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.

Ouroboros Seminars

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'.

Francisco & Friends Webinars

As part of the Varela 20/30 event series, Francisco Varela's dialogue partners share their experiences and insights about working with him.

Francisco & Friends (webinar series)

  • Title: Francisco & Friends: an Embodiment of Relationship
  • Type of event: series of live webinars. Please note: All events of the series 'Francisco & Friends' will be live-streamed on YouTube.
  • Date/s: please click here to find a list of all dates.
  • About the event: in the context of our celebratory year, we would like to center the contributions to this webinar series on the themes of friendship and relationship linked with Francisco Varela, and on the life and influence of the book he wrote with Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch, The Embodied Mind, in which the concept of enaction is introduced. We have invited friends and colleagues of Francisco, amongst them the Dalai Lama, Evan Thompson, Roshi Joan Halifax and Jon Kabat-Zinn.
  • Language: English.
  • More information:Francisco & Friends (webinar series).

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 on YouTube.
  • 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 Institute and Zen Center (USA), Nirakara (Spain), Association pour le Développement de la Mindfulness (France/Switzerland/Belgium).
  • Type of event: conference (online). Please click here for more information on registration and translation.
  • 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, Nirakara and L'ADM – 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.
  • More information:  Varela International Symposium.

Les Colloques Cerisy - Tribute Day

  • Title: “Francisco Varela, a Thinker for Our Time” (Francisco Varela, une pensée actuelle) - A Tribute Day for the 20th anniversary of his passing in 2001
  • Cooperation partner: Les Colloques Cerisy (France).
  • Type of event: conference (online). Click here to see the program.
  • Recordings: click here to watch all recordings of the Tribute Day on our MLE YouTube channel.
  • Date/s: May 20, 2021.
  • Language: French and English (depending on the particular presentation; more information will follow soon).
  • Registration: click here to register (registration in French and English language).
  • About the event - Tribute Day (May 2021): It all started with the project of organizing a week-long Conference dedicated to Francisco Varela’s scientific work, philosophical thought and Buddhist anchorage at Cerisy-la-salle, a longstanding famous place in Normandy, France, for cultural international events, along with artists’ performances in the evenings. All this being meant to attest to the genuine «enaction» (his innovative concept) of his thought and to the true embodiment of his words. This Conference was to take place last July, 2020, but the life of the planet decided otherwise: we adapted — faithful to Francisco’s «natural drift» (a remarkable expression in The Embodied Mind, 1991, the 30th anniversary of which we also celebrate this year) — and the Conference was postponed to 19-25 May, 2021, so near to the very date of his passing, on the 28th of May, that it seemed impossible to postpone again… But yet… The Tribute Day which will take place on the 20th of May 2021 as a visio-event will honor Francisco’s memory and offer an appetizer or kick-off (according to the metaphor you prefer) to the anew postponed Conference, which will take place hopefully entirely «in flesh and blood» (Husserl’s expression) this time between 13-19 August, 2022. During this first Tribute Day, we want to embody Francisco’s thought and his international intellectual vibrancy by giving voice to some persons who knew him well as friends, scientific and philosophical collaborators, Buddhist meditators, and by projecting short videos showing some of the most important life-contexts of his work and scientific interpersonal interactions. And to begin with, his presence at Cerisy at various moments of his career, namely first for the famous Conference L’auto-organisation: de la physique au politique (1981): a seminal research program, which Francisco emblematized so genuinely.
  • Organization: Natalie Depraz, Ivan Magrin-Chagnolleau; Scientific Committee: Michel Bitbol, Amy Cohen Varela, Natalie Depraz, Ivan Magrin-Chagnolleau, Claire Petitmengin, Jean Petitot.
  • Sponsored by: Équipe de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les aires culturelles (ERIAC) — EA 4705 [Université de Rouen Normandie], Archives Husserl — UMR 8547 [CNRS // ENS], Laboratoire Perception Représentations Image Son Musique (PRISM) — UMR 7061 [CNRS // Aix-Marseille Université], Mind & Life Europe
  • More information: the program as well as the registration process are currently being developed and will be published soon. Updates can be found here: Les Colloques Cerisy - 2021.
Program: Tribute Day (May 20, 2021)

Opening of the Day / Ouverture de la journée (10:00 – 10:10)

Amy Cohen-Varela, Natalie Depraz, Ivan Magrin-Chagnolleau

 

I. Francisco Varela in Cerisy / Francisco Varela à Cerisy (10:10 – 11:20)

TIMETHEMEPRESENTER/STYPE

10:10–10:25

Francisco’s presence in 1981 and 1990: Jean-Pierre Dupuy’s testimony (text read) and a video showing Francisco discussing Castoriadis’ ideas on autonomy

les présences de Francisco au Colloque sur L’auto-organisation en 1981 et au Colloque Castoriadis en 1990: témoignage de Jean-Pierre Dupuy (texte lu) et vidéo de Francisco Varela sur Castoriadis et l’autonomie

Edith Heurgon

live

(French)

10:25–10:40

Francisco Varela : living autonomy together : how interactions go beyond representations?

Francisco Varela: l’autonomie à plusieurs, des interactions qui dépassent les représentations?

Pierre Livet

live

(French)

10:40–11:20

Life, The Living, Autonomy, Self-organisation: dialogue with Tom Froese and Andreas Weber

La vie, le vivant, l’autonomie, l’auto-organisation : dialogue entre Tom Froese et Andreas Weber

Tom Froese, Andreas Weber

live

(English)

 

>> SHORT BREAK / PETIT PAUSE (11:20 – 11:25)

 

II. Francisco Varela and buddhist meditation / Francisco Varela et la méditation bouddhiste (11:25 – 12:20)

TIMETHEMEPRESENTER/STYPE

11:25–11:45

Meeting Francisco

Ma rencontre avec Francisco

Matthieu Ricard

pre-recorded

(English)

11:45–12:05

Meditation with Francisco and Chögyam Trungpa

La méditation avec Francisco et Chögyam Trungpa

Fabrice Midal

live

(French)

12:05–12:20

How to live in a world without grounds: opening the way from systemics to buddhism

Vivre dans un monde sans fondement: comment Francisco Varela ouvre un chemin de la systémique au bouddhisme

Alexis Lavis

live

(French)

12:20–12:40

INTERMEZZO I – An enactive approach to artistic creation

Une approche enactive de la création artistique

Raphaële Jeune, Ivan Magrin-Chagnolleau, Nico Dockx

live

(French)

 

>> LUNCH BREAK (12:40 – 14:10)

 

III. Francisco Varela in Paris: from CREA to LENA (naturalisation of phenomenology and neurophenomenology) / Francisco Varela à Paris: du CREA au LENA (naturalisation de la phénoménologie et neurophénoménologie) (14:10 – 14:50)

TIMETHEMEPRESENTER/STYPE

14:10–14:30

The story of a companionship

Histoire d’un compagnonnage

Jean Petitot

live

(French)

14:30–14:50

The birth of the paradigm of neurophenomenology

Au LENA : la naissance du paradigme de la neurophénoménologie

Antoine Lutz

live

(French)

 

 

IV. In quest of first-person lived experience: The View from Within (1999) On becoming aware (1996-2004) / En quête de l’expérience vécue en première personne (14:50 – 15:30)

TIMETHEMEPRESENTER/STYPE

14:50–15:10

The discovery of the explicitation interview and the fertility of the first person methodology

La découverte de l’entretien d’explicitation et la fécondité de la méthodologie en première personne

Claire Petitmengin

live

(French)

15:10–15:30

From the immersion in Husserlian phenomenology to its enaction in first person methods

De l’immersion dans la phénoménologie husserlienne à son enaction via les méthodes en première personne

Natalie Depraz

live

(French)

15:30–15:50

INTERMEZZO II: Living together one’s educational autonomy (in films, audios and photos)

Vivre ensemble son autonomie éducative (en films, photos et audios de Francisco)

Michèle Duzert

live

(French)

 

 

V. Tributes in books and A book-anniversary: The Embodied Mind (1991) (15:50 – 17:05)

TIMETHEMEPRESENTER/STYPE

15:50–16:10

Le Cercle Créateur (Ecrits 1976-2001), Seuil, 2017.

Michel Bitbol (éditeur / editor)

Michel Bitbol

live

(French)

16:10–16:30

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Science: Francisco as a founding editor. A first Tribute 2003/Special Issue 2004.

Francisco éditeur. Un premier Hommage (2003)/Un numéro special (2004).

Natalie Depraz et Shaun Gallagher (first editors / co-éditeurs)

Natalie Depraz and Shaun Gallagher

live

(English)

16:30–16:45

Ten Years of Viewing from Within. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2009.

Claire Petitmengin (editor / éditrice)

Claire Petitmengin

live

(French)

16:45–17:05

Thirty years after The Embodied Mind «Locating Francisco Varela’s work in the ‘4EA cognition’ paradigm»

Trente ans après – L’inscription corporelle de l’esprit (1989-1991) «Situer le travail de Francisco Varela dans le paradigme de la cognition 4EA»

John Protevi

live

(English)

 

>> TEA BREAK (17:05 – 17:35)

 

VI. Francisco Varela in Dharamsala: the Mind and Life Institute and the Dalai Lama / Francisco Varela à Dharamsala: l’Institut Mind and Life et le Dalaï-Lama (17:35 – 18:20)

TIMETHEMEPRESENTER/STYPE

17:35–17:45

Francisco with the Dalaï-Lama in Dharamsala (video)

Francisco avec le Dalaï-Lama à Dharamsala (vidéo)

-/-

pre-recorded

(English)

17:45–18:00

The Advantages of Wearing Multiple Hats: the Legacy of Francisco Varela in the meeting of Buddhism and Science (pre-recorded video)

Les avantages qu’il y a à avoir plusieurs casquettes: l’héritage de Francisco Varela dans la rencontre entre le bouddhisme et la science (vidéo pré-enregistré)

Alan Wallace

pre-recorded

(English)

18:00–18:20

The Mind and Life Institute - beginnings and new developments

L’Institut Mind and Life: commencements et nouveaux développements

Amy Cohen Varela

live

(English)

 

 

VII. Departing words / Envoi (18:20 – 19:20)

TIMETHEMEPRESENTER/STYPE

18:20–18:50

Forum: Francisco after Francisco

Forum: Francisco après Francisco

  • François Sebbah et Charles Lenay: Francisco at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne et après… – And after…
  • Valérie Bonnardel: 1986-1991, Jussieu, Quai Saint Bernard, 6e étage: le laboratoire de Francisco Varela – Francisco Varela’s lab…
  • Jean-Daniel Thumser: Reading Husserl and Varela: the dawn of a new paradigm… – Relire Husserl et Varela, l’orée d’un nouveau paradigme…
 

François Sebbah et Charles Lenay, Valérie Bonnardel, Jean-Daniel Thumser

live

(French)

18:50–19:20

Francisco in Monte Grande and afterwards – Franz Reichle’s triptych-film: «Monte Grande»/ «Mind and Life»/ «Cisco Pancho» (projection of extracts)

À Monte Grande et après – Le triptyque de Franz Reichle: «Monte Grande»/ «Mind and Life»/ «Cisco Pancho» (projection d’extraits)* 

Franz Reichle

pre-recorded

(English)

19:20–tbd

Concluding words/cyber-appetizer: what’s next?

Mots de conclusion/cyber-apéro: et après?

Edith Heurgon avec Amy Cohen Varela, Natalie Depraz et Ivan Magrin-Challogneau

live

(French)