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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Appreciation of the contribution of Dr Alex Andrew to WOSC
Article Type: News, conferences and technical reports From: Kybernetes, Volume 41, Issue 7/8
As reported in our earlier issue of this Volume 41 of Kybernetes, Dr Alex M. Andrew announced his intention to stand down as the organisation’s Director-General and welcomed Professor Raul Espejo as his successor.
Although he was thanked at the Nanjing World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC) Congress for his highly valued contribution to the organisation, not all of the WOSC Directorate were able to be present. It is therefore fitting that this journal publishes a tribute to again recognise his dedicated service.
Dr Andrew is well known to readers as an active contributor to Kybernetes and a member of its Editorial Team, as the Internet Editor. A profile of Dr Andrew was published in Rudall (2011) and the journal’s Cyberprofile, Rudall (2010), an autobiography (Andrew, 2011) is also available.
He has been an enthusiastic supporter of WOSC since its initiation being first a Director of the organization and then accepted its invitation to become its third Director-General. The first Director-General was the origination’s founder, Professor John Rose, who on his retirement handed over the role to Professor Robert Vallée, who is now, of course, the current President.
Dr Andrew accepted the challenge and immediately put the organisation online with its own web site and e-mail communications system.
He was then faced with the onerous task of conducting negotiations for the venues of the future WOSC World Congresses. He arranged these most successfully with the 13th Congress at Maribor, Slovenia, the 14th at Wroclaw, Poland and more recently, the 15th Congress at Nanjing, China. All were regarded by their participants as memorable occasions and were locally planned by willing and welcoming hosts, who had liaised with Dr Andrew.
The role of Director-General of an organisation with federated membership is difficult and complex but it is one that Dr Andrew filled with great enthusiasm and efficiency. It has to be remembered that the organisation has no paid secretarial staff and its officers need to make their own arrangements for any support they may require. We are particularity grateful to Dr Andrew for carrying the burden of office for so long and carrying on with his responsibilities even when faced with a period of ill health.
He has been fortunate in having the caring support of his wife Mila, who has loyally helped and encouraged him during his period of office. At the recent WOSC Congress in China he contributed great energy to its success as the organization’s most senior representative. We all appreciate the dedication he has shown to WOSC and are grateful for the continued support and wisdom that he will still bring to WOSC.
About the new WOSC Director-General
Professor Raul Espejo is an international expert in organisational cybernetics. His most recent book Organizational Systems: Managing Complexity with the Viable System Model was published by Springer early in 2011 (co-authored with Alfonso Reyes) and is co-author of two other books and co-editor of three. He has published over a 100 articles in journals and books.
In the early 1970s, during the Allende’s government in Chile, he was Operational Director of the CYBERSYN project under the scientific direction of Stafford Beer. Since then until 2003, he worked at the Manchester Business School in the UK, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria and the universities of Aston and Lincoln in the UK.
In 1985 he created in the Science Park of Aston University, Syncho Ltd, an enterprise in the field of organisational cybernetics. From there he has done research in collaboration with a wide range of institutions worldwide, mainly in organisational diagnosis and design, with a focus on social transformation, organisational learning and democratic processes.
Andrew, A.M. (2011), “Autobiographical retrospectives: some reminiscences of cybernetics and systems”, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 131–44
Rudall, B.H. (2010), “Cyberprofile – Norbert Wiener Memorial gold medal”, Kybernetes, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 146–7
Rudall, B.H. (2011), “Editorial team profiles”, Kybernetes, Vol. 40 Nos 9/10, pp. 1232–4