ECCO People

ECCO, the Evolution, Complexity and COgnition group, is an interdisciplinary research center affiliated with the Center Leo Apostel and the Global Brain Institute at the (Dutch-speaking) Free University of Brussels (VUB). 

Address: ECCO, Center Leo Apostel,  Vrije Universiteit Brussel,  

Krijgskundestraat 33,  B-1160 Brussels, Belgium 

(This is just outside the main VUB campus, see map and directions; entrance to the Center: see photo on the right)

phone: +32-2-640 67 37

fax: +32-2-644 07 44

e-mail: secrecco at (replace " at " by "@")




The following lists the present members with their focus of research. "Core" members are those whose main research activities fall under ECCO; most of them make or have made a PhD under the guidance of F. Heylighen. The others participate in ECCO projects, but have their main activity elsewhere. All (and only) members subscribe to the [ECCO] mailing list for announcements and discussion. For more details on individual members, click on the name to go to the person's home page, or check the short biographies of ECCO people.


Core members

  • Evo Busseniers: mathematical models of self-organization and hierarchy in networks and society
  • Jon Echanove: leadership and human experience in complex, uncertain environments
  • Dr. Carlos Gershenson: design and control of self-organizing systems via multiagent simulations; philosophy of complexity
  • Mixel Kiemen: evolutionary cybernetics, self-organization, and distributed cognition applied to Internet Innovation
  • Viktoras Veitas: systems approaches to policy design; AI models of the emergence of symbolic cognition
  • Dr. Clement Vidal: evolutionary philosophy of cosmology; worldviews; applications of distributed cognition
  • David R. Weinbaum (Weaver): future evolution of the human mind, and the complexity philosophy of Deleuze
  • Petter Braathen: action ontology and role of paradoxes in social systems
  • Øyvind Vada: evolution, complexity and cognition concepts applied to memetic governance.
  • Cadell Last: past and future evolution of humanity and technology
  • Lotte van Lith: cognitive development of gifted adults
  • Shima Beigi: self-organization and cybernetic control mechanisms applied to resilience in complex systems


Affiliated members

Photo: some ECCO members on the VUB Campus (Oct. 2008); left to right: Heylighen (Belgium), Vidal (France), Smart (USA), Nagarjuna (India), Stewart (Australia).



  • Geert Biebaut: social construction of shared concepts
  • Francy Matthys: psychological aspects of collective intelligence
  • Edwin Stiers: philosophy of evolutionary well-being/paleolithic lifestyle
  • Blaise Holden: computer games for teaching cybernetic concepts and mindfulness

Former members

Collaboration with other groups