ASC 2020 Global Conversation – Session ASC02

Theme 2: How to Untangle Ourselves: Cybernetic Action for Social Change

Saturday September 12 2020

Duration: 1 hour

Starting at: Sydney 11pm, Shanghai 9pm, Moscow 4pm, London 2pm, Frankfurt 3pm, Sao Paulo 10am, New York 9am, Chicago 8am, Vancouver 6am


  • Quinton Jones


  • Nikki Lee
  • Matt Borer
  • Robyn Jardine
  • Adam Albrite
  • Bethany Simmons

Over 70 years ago, cybernetics created a radical paradigm shift in psychiatry and birthed the field of family therapy.  Yet, this revolutionary way of understanding and healing human behavior, relationships and social systems floats on the margins of individualistic mental health.  Understanding human beings in context illuminates the way in which systems organize, construct rules for operating, participating and meaning-making.  We create, and yet are blind to our participation in the very social messes we find ourselves in; “He still does not see himself as part of the system in which the mess exists, and he either blames the rest of the system or he blames himself” (Bateson, 1972). Cybernetic family therapists have begun shifting their expertise and attention toward larger social systems and contexts in society that perpetuate and maintain pathology and oppression.  Their goal is to be agents of social change, rather than agents of social control.  In this panel discussion, cybernetic family therapists will discuss how a cybernetic lens and action can create radical and effective means for activating relational and social change globally.  These panelists will discuss their cybernetic work and action to address systemic racism, oppression and political power structures.

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