I have been interested in learning processes considered in a cybernetic manner for many years, both in organisational learning and in formal education. One of my first introductions to cybernetics was through the learning theory of Gregory Bateson, and also through the organisational learning work of Argyris and Schön (which ultimately has its roots in Ross Ashby’s work). In recent years, much of my research has focused on information and the way it is treated by a variety of disciplines. It seems clear there are close parallels between information and learning. Taken together, this makes the centrality of learning in the conference theme of great interest to me.
Moreover, I have long been puzzled and fascinated by the relationship between acting and understanding (or, put another way, between theory and practice) and their mutual dependence. I am much more of a theorist than a practitioner, but I am very interested in however practitioners behave and act, and what is the relationship between their work and my work.
Lastly, I am keen simply to continue conversations with ASC members. Having recently become editor-in-chief of the journal Kybernetes, I find the ASC a very important body to keep in contact with. I learnt a great deal from attending the Asilomar conference in 2012, and hope to find the experience similarly enriching in Bolton.