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'.

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 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).
  • 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.