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Thursday October 21, 2010 at 18:00

The Club of Rome EU-Chapter (Brussels) in collaboration with the Club of Rome - European Support Centre (Vienna) is pleased to invite you
to the 74th Aurelio Peccei Lecture:

Systems Thinking, Complexity and Network Science: Towards a New Worldview?

by Erik Van Den Broecke

Managing Director, Complexity Management Institute

About the Presentation

Alarming phenomena such as climate change, decrease of biological diversity, rise of city slums and breakdown of financial systems, are challenging the underlying Cartesian worldview: Scientific Reductionism – understanding the whole by focusing on understanding the parts - has been instrumental in creating scientific and technological progress. But now, this worldview is held responsible for the above complex problems.

Recent developments in the scientific approach stress the importance of understanding the world in a more holistic manner: Systems Thinking, developed in the sixties, claims to understand the behavior of the whole, or the system, by focusing on understanding how the parts influence one another. Complexity Science, developed in the eighties, adds the concept Complex Adaptive Systems, where small differences in initial conditions lead to huge differences in resulting behavior. Network Science, developed in the nineties, states that the characteristics of the network, connecting the parts or the agents, are fundamental to understand and predict the behavior of the system.

Systems Thinking, Complexity and Network Science are perspectives within an emerging worldview that holds the promise to help society to better cope with complex or “wicked” problems. This lecture will explain the basics of each of these new perspectives and will give a view on their potential to help society solve complex problems.

About the Speaker

Erik has over 20 years of experience in ICT management and governance. Today he focuses on strategy implementation in IT intensive environments. He has worked for many international organisations in multiple industries.

Erik obtained his Master of Science in Electrotechnical Engineering at the University of Ghent, Belgium, in 1984 and his Master in Management at Vlerick Management School, Belgium, in 1985. In 1994 he finalized a three year Master Class in Comparative Philosophy at Antwerp University, Belgium. He initially worked during nine years for ICT departments of large international organisations in banking as well as in manufacturing. In 1994 he joined Coopers & Lybrand, later PricewaterhouseCoopers, as management consultant. He consulted on ICT project and programme management, ICT organisation and ICT strategy. He worked in many different industry sectors such as government, banking and insurance, automotive, telecom, manufacturing and healthcare. He has been active in Europe, United States and the Far East. In December 2001 he founded Itinera Management Services & Consulting - IMSC - bvba were he acts until now as managing director. Main customers are Electrabel, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School,, Quint.

Erik regularly lectures on 3PM - project, programme & portfolio management - frequently speaks on conferences and seminars and has published several research articles dealing with strategy implementation and the role of project management.

Today Erik is associate at Quint Wellington Redwood focusing on consultancy in the domains of IT Strategy and IT Governance, recently he was asked to become chairman of the "Flanders’ Future" think tank within the Royal Flemish Society of Engineers.


The Aurelio Peccei Lecture-Event will take place at
Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium (room Stevin)


Hertogstraat 1 Rue Ducale
ZIP Code: 1000


The slides of the presentation are available for download.

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