The Third International Interdisciplinary Scientific and Practical Symposium


Moscow, October 8-10, 2001


The 3rd International Symposium “Reflexive Processes and Control” has been held in Moscow (8-10 October, 2001) on the initiative of RAS Institute of Psychology (Laboratory of Psychology of Reflexive Processes) and with assistance rendered by Diplomatic Academy of Russian Federation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Some 200 participants from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Canada, and the United States took part in this symposium. Among these people were scientists, public figures, researchers in the field of politics, diplomacy, and government, journalists, information technology specialists, and others.

1. Symposium Objectives Various sciences dealing with complex systems ñ psychology, sociology, economics, political and military sciences ñ seek objective definitions not only for system physical parameters, but also for its subjective aspects, the essence of which consists in human interactions.

Methods of objective description of systems with inner worlds, i.e., subjects, are being developed in reflexive studies. The subject can be an individual, a group of individuals, an institution or anentire country. A particular reflection can be related to the individualís psychic process or to macrocultural perception that, for example, {would} allow a country to construct an image of the self. Such a variety of applications has predetermined an interdisciplinary nature of our symposium.

The main objective of the Symposium was to draw attention of scientists, specialists in management, and public to the importance of reflexive approach application which can help in overcoming some cliche impeding stabilization of both global processes, and Russia development. The participants of the Symposium have discussed current problems in politics, economics, education, culture, security, information wars, fight against terrorism, peacekeeping, information technologies, creation of civil society, etc.

2. Symposium programme The plenary sessions emphasized reflexive aspects of the development of Russia and the whole humanity. A particular attention has been given to the ethical problems of management and development. A broad and interesting discussion followed some questions raised during a Round table “The Problems of Strategic Management and Development of Russia (reflexive aspects)”:
1. What is a “strategic management”?
2. What requirements shall a strategic subject meet?
3. What are the strategic subjects in Russia?
4. What are the obstacles for the development of the strategic subjects in Russia?
5. What favors the development of the strategic subjects in Russia?

The work of symposium was organized in seven sections:
1. Subject. Reflexion. Activity.
2. Reflexive processes: mathematical models and synergetics.
3. Reflexive processes in politics. Information wars, terrorism, and peacekeeping.
4. Reflexive processes in economics.
5. Reflexive processes in management support systems.
6. Reflexive processes in mass communications.
7. Development of reflexive abilities.

Over 100 presentations have been made.

The first issue of an international interdisciplinary scientific and applicational journal, “Reflexive Processes and Control”, was presented during the Symposium.

3. Assessment of the Current Situation The participants of the Symposium expressed their concern about the global threat of terrorism to the security of mankind entering XXI century and about inadequate realization of this threat by world statesmen, businessmen, and public institutions.

(1) Spontaneous processes bringing to our life the products of scientific and technological progress (hurried by the demands of consumer society), at the same time turn mankind into a hostage of avalanche-like growing threats to its existence. In our days, the security and development of mankind depend not only on national concepts, military doctrines of the states or statesmen actions, but also on the goals and moral restrictions of groups and individuals.

(2) New and real threats to the people of Earth arise when we implement technical projects for development of Global Information Society and, at the same time, ignore the problems of informational and psychological security. The lack or delay of appropriate decisions can undermine mental and physical health of the Earth population in the course of development of global computer nets, digital and interactive mass media technologies, and non-controlled distribution of mass media products. A matter of special concern is an appearance of prerequisites that facilitate application of improper computerized psychic technologies to manipulate public opinion and use some behavioral attitudes as a means for a wide-range ecological terror, which can result in irreversible changes in the genetic fund of biosphere.

(3) The basic documents on security problems have generally a “defensive” character, and this condemns mankind to be late in responding to new threats from terrorist organizations and individual terrorists. A new forestalling approach is required to provide early forecast, to beat the intents of asocial elements, and to create conditions that would form self-regulating machinery for preventing those threats from coming.

Then, a new means is required to support processes of world community stabilization and development and to predict and neutralize the threats. Traditional structures responsible for international and national security are not ready {for functioning} in a new situation. These structures need time to adapt; however, neither separate countries, nor mankind as a whole have this time available. The whole world shall resolve this problem by mobilization of all intellectual resources on the basis of new forms of collective work and by versatile interaction of public, commercial, and governmental structures.

The reflexive approach can be used as a methodological foundation for interdisciplinary work aiming at stabilization and development of world community through mutual understanding and confidence, concordance of particular interests, and integration of different subjects with full respect to their distinctness and autonomy.

Within the last few years, on the initiative of Laboratory of Psychology of Reflexive Processes, an international scientific community engaged in research of reflexive processes and designing reflexive technologies has been formed. It encompasses more than 500 highly educated professionals many of whom are the leaders of other communities.

Our community is capable of and ready to participate in solving complicated interdisciplinary problems of mankind survival and development. It is necessary to build up the adequate organizational forms. Moreover, the new ways of solving the problems of mankind security and development must be elaborated and presented to statesmen and leaders of international organizations.

4. Symposium Recommendations

(1) To appeal to the Presidium of Russian Academy of Sciences for considering the necessity of organization and support for the fundamental interdisciplinary work in the field of reflexive processes and control.

(2) To support the proposal of the Symposium participants to establish International Institute of Reflexive Technologies (IIRT).

The objectives of the Institute will be:

1) To work out reflexive technologies for attainment of mutual understanding and confidence between all subjects of world community (nations, ethnoses, alliances, citizens, etc.).

2) To work out reflexive technologies for strategic management and development of world community {of} various subjects (nations, ethnoses, alliances, citizens, etc.) participating in {this} process {with} their interests taken into account.

3) To work out reflexive technologies for protection of subjects and their relationships (specifically, interstate relations) against hidden intrusion of other subjects.

4) To work out technologies that shall "waken" and support reflexion of different subjects, including individuals and planet population as a whole; molding a culture of strategic subjects.

5) To work out humanitarian technologies for informatization of society (including mass media) on the basis of reflexive approach.

6) To ensure international examination (reflexive analysis) of events, conflicts, documents, etc.

7) To coordinate international work in the field of reflexive technologies.

Foundation of the International Institute of Reflexive Technologies can be useful in solving urgent Russian problems, which are:

- Building Russian institutions that can efficiently mobilize intellectual resources for resolution of interdisciplinary problems of security and development of Russia. Judging by their results “Centers for Strategic ...”, yesterday being in fashion, were unable to elaborate technologies adequate to the problems arised. There is no organizations of “brainstorming” type in Russia (like RAND Corp. in the United States); however, the need for those is more than apparent, not only in relation with a new wave of terrorism.

- Mobilizing Russian intellectual potential for creation of new humanitarian technologies intended for stabilization and development of world community and for solving problems of Russia development as well. Russian intellectual potential will begin to shine in the light of successes and glory if there will be an “organizational setting” adequate both to its possibilities and to the urgent practical problems.

- Attracting capital investments to Russia for development of intellectual technologies.

- Creating favorable conditions for Russia intellectual elite to prevent "brain drain" from and initiate "brain immigration" to Russia.

- Russia becoming a worldwide leader in export of humanitarian technologies.

To ask participants of symposium to initiate foundation of International Institute of Reflexive Technologies and to draw scientists, managers, experts, as well as enterprises, companies and organizations, as the members or authorized partners, in this Institute activity.

To recommend international, governmental, commercial and non-commercial organizations and citizens to support foundation and activity of International Institute of Reflexive Technologies.

(3) To recommend organizers and participants of the Symposium to prepare and publish popular materials related to the problems of reflexive processes and control.

(4) The Symposium organizers and institutions interested in development of reflexive studies shall make their best to attract young generation (students, post-graduate students, young specialists) in working on these problems.

(5) To ask the Symposium organizers to prepare a number of publications informing wide range of scientists and specialists on development of the reflexive studies.

(6) The Symposium highly appraises the scientific level and practical importance of international interdisciplinary scientific and applicational journal “Reflexive Processes and Control” and recommends that journal to be widely distributed abroad.

(7) The Symposium expresses its gratitude to the Organizing Committee, management of RAS Institute of Psychology, Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Settlement Bank for the excellent arrangement of the event, creating the atmosphere of kindness, deep mutual understanding, and mutual enrichment, for arousing the feeling of social need in reflexive studies, and for opening new horizons for professional growth and self-expression.

The Symposium asks its organizers to retain traditions and conduct the IV International Symposium “Reflexive Processes and Control” next year.

Chairman of Organizing Committee
of the III International Symposium,
Head of Laboratory of reflexive processes
of RAS Institute of Psychology,
Doctor of Psychology

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