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Thursday, July 28 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
The Need for a General Systems Transdisciplinarity to Solve Serious Systemic Challenges facing Present-Day Socio-Ecological and Socio-Technological Systems

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2918 Based on the concrete request of the European Commission (EC) for Mobility and Transport to support the cabinet in political decision processes as Special Advisor the author will elaborate in his contribution the need for and potential advantages of a General Systems Transdisciplinarity to solve serious systemic challenges facing one particular socio-ecological and socio-technological system. The EC for Mobility and Transport has announced its political agenda “A roadmap to a single European Transport Area towards a competitive and resource-efficient transport system” in 2011 and set the goals to foster further economic growth and job creation while anticipating resource and environmental constraints, e.g. drastically reduce world greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with the goal of limiting climate change, supporting the development of innovative sustainable transport systems. Growing transport and supporting mobility while reaching the 60 % emission reduction target seems to be contradictory. But the EC strongly assumes that through optimising the performance of multimodal logistic chains, including by making greater use of more energy-efficient modes and through increasing the efficiency of transport and of infrastructure use with information systems and market-based incentives the systemic challenge can be unravelled. As this endeavour addresses multiple layers, multi-stakeholder, and cross-sectoral systems the EC called for a solid systems model to support and guide their political decisions and actions. Large scale technological and social behavioural changes are needed resulting in technological and social innovations. The EC takes on the responsibility of an active enabler of the emergent opportunities in the transport system through legislation and investments. Thus understanding the system and its emergent properties becomes a key success factor. The layers of the European transport eco system have been identified as Transport Infrastructure, Data, Applications, Service and Solutions, and Value Networks. But these layers are embedded in multi- and cross sectoral systems like the current inter-dependent political systems, economic systems, technological systems, environmental systems, social systems and cultural systems. Each of the systems can be addressed, analysed and through interventions possibly designed with different systems approaches, but we are today lacking the integration of these disciplinary grounded methodologies stemming out of and representing different schools of systems science in a sound transdisciplinary general systemology, bridging and enriching the disciplines like e.g. engineering, design, economics, and social sciences. The author assumes that through such real life complex challenges a most needed General Systems Transdisciplinarity can be put forward. The contribution is just one starting point, but a call for interested academic allies to co-create appropriate approaches to inform the development of a General Systems Transdisciplinarity for Discovery, Insight, and Innovation.

avatar for Mag. Stefan Blachfellner

Mag. Stefan Blachfellner

SIG Chair: Socio-Ecological Systems and Design, Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science

Thursday July 28, 2016 4:30pm - 5:00pm
ECCR 265