Seeds of Change - Heiner Benking's Blog -    

Welcome to the NewsLog or Blog of Heiner Benking. A kaleidoscope of insights and impulses collected first in the Seeds of Change Viewsletter of the Club of Budapest in 1995 and continually updated ever since.
Since some years available for broader distribution and comments - enjoy, and come again !

People to Watch:
Anthony Judge
Flemming Funch
Peter Jones
Alexander Christakis


Conference Program

Berlin "Towards a Global, Embodied Covenant"

Re-inventing Democracy

Dialog among Civilizations - Dialog towards Unity in Diversity

Dialogues and Conversations - Participation and Moderation/Mediation: Ways and Means towards Re-inventing Democracy and Good-Governance

Positions and Identities in Global Contexts: Awareness of Self and Others with me, you, we, they and "others" models

Flatlands & Deeplands - a page about maps and models and Earth Literacy

Towards one Possible Global Embodied Covenant: Models, - not just Systems, Signs, Words and Images - Interdisciplinary Conference 2004: The Evolution of World Order - EWOC

Using Maps and Models, SuperSigns and SuperStructures - CODATA 2005

Granularity, Topicality, and Generalization of Information - Reflections about maps and models, orienting generalizations and their possible pragmatic and ethical implications and challenges, CODATA 2005

Oikos-Ecumene-Ecodomy - contribution to a conference on space and sacred spaces. The proposal to share a World House or House of Eyes as part of a cognitive panorama

Panoptic, the need to see big pictures on common jointly explored and discussed schemas or frames


I was asked for kick-start / short access-keys to my BLOG entries or central concepts, sites I often use or URLs I often link to. Here we go:


TU TU WAS - Zusammenhaenge begreifen
governance / 7 points
12 these education - LIFE IS TOO FLAT

EXTENSIONS - Medical-Scientific Network /
Asilomar - sharing Voices/Spaces


ECO-CUBE/KNOW MAP 1) - 2) - 3)
MAP (Mental) 2) - 3)
METAPHORS (Classes of) 2)

IID - Creativity & Cognition,Loughborough **

A Quote I like:

Every toy has a right to break. --Antonio Porchia

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 re:publica | TEN & GIG
picture picture picture picture 5 May 2016 @ 11:29
All thies week was also the re:publica but I only could peek in and check how the 10th anniversary using the metaphor of the MIRROR is different and how the GIG seriens are doing. This place for internet, media, and society is a hub, institution, and a must ! 7000 participants a dozen and more tracks - side events...

re:publica will turn 10 in 2016. Once a cosy meeting point for bloggers, re:publica has become one of the world’s leading festivals for digital society themes. And no matter how we look at it, for our anniversary issue we have come to realize:

Visitors are speakers. Guests are players. TEN is NET.

I came to see friends making a video **** description
and how GIG is going at the re:publica – Get ready to meet the innovators from all over the world! is going, the third Global Innovation Gathering (GIG).
It brings together innovation hub managers, makers, hackers and entrepreneurs from across the world. Launched at re:publica 2013, GIG has become an central part of the re:publica programme, showcasing tech innovation and maker projects. And I could share with some insiders our CAPS 2016 event May 18. The CAPS Community Meeting and Workshop. CAPS stands for Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation. It is an initiative launched by DG CONNECT of the European Commission in 2013 aimed at stimulating socially innovative applications of network technologies, building collective intelligence and collective action. CAPS: Registation and Programme. CAPS is maybe a pre-/side-event for the ECSA - have a look: European Citizen Science Association conference

The venue as a "village" with theater-hall is chosen as an "historic communicty & culture oasis" because of the vibrant community of social innovators present in Berlin, which includes a panel on the importance of citizen engagement and collective intelligence seen from the bottom up CAPS perspective of 'awareness, data, actionable change and innovation' also at ECSA.
Two years ago we presented at the UFA theater-hall: Team Genius !! - Leonardo 3.4.5.

I came also for the GIG event format as I used this acronmym for long for quite a different matter. (SIG links below) check: CHAOS COMPUTER CLUB, Wau Holland and "Zukunftkomaptible Zeitformen..." Wau zitiert aus Kultur der Verweigerung where I was pondering about the need for GIGs in view of all the SIGs.... the title is about Context and Coherence: Ohne Zusammenhang kein Zusammenhalt...

"...unsere Gesellschaft hat jede nur denkbare Lobby fuer
Partikularinteressen entwickelt (special interes groups, SIGs) aber niemand
scheint fuer das Gemeinwohl als uebergreifende Interessenvertretung (global
interest groups, GIGs) zustaendig zu sein." Danach zeigt er Denkhuerden auf
und weist auf Denkraeume hin.

this was actually on of my plenum pitches at the SDG event in parallel... All is connected and in circles and beyond circles - in the deep. Small world. See my motto here (in green). Reinvent Democracy by FWC and UNDEF:

more to come ....

picture picture picture picture picture picture 3 May 2016 @ 04:34
The SDGs kick-off day for Germany yesterday was like a good television show. Announcement
Lots of preparations and funds allow on a central podium to include more people, compared to a panel, and make hours pass by easily. Maybe while waiting check: Show or Schau? [link]
The day was deep - interesting news from Norway about UNEP - and and
and today all the Elephants are in the room for the High Level segement !

Check the programme !!

I recommend our COMMON ACTIONS - SDG article in Mother Pelican - Journal for Solidarity and Sustainability / before A Journal for Sustainable Human Development.

from last year - I wonder who is still reading nowadays...

There is much talk here about silos and borders, but we do escape/jump over the boogles. Well minded scientists and policy makers often reinventing wheels.
I link often to the work of John Warfield and is work on traps and mindbugs: [link]
Maybe also check Mindprints:

Listening into some conversations the old story of the founders of systemic/holistic science approaches come up: [link]
This story as often told by Bela Banathy, I recall his: "This is not my field" or "Do you have a mandate" for GIG's - Global Interest (Groups)
Yes, regarding the SDG issue I think there have been mandates, many, I was personally involved the "Harmonization" Mandate, and later doing the GLOBAL CHANGE -Challenges to Science and Politics (1990) exhibit, Local and Global Change (1991), or the The International Corner at UN Climate Summit Berlin 1995 (COP1) - [link] any questions? Maybe see the new book on Global and Glocal Studies (Taylor and Francis 2016)- revisiting Glocal from 1990 ! I feel "time is running out" and it all "takes so long"....

But let end with a positive note. The event was masterfully crafted - well funded and an e mexample. Maybe a good step to build on. To move beyond and between participation formats I invite to check the CAPS event we do for the EUROPEAN COMMISSION May18th in Berlin. Check it and out and maybe register !! ??
CAPS stands for Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation.

Please come back as all 3 days were rewarding and a good milestone for new and interesting formats for social and cultural innovation and participants interaction!
There is much agreement that the formats of conferencing and meetings can be improved substantially ! The time we meet F2F and exchange with old and new participants - to work and learn is very precious. So investing in such formats like the 3 days - even when it looks very expensive - not only in view of the extensive preparation, co-ordination and travels - but I think they are justified. Traditional conferencing and workshop circus hopping is not ! You can hear lectures and listen to panels also online ! - but when you meet in person then the exchanges should be intensive and open !
The format of the event was a milestone, given the traditional symposia we experience, but let me put a drop of vinegar into the wine/praize for the organisers!
I believe we should also look for more interactive formats in virtual conferencing. Look at the Stammtisch 3.0 - Government 2.0 in 2009 in Berlin, the CAPS exercises (above) we do them since some time, and maybe check this timeline of advanced (video-) conferencing and what we do with the Magic Roundtable Format description (documented the last 20 years) [link] and what this has to do with ReInventing Democracy, Multi-track Dimplomacy and Peacemaking and the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF): (advertise-pitch over ) -but maybe we should flaunt more, sometimes....

For this May 2016 in Berlin please check the CAPS Community Meeting and Workshop gathering at a community orchard (Berlin May 18th) also as a side-event of the First International ECSA Conference 2016 Citizen Science – Bürger schaffen Wissen - Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy gathering (ECSA) May 19th-21th - somehow like next week in Berlin !!

picture picture
 Objects in Transfer - Episteme
picture picture picture picture picture picture 28 Apr 2016 @ 21:10
Objects in Transfer | Gegenstände des Transfers • SFB 980 ...

This opening was most rewarding, the theme of showing the tansfer across cultures is most rewarding - I had heard 2 hours before at the HUB that in geo-ecological research there is no "base-line" in research - we discuss "base-spaces" ....
and here they are open for new mindsets and ways to present/model/exhibit...
- but they look into the transfer between and this is full of learnings and the people attending where really very interesting - most particants in the research programme - so maybe check also TRACES June 2016: [link]

I recommend the videos and pictures and to come and visit as this available now for some time !! [link]

REALLY ! check the video and the Mindtag system to present inter-linkages between transcultural systems ! and the interlinkages between arteface across museums !! Check [link] and [link] and [link]

I had great discussions with the organizers and presenters before the reception - not only about chess ***** or Visual History - Digital Peters ***** or earlier exhibitions here about Islamic Art or the Saudi exhibition here some years ago.

The challenge to bridge collections, cultures and epoches is really challenging and exciting ! maybe this helps to leave our "boxes" and "mind-bugs" -- check for more as nowadays these topics of mental boogles and fixations / fundamentalism and the accompanying ignorance is ranging high more recently in the media and politics, such exhibitions are very timely !!

come back soon - WORK in PROGRESS

picture picture picture
 EXACTLY today 30years ago - I got immersed into the Chernobyl disaster
27 Apr 2016 @ 17:22
Whow - 30 years - what did I learn and experience - what did we learn - in Germany and globally!! after Chernobyl.
Well - how much did I change and why and how and when!!

I was for week immersed into radiaotivity mapping and communications - my clients Siewert and Scholz, BGR Hannover had the devcices to measure radioactiivty and we had the software (UNIRAS) to make maps !! Maybe check this timeline;
When I look back there was lots of learning involved and maybe it explains a little why I feel strange or alien in many environments.
My story has been always that my "kicks" came from journalists seminars with the TELI on ecological and medical impacts - how we treat our waist, do analysis and produce - like what is up now - plastics... or the GLOBAL CHANGE exhibition in 1990.

But looking back these weeks around the first radioactivity maps for the people - was very central and not only lead to this article on the Possibilities and Limitations of Environmental Data Presentation - Visualisation of Environmental Data: (Springer 1987)

there have been lots of stories - us being thrown our of federal administrations, us presenting local maps and how the people reacted.... which colors we used for the maps and what legends and scales had been used and had to be changed !


 Einstein was a Refugee - Einstein Forum in Potsdam and Caputh
picture picture picture 19 Apr 2016 @ 11:49
A Symposium and exhibition at the Einstein Forum, Potsdam and reading and concert at the Einstein Summer House, Caputh
The world famous physicist Albert Einstein was not only a polymath with many interests. He was also a refugee who fought for the rights of political refugees after he settled in the U.S. The Einstein Forum carries on his spirit in Potsdam and operates Albert Einstein’s house in Caputh. This house is not only the last remaining architectural testimony to Einstein’s life in Germany but the last place Einstein lived before leaving Germany for good shortly before the Nazis seized power.

The Einstein Forum and the ALLIANZ KULTURSTIFTUNG ... for Europe organised this very special event today.
Check the programme: [link] PDF: [link]

I attend not only to be again at this very special locations and there are top speakers, but to experience the style of being "out of the one culture", but to meet special participants and have our next Tagore-Einstein-Council next year in mind. [link]

pls. stay tuned...

 baumschlager eberle 2226 – a build Manifesto
picture picture picture picture 13 Apr 2016 @ 21:49
Yesterday AENBC around AEDES had a very interesting and central event !
baumschlager eberle 2226 – ein gebautes Manifest

Building differently !

I asked some questions and feel his contribution is really important for the "build environment" I mentioned Tolba recently and I feel we need to go back to Square One in many of our societal questions. Building and Infrastructure is but one.
I indroduced myself with the standard quote of my "profession": "Wer viel mißt, misst viel Mist" - this has to do not only with the "big data- big noise problematique" but that we have k.o.-criteria in certain slots or segments/trades and have missed the bigger picture. And this is what the problem of our constructions is about - inefficent, waist of engery, missing overall design according to the human scale!

Eberle has been building examples - for example with his 2226 - but as he is out of the box and so not prize-worthy - and so the journals and general public has a chance to avoid central questions !

He mentions a science based on praxi - even maybe more radical than Leibniz, asking us to follow the craftsmen - who have without formulas a "best praxis". I asked him about his teacher and his approach to traditional and local colorit expertise and implementation in China, India,... and he responded very positively. WE have to build according to the environment and the needs of the people, not technology or convenience driven .... Ecclectic Sceinces, Bricoleur, Citizen Sciences and discussed more recently came up - as further questions, ... but maybe another time !!
I had heard the name of his teacher Anton Schweighofer from my boss Alfred Schinz [link], but he was not aware of that connect between the need for searching for other building traditions in cultures with different climate, materials, conditions, requirement. We agreed to maybe explore this again.
I feel always good when people mention their "traditions" or at least give some "foundations" so you can imagine the base, toots and wings...

I strongly recommend to visit: Baumschlager-Eberle [link] and come back - WORK IN PROGRESS ...

More to come...

 dwerft: linked film & tv services at the Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam
picture picture picture picture 12 Apr 2016 @ 09:01
meta-data - meta data and world building - what a tall theme and great progress the last 25 years !! I am thrilled ! as an "in-betweener"....

It’s showtime:

check: Entreprenurial Regions [link]
Leading-edge Research and Innovation in the New German Länder [link]

Check the research project: Forschungsprojekt "dwerft": [link]

We have discussed here meta - data - data-about-data
or meta - information = information about information
and this in a very challenging field of applications!
Interesting - and demanding ! I will try to stay close to the matters and see how semantic and other presentations find common ground....


 The Maya - Language of Beauty
picture 11 Apr 2016 @ 16:57
Tonight is the Opening of this very special exhibition.
Check: [link] and please come back.

I am thrilled to see of the exhibits and know again how little we know and how ignorant we are.

I helpd organizing the presentation of my friend Leonora Peters at the Humboldt Universität some years ago and travelled 40+ years ago to MEXICO.
What is presented here is very new and intriguing and exciting - I will visit the exhibition again.

come back for more !

 Mostafa Kamal Tolba - an Eulogy
picture 9 Apr 2016 @ 09:36
Only few of the heads of UN organisations or programes are as vivid in my memory as Mostafa Kamal Tolba. I learned last week he passed away in Geneva March 28. He was for UNEP in office for 17 years and I would hope that other UN executive would have the same commitment and experience and would not leave office the moment they understood their institution inside and outside in the UN family and the world.

This lack of overview and long-view is a central problem I see with our "leaders" today. Check the new book from Yehrzkel Dror about other leaders for new epoches/times.
Definitely it also needs people as "cross-fertilized" or "gate-crashers" along and across various organisations, in various sectors, cultures, and at all levels! But this is not my point now. I believe Tolba was like Tietze able to act across sectors, scales, cultures and times.
Nowadays I see most of the time only the struggle for personal gains. Leaders and Editors like these men have seemingly left this place...

When looking back Tolba was deep and friendly, attentive and responsive in comparison not only to all the other UNEP - or UN DGs I had the honor to meet over the years. He definitely stands out. Even when I very much admire the DGs who served as role models, even when the international structures are deserving...  More >

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This is Heiner Benking's News Log, a private-public diary presenting events, symposia and happenings in Berlin and elsewhere - my farings, foci, issues and concerns.


The Log links to my work and interests and presents issues and special concern of maybe a very small group of "concerned, engaged generalist" - a Global Interest Group (GIG). This needs to be seen in contrast to the ubiquitous Specialized Interest Groups (SIGs), the "scientific" approach to organize subject areas and specialization and standardization and harmonization! of means, nomenclatures, and modes of thinking. One of my favorite stories is "Longing for Unified Knowledge" where such a "specialist" runs into the founding session of the early general systems associations, mumbling "this is not my field" (as reported by Ivan M. Havel in our ISSS Wholeness Seminar).
As a starter I also recommend to check my MINDPRINT site, where we add the need for HANDPRINTS and MINDPRINTS, as FOOTPRINTS are good to visualize and communicate numbers, densities or consumption per area, but are not sufficient to negotiate and "harmonize" across domains and communicate gains in different cultures, technologies, times,... in short: incompatible but relevant information and our work on dialog, peace, policy-making, and multi-modal, faceted issues and consequences.
What am I? This is a "well-packed" question for which I have not the or a single answer. Some called me an in-betweener, go-getter, facilitator, hub, marvel-hero, trim-tab, bricoleur, bricoleers??? - career designeer, .... Some even "hank" which I disliked or Story which I liked very much !!
I have no single answer as I feel we need to walk the talk and sing and dance Life ! in spectra and fields in multiple embodied spaces.
To nebulous an answer? I am sorry but I do not go for overclaims and oversimplifications, under-complex and over-simplistic approaches with clan-think mindsets about real issues in clear contexts!

Previous entries
  • Mostafa Kamal Tolba - an Eulogy

  • 2016-04-03
  • Tactical Whiteroom & Nervous Systems & PENG! at the HKW, Berlin

  • 2016-04-01
  • Reinventing Democracy - UNDEF - Check it out !

  • 2016-03-22
  • Future of Agriculture - Futures of Cultures FFA Brussels 2016

  • 2016-03-18
  • Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2016

  • 2016-03-05

  • 2016-03-04

  • More ..

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