17th International Conference of Sociocybernetics

Reflections on Global Challenges and Local Answers to Sustainability

University of Zaragoza, Spain, June 20-22, 2022

The Research Committee 51 on Sociocybernetics (RC51) of the International Sociological Association (ISA) invites you to participate in its 17th conference focusing on contributions that systemic science and thinking can make to address global and local challenges. Particular attention will be given to processes that reinforce social innovation and collective knowledge to address local and global -glocal- challenges in correspondence to the Sustainable Development Goals as stated by the UN. The key to tangible change lies in social reflexivity.

The Sustainable Development Goals are broad and interdependent. However, one of their biggest challenges is to reach the local level. Therefore, the objective is to identify, discuss, and showcase the most recent conceptual and practical developments in systems thinking (particularly sociocybernetics) applied to the advancement of such goals connecting the local with the global. This includes the dialogue with related perspectives and projects that address glocal challenges through open innovation, citizen science, and/or applied systems thinking.

How is society orienting interventions to address glocal challenges in a more systemic way? Sociocybernetics or second order cybernetics incorporate key concepts that are useful to address social innovation processes such as: reflexivity, adaptation, emergence, self-organization, pro-action (feedforward), among others.

Taking the expression “Think globally, act locally” as a reference to glocal interactions, sociocybernetics promotes making explicit such interrelations by analysing the drivers and barriers for connecting both levels with a second order perspective. From a systemic perspective, those interactions refer to relations that bring together characteristics of both realities. As the sociologist Roland Roberson stated, that means the simultaneity – the co-presence – of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies.

Glocalization has been theorized by social scientists as a process that combines the concerns of localism with the forces of globalization, or a local adaptation and interpretation of global forces. It gives important attention to digitization processes, advancing computer and media understanding enabling more distributed, multidisciplinary, trans-border, cross-institutional, and inter-temporal innovation processes connecting both areas.

Global challenges are highly heterogeneous, from the dynamics that threaten the Earth as a whole, such as climate change, to other social processes that affect in an unequal way the effects of COVID19, systemic violence, insecurity, negative effects of the globalized markets, the deterioration of the quality of life in cities and towns. In addition, all these phenomena are experienced by social groups with uneven access to information and reliable knowledge in an era of wide disinformation, fake news, and new online “metaverses”.

The goal of this conference is therefore to bring scholars together to explore, within a sociocybernetic approach, the issues at stake. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Systemic views on globalization and regional effects on local dynamics
  • Global Challenges and Local Answers to Sustainability
  • Local strategies for global challenges
  • Social innovation and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Democratic participation and digital governance
  • Social reflexivity and environmental crisis (from responsible consumption to climate action)
  • Glocal strategies to monitor quality of life and sustainability in rural and urban areas
  • Social reflexivity on communication, disinformation, fake news, online communities, social media platforms
  • Social reflexivity related to gender, migration, ethnicity, and disability
  • COVID19 effects and local answers to sustainability
  • Education on sustainability in local contexts
  • Social reflexivity and art, cultural practices and/or cultural heritage.

Other topics (conceptual, methodological, practical) related to Sociocybernetics are also welcomed.

About the format

Traditionally, the RC51 Research Committee on Sociocybernetics meets yearly in a special place somewhere on the globe. In these meetings we have interesting discussions about the theory, practice, and application of sociocybernetics and its ability to observe, understand, and try to overcome pressing needs of society.

Due to COVID 19, the 16th RC51 Conference and the ISA 2020 FORUM were organised as virtual conferences with a three-day programme of online sessions. In 2022 we want to give the first choice to a hybrid meeting, while carefully monitoring official recommendations regarding the COVID-19 situation for the health and well-being of our participants attending the conference personally in Zaragoza. Those who prefer online participation will be able to present live online and to get involved in the program through different online tools. This hybrid organisation of the conference will allow to maintain dialogues between people around the world, in-place and online, also giving the opportunity to our scientific community to meet personally.

You can participate with:

  • SESSION PROPOSALS, related to any of the previous topics.
  • PAPER presentations related to the topics above, that will be oriented to sessions with a topic related.
  • ALTERNATIVE PROPOSALS of activities either online or on-site. It requires an explicit orientation to sociocybernetics (also including innovative formats that go beyond traditional papers).
Important dates
  • February 15th, 2022 Registration opens for abstract submission
  • February 15th, 2022 Registration opens for special session proposals
  • March 10th, 2022 Registration closes for special sessions
  • March 15th Notification of acceptance for special session proposals
  • April 30th, 2022 Deadline for abstract submission
  • May 1st, 2022 Notification of acceptance for abstract
  • June 1st, 2022 Registration closes
  • June 20-22, 2022 17th International Conference of Sociocybernetics
Submission Guidelines.

For Special Sessions:
Please submit an Abstract of 500 words to include purpose of the session, scope, type of papers to be presented and if is part of an ongoing work (seminar, research, program, etc). Special sessions require at least 4 papers to be included in the program. Please provide a name for the chair of the special session. Send your special sessions proposals to pescrich@unizar.es and almaguer@unizar.es

For Abstracts:
Please submit an Abstract of 500-750 words. It should include purpose of the work, scope, method, results, recommendations and/or conclusions together with the essential bibliographic references. We suggest include Sociocybernetics in your materials. The abstracts booklet will be made available to conference participants and will be published as part of the conference programme on the RC51 website. The final communication will have a minimum length of 4000 words and a maximum of 6000 words, to be considered. Selected papers will be proposed for the Journal of Sociocybernetics. Submit your abstract here

Participation fees
  • RC51 non members: 100 EUR
  • Student fee RC51 non members: 50 EUR
  • RC51 regular members in good standing (ISA and RC51): No fee.

Interested in becoming an ISA RC51 member?, Find information here:
For academic registration a student ID is needed to obtain the discount


University of Zaragoza, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Doctor Cerrada, 1-3. 50005
Zaragoza, Spain. Founded in 1542, the University of Zaragoza is one of the oldest universities in Spain. The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration constitutes an important centre of the university to enhance communication between the university and society.


Zaragoza has a wide range of tourist accommodation. The University of  Zaragoza has arranged special prices in some hotels in the range between 35€ and 65,97€ (VAT and breakfast included) each double room (single use).

We recommend these hotels (if you are interested please contact pescrich@unizar.es for the reservation as soon as possible) :

ZENIT DON YO **** : 65,97 €

Very convenient location near the Faculty of Economy and the historical center.  Double room for single use with breakfast buffet and VAT included.


17 minutes walking to the Faculty of Economy and in the heart of the historical center.  

Double room for single use with breakfast and VAT included. 45,00 €

Double room with breakfast buffet and VAT included. 56,00 €

How to reach Zaragoza

Download all How to reach Zaragoza info

Zaragoza is located at an interesting crossroads. A range of airlines operate from the airport, offering services to Spanish and European cities. You can also access it via high speed train (AVE) and national highways from Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao or Pamplona.

Flights to and from Zaragoza can either be direct (with Ryanair,  and Wizzair) via Brussels, London (Stansted), Milan, Ibiza, Bucharest or Paris (Beauvais) or via Madrid or Barcelona.

a) Flying to Zaragoza Airport

There are several flights each day with connections from different countries of Europe and other cities of Spain.

From London, Milano, Bologna, Paris (Beauvais), Viena, Brussels, Palma de Mallorca and Marrakech with Ryanair.

From Bucarest and Cluj-Napoca with WizzAir.

From Palma de Mallorca, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Paris (Orly) with Vueling Airlines.

From Gran Canaria and Tenerife with Binter Canarias.

b) Flying to Madrid or Barcelona – reaching Zaragoza by train.

International airports of Madrid and Barcelona have several flights each day with every part of the world. You can arrive easily to Zaragoza by train, with a very fast and convenient service (1.5 hours).

Tickets are available at: www.renfe.com

Please be aware that travelling from the airport to the train stations in the city center of Madrid or Barcelona can take over an hour in both cases.

Madrid Airport to Madrid Train Station
From the Barajas airport in Madrid to the High Speed Train (AVE) station (Atocha Station) you can:

  • Take a taxi approximate cost: 30/40 Euros –fixed price including luggage- (one way).
  • Use the commuter train service which departs from Terminal 4: Renfe Commuter Train service.
  • Use the EMT public bus express service, which is available 24 hours. Travel time is about 40 minutes depending on traffic. You can buy your ticket from the driver (5,00 Euros) but they can accept cash only. Additional information is available at the EMT Bus Express website.

Barcelona Airport to Barcelona Train Station
There is a direct train service from Barcelona airport to Sants Train Station. This service runs every 30 min and it takes around 25 min to Sants train station. If you are arriving into Terminal 1 you will need to take a free shuttle bus from the terminal to the train station, where you can buy your ticket. A single ticket costs 3.60 Euros.

Buses from Madrid and Barcelona to Zaragoza

You can also take a bus from Barcelona or Madrid to Zaragoza (Delicias station). The buses run almost every hour and cover the 300 km distance in 3h30min. Visit the Alsa website Alsa website for additional information. The bus from Madrid departs from the Airport so you may find this a more convenient option all together.

Contacts and information

For conference information and updates please check the official website: https://sociocybernetics.org/conference2022

For specific questions you may directly contact the members of the Local Organizing Committee: Pedro J. Escriche Bueno (pescrich@unizar.es) (Chair), Chaime Marcuello Servós (chaime@unizar.es) and/or RC51 President Patricia E. Almaguer Kalixto (almaguer@unizar.es).

Local Organizing Committee:

Pedro J. ESCRICHE BUENO, GESES, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)
Patricia E. ALMAGUER KALIXTO, GESES, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)
Chaime MARCUELLO, GESES, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)
Ana BOROBIO SANCHIZ, ODS Rural Labs, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)
Millán DÍAZ FONSECA, GESES, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain).
Ana Katarina PESSOA DE OLIVEIRA GESES, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain).
Bogdan-Radu MARHELKA GESES, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain).

International Scientific Committee:

Saburo AKAHORI, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University (Japan)
Eva BUCHINGER, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (Austria)
Joaquin CASTILLO DE MESA (Universidad de Málaga) (Spain)
Luciano GALLÓN, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (Colombia)
Fabio GIGLIETTO, University of Urbino “Carlo Bo” (Italy)
Bernd HORNUNG, ISA-RC51 Past President (Germany)
Raija KOSKINEN, Häme University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
Margarita MAASS MORENO UNAM (México)
Manuel MEZA CUERVO, RC51 Secretary (México)
Andrew MITCHELL, Kumamoto University (Japan)
Martina RAPONI, Noiserr (Netherlands)
Bernard SCOTT, ISA-RC51 Past President (UK)
Toru TAKAHASHI, Chuo University (Japan)