Edgar Morin is an exceptional person who celebrates today, on 8 July 2021, his 100th (!) birthday.
He is a philosopher and sociologist, well-known for his insights into complexity and his political ideas in France and in Latin America, but less so in English- and German-speaking countries. It is after him that the international campaign for the raising of an awareness that all mankind has one and the same “Terre-Patrie“, a single “Homeland Earth”, is named. He coined the term before the turn to the new millennium – the realisation of that idea is the key task of that millennium.
It was at that time when some of those who this day are affiliated with The Institute for a Global Sustainable Information Society got in touch with Morin’s work and, later on, also with him personally. In the project “Human Strategies in Complexity – Philosophical Foundations for a Theory of Evolutionary Systems” 2001-2004 – that led to the foundation of the Unified Theory of Information Research Group (the forerunner of the current institute) – Wolfgang Hofkirchner, Christian Fuchs, Rainer E. Zimmermann, Iryna Dobronravova, Yurii Mielkov and John Collier discussed already Morin’s ideas. Helena Knyazeva and Hofkirchner became involved in the Multiversidad Mundo Real Edgar Morin, located in Mexico. Zimmermann undertook the translation of the first of Morin’s six volumes work on complexity into German (“Die Methode: Die Natur der Natur”, 2010) and was the laudator of Morin when honouring him with the Ludwig von Bertalanffy Award in Complexity Thinking at the European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research in Vienna in 2012. In 2017, José María Díaz Nafría, as well as Peter Crowley and Hans-Jörg Kreowski from the Emergent Systems, Information and Society Research Group (that was also integrated with the institute) – together with colleagues and friends Werner Wintersteiner, Wilfried Graf and Gudrun Kramer – co-authored with Hofkirchner a text on “Global Challenges Transformation – Connecting Global Citizens, Global Dialogue and Global Governance” that made extensive references to Morin’s approach. An adapted version of the text refocussed on the role of Information and Communication Technologies (“ICTs connecting global citizens, global dialogue and global governance”, 2019). Cecile Malaspina is currently collaborating with Zimmermann to translate the next volume of Morin’s complexity œvre into German – it is about the life of life.
Since 2019 Edgar Morin has been Member of the GSIS Institute’s Advisory Committee. The institute is proud to count on him and to be able to celebrate with him!