023 7th Edition WCSA Medal for the Distinguished and Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award.




At the link below you can access the full program by date and hour.

11th WCSA Conference – Brussels Program



WCSA Conferences are incubators and laboratories for further research & development, not just proceedings. As a matter of fact, not all the speakers turn into authors in the conference follow up publications and the selected full papers are advancements and not just descriptions of the conference hints and abstracts thus not just conference proceedings, rather authentic research based selected publications.

Follow up publications are planned, check section 8th for progress.







WCSA HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER ( and pay your conference fee)

WCSA HOW TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP ( and  pay your conference fee)



Hoping to see you at our next conference in BRUSSELS.

I remain sincerely yours,

Prof. Andrea Pitasi, Ph.D.

G.  D’Annunzio University,  Chieti-Pescara

WCSA  Life  Honorary President

Key Links

Keynote Speeches

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