development of the theory
Biomatrix Systems Theory was developed in the context of an interdisciplinary PhD programme hosted by the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. The programme was initiated and supervised by György Járos, head of the department at the time, and involved a group of researchers from different disciplines, who formed the Biomatrix Group.
Its core members are György Járos, Anacreon Cloete, Elisabeth Dostal, Lynn Edwards and Linda Muller. They represent the disciplines of biology, biomedical engineering, medicine, public health, technology development, education, art, psychology, futurism and business management.
Other researchers from the same and other universities and other scientific disciplines also participated through different projects at different times, albeit without becoming an integral part of the group. Their names are reflected in the list of research articles on Biomatrix Systems Theory.
Research focused not only on the development of a coherent meta-systems theory, but also on the practical application of this theory in the various disciplines in which the members of the Biomatrix Group specialise. In their shared passion for finding solutions to the perplexing problems in their various fields of study, the group applied the theory to guide interventions in the systems of nature, as well as add in psychological, social and technological systems, thereby integrating the theory with tools and methods of application into a coherent, multi-disciplinary systems approach.
Although the core members of the Biomatrix Group shifted their emphasis from basic research to application during the last few years, research on Biomatrix Systems Theory and its application continues in Master’s and PhD programmes in various disciplines at various universities, under the co-supervision of members of the Biomatrix Group.
members of the biomatrix group
György Járos is the co-originator of Biomatrix Systems Theory and the driving force behind the Biomatrix Group.
He is presently a Biomatrix Systems Consultant, based at Gold Coast City, Queensland, Australia.
Between 1980-1994 he was the Hyman Goldberg Professor and head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cape Town, where he was supervisor for the PhD theses of each member of the group and inspired their scientific activities. Apart from the above position he has held teaching and research posts in physiology and biomedical engineering at the universities of the Witwatersrand, Pretoria, Strasbourg, Mississippi, Sydney, Stellenbosch and Budapest, as well as at Bond University and Siemens AG Germany.
His qualifications include:
- BSc (Engineering), University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (1963)
- MSc (Engineering), University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (1967)
- DSc (Physiology), University of Pretoria, South Africa (1975)
György is Hungarian by birth, but has lived in South Africa for 35 years, in England, France, USA and Germany for short periods of time, and since 1995 he has been based in Australia. He loves swimming, walking, art and music.
Anacreon Cloete is the co-originator of Biomatrix Systems Theory. His main research focus within the Biomatrix Group is the naturosphere (physics and biology).
Professionally, he is a consultant in General Systems Theory in conjunction with other members of the Biomatrix Group.
His PhD entitled The Biomatrix Model: The Development and Formalisation of a General Systems Model is published as a book.
As a researcher his current focus is on a search for universal principles of organisation relevant to all systems. He has a special interest in the fields of biology, theoretical physics, ecology and cosmology.
His qualifications include:
- BEng (Electronic), Rand Afrikanse University, South Africa (1981)
- MSc (Biomedical), University of Cape Town, South Africa (1986)
- PhD (General Systems Theory), University of Cape Town, South Africa (1999)
Besides his passion for the latest in scientific research, he loves spending time in nature and exploring the mysteries of life.
Elisabeth Dostal’s contribution to the Biomatrix Group is the integration of various general systems concepts and approaches into Biomatrix Systems Theory, as well as its application to the management of society and organisations.
Professionally, she is a futurist, management educator and management consultant.
She is also the founder and director of BiomatrixWeb, an organisation that applies Biomatrix Theory to organisational and societal change management.
Her management consulting experience includes interventions on organisational redesign, transformation and problem (dis)solving, as well as strategy development and policy design in various national and international business corporations, governments and NGOs.
She has been associated with the University of Stellenbosch since 1977, initially in a full-time capacity as senior researcher at the Institute for Futures Research (1977-1991), later as part-time lecturer on business futuristics and systems thinking (1994-2011). She has also been teaching various courses on systems thinking at Johannesburg University (2001-2010) and Erasmus University in Rotterdam (2002-2006), as well as being guest lecturer at various other universities in South Africa and Europe. She has attended and addressed a variety of conferences associated with systems thinking and futurism.
She is also a member of the Executive Board of the World Future Society – South Africa.
Her qualifications include:
- Magister (i.e. Master) of social sciences, Kepler University Linz, Austria (1971)
- PhD (General Systems Theory), University of Cape Town, South Africa (1997)
Elisabeth Dostal grew up in Austria. During a visit to South Africa she met her husband and settled in Cape Town.
She loves nature, dancing and meeting her friends over bottomless cups of coffee. She is deeply interested in research on human potential and in the exploration of her own.
Lynn Edwards’ contributions to the Biomatrix Group are the systemic exploration of the psychosphere and keeping it focused on human development.
Professionally, she is a practicing psychologist in private praxis, specialising in life patterning and health and lifestyle related counseling. Prior to this she was Deputy Director of the Cancer Association for six years.
Her qualifications include:
- Diploma in nursing
- Bachelor degree in social science from UCT (1981)
- Honours degree in social science from UNISA (1983)
- Master’s degree in psychology from the University of Cape Town (1987)
- Doctor of Philosophy (General Systems Theory) from the University of Cape Town (1996).
Throughout her involvement with the Biomatrix Group, Lynn managed to juggle family life, a job and her ongoing search for knowledge in an amazingly relaxed manner. As toddlers, her three sons were an integral part of the Biomatrix Group, playing happily throughout our meetings. Lynn loves hiking with her family around the mountains of Cape Town. Another favourite activity is reading.
Linda contributes to the Biomatrix Group through the metaphor and medium of music and universal harmony.
The Biomatrix notion of an underlying web of organised wave patterns, analogous to the wave-particle perspective in physics, resonates with the ancient speculative music views of the world. These are based on the doctrine of the music of the spheres, as expounded in the Pythagorean-Platonic tradition, in which the whole universe is created and sustained according to the principles of music. Whereas previously, music was depicted as an inherent expression of universal harmony, it has in our time, in Western culture, become abstracted as ‘absolute’ or autonomous music with an objective existence. Reviving the metaphysical speculations of a mediated musical universe as part of our systems of inquiry, requires an epistemological shift to include metaphoric, aesthetic and intuitive modes of knowing and consciousness, i.e. as ‘a frame of mind’ rather than a separate ‘body of knowledge’.
As a professional performer her engagements included performances with the Cape Performing Arts Board Orchestra and Cape Town Symphony Orchestra.
She has also lectured in percussion performance and music education programmes at the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch.
During the first decade of South Africa’s democracy she initiated a series of education development projects with special interest in multi-cultural methods development, as well as presenting her programmes as a guest lecturer at various universities and music centers in Sweden and Norway.
Her qualifications include:
- Degree in music
- Higher diploma in education
- Master’s degree (with distinction) in music performance
- PhD on creating a meta-framework of inquiry through the systems and speculative music worldviews.
Linda’s life is music. She plays it, researches it, teaches it, entertains with it and regards it as the basis of human development.