VARELA 20/30 | Events

For the commemoration of the two anniversaries of Varela 20/30, we are collaborating with international friends and partners on different event series.

Details on our partnerships are provided below.

Annual Ouroboros Series

We are excited about the bi-weekly lecture series "Mind and Life of Francisco Varela" with internationally renowned presenters - starting mid-March (livestream available).

Varela Int. Symposium

We are partnering with Upaya Zen Center (USA) for the Varela International Symposium on the topic of 'An Exploration of Uncertainty and Emergence in Self and Society'.

Les Colloques Cerisy

As part of the Varela 20/30 event series, we are partnering with Les Colloques Cerisy (France) on their colloquium dedicated to Francisco Varela in May.

Ouroboros Seminars

  • Title: Ouroboros 2021 - Life and Work of Francisco Varela
  • Cooperation partner: Sebastjan Vörös (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts), Metanoia (Slovenia).
  • Type of event: bi-weekly (2 sessions/month) lecture series (online). Please note: All lectures of the Ouroboros Seminars will be live streamed.
  • Date/s: start date is March 17, 2021; please click here to find a list of all dates.
  • About the event: The goal is to create an online research and discussion group centered around the work of Francisco Varela. The main activities of the group will consist in reading, presenting, and discussing Francisco's research spanning different time periods and different topics.
  • Language: English.
  • More information:  Ouroboros 2021- Life and Work of Francisco Varela.

Varela International Symposium

  • Title: Varela International Symposium - An Exploration of Uncertainty and Emergence in Self and Society
  • Cooperation partner: Upaya Zen Center (USA), Nirakara (Spain), Association pour le Développement de la Mindfulness (France/Switzerland/Belgium).
  • Type of event: conference (online). Registration via the Upaya website.
  • Date/s: May 14-16, 2021.
  • About the event: The Varela International Symposium brings together a remarkable faculty to explore cutting edge areas of science, philosophy, and contemplative practices, such as Buddhism. Our world is rapidly shifting, with little that seems certain or predictable. The forces that both reflect and have influenced this tipping point, range from a viral pandemic to world-wide protests, from the climate catastrophe to economic instability. These global shifts have made it increasingly apparent that unique personal and social transformations emerge from the changing, dynamic interactions within the complex systems of our own brains and bodies, and within our equally complex societies and our environment. In this year’s program – co-organised with Mind & Life Europe and Nirakara – we have the opportunity to explore with leading scientists and scholars insights regarding the nature and consequences of uncertain emergent phenomena in complex systems, and what possibilities emergence creates for bringing forth a more equitable, just, and caring world.
  • Language: English. Please note that all presentations will be translated into Spanish and French.
    • Spanish: Nirakara colabora con Upaya Zen Center, Mind & Life Europe y L'ADM para ofrecer traducción en español y soporte técnico al 'Varela International Symposium'.
    • French: L’ADM (Association pour le Développement de la Mindfulness) est partenaire de Upaya Zen Center, Mind & Life Europe et Nirakara dans le cadre de la rencontre internationale du 'Varela International Symposium' pour offrir une traduction simultanée en Français.
  • More information:  Varela International Symposium.

Les Colloques Cerisy

  • Title: Les Colloques Cerisy - Francisco Varela, Une Pensée Actuelle: Autopoièse, Énaction, Phénoménologie
  • Cooperation partner: Les Colloques Cerisy (France).
  • Type of event: conference (in-person event). Please note: the date for the opening of registrations for auditors will be defined in the light of information concerning the evolution of the health crisis.
  • Date/s: May 19-25, 2021.
  • About the event: Francisco Varela made a significant contribution to the field of cognitive science and notably proposed the theory of enaction. He was also very interested in phenomenology and forged a new approach to consciousness emerging but irreducible to neuronal dynamics, which he named neurophenomenology. He also founded the Mind and Life Institute, a place of dialogue with the Dalai Lama and of reflection on the possible links between sciences and contemplative practices, in particular meditation. Finally, his work around the notions of emergence and autopoiesis, in particular with Humberto Maturana, had, not only in the field of biology, an important influence. It seemed essential to us, almost 20 years after his death, to revisit his thinking, to see what its impact was today and the disciplinary fields which had appropriated it. This colloquium is therefore conceived as a dialogue between hard sciences and human sciences, between art and science, between science and conscience. It also wants to be a place and a moment to reflect on interdisciplinarity and its implementation.
  • Language: French.
  • More information: Les Colloques Cerisy - 2021.