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.


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
  • Dr. Mixel Kiemen: evolutionary cybernetics, self-organization, and distributed cognition applied to Internet Innovation
  • Viktoras Veitas: systems approaches to policy design; AGI models of the emergence of cognition
  • Dr. Clement Vidal: evolutionary philosophy of cosmology; worldviews; applications of distributed cognition
  • David R. Weinbaum (Weaver): future evolution of intelligence, and the complexity philosophy of Deleuze and Simondon
  • Petter Braathen: action ontology and role of paradoxes in social systems
  • Cadell Last: past and future evolution of humanity and technology, distributed governance
  • Dr. Shima Beigi: sustainability and resilience of complex systems; mindfulness engineering; coping with uncertainty
  • Dr. Marta Lenartowicz: social systems as self-sustaining entities


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).


(Former) Students

  • 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
  • Ceyhun Carasu: epistemology of computer simulation
  • Paola Verhaert: the CyberSyn project; technology and society
  • Simon Johanning: complexity and evolution
  • Li Xiubo: philosophy of technology; self-organizing engineering systems

Former members


Collaboration with other groups