Advisory Board

Dr. Marta Lenartowicz

Marta Lenartowicz, Ph.D. is an Interdisciplinary Researcher and Educator based at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and Buckminster College in Belgium.

At the VUB, where she initiated the postgraduate program called “the School of Thinking”, she works as the Director of Education and Senior Researcher at the Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies (CLEA). She has served as the Principal at Buckminster College since 2020, curating learning trajectories suitable for broad-thinking, sensitive, and demanding learners.

In addition to serving as CLEA’s director of education, she is currently involved in multiple projects: the Human Energy Project as Senior Researcher, the School of Thinking as Instructor, and the Education for Complexity research group as Chair.

Read Notes on the Origins and Reception of the Concept ‘Noosphere’, What is Intelligence?, and The Method of Humanity.

Marta is interested in the philosophy of cognitive science and in theoretical approaches to the evolution of intelligence, cognitive development, and distributed cognition. In all her work, she seeks to advance the conceptual underpinnings that govern the evolution of intelligence in human cognitive systems at multiple scales.

Marta authored 11 books and handbooks and a variety of shorter scientific publications, most recently in the context of her engagement in the Education for Complexity and Human Energy research projects at CLEA, VUB.

In 2020, Marta coauthored the book Social Systems: Where is the Ground? where she discusses the paradigmatic limits to the argument that social systems are cognitive agents on their own.

In 2022, she published The Practice of Thinking: Cultivating the Extraordinary, a rare peek into a visionary interdisciplinary initiative in the making, from a new and innovative program at the Postgraduate School of Thinking at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels.

Her major publications include The Nature of the University. Higher Education (2015), Creatures of the semiosphere: A problematic third party in the ‘humans plus technology’ cognitive architecture of the future global superintelligence (2017), and The Human Takeover: A Call for a Venture into an Existential Opportunity (2018).

In her academic engagements, she is interested in interdisciplinary theoretical modeling and philosophy, focusing on the philosophy of cognitive sciences and the theoretical approaches to the evolution of intelligence, cognitive development, distributed cognition, and collective intelligence.

Marta was born in Poland in 1977, and has been living in Belgium since 2014. She has 20 years of professional experience in establishing and leading initiatives in the domains of knowledge-making, knowledge-sharing, and cognitive development.

In 2001, she worked as a graduate teaching assistant at Ohio State University (Columbus, OH), where she followed rigorous training in teaching skills and educational leadership.

Later, back in Kraków, between 2002 and 2008, first as a Teaching and Learning Development Specialist and later as the Director, she initiated a university-wide teaching excellence program ‘Ars Docendi’ at the Jagiellonian University and the lifelong learning center ‘Wszechnica UJ’, for whom she has designed and managed multiple training curricula and outreach programs.

As an avid lifelong learner, she enjoys being continuously a student. This drive led her to follow training in systemic family therapy, several certificate courses in coaching, team coaching, and group facilitation (e.g. from the Ericsson College, Vancouver), and a systems-psychodynamic program in leading organizational change (Tavistock Clinic, London).

From 2008 until 2012, Marta was engaged in several policy development and consultancy projects for the Polish Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Regional Development, and the local government of Lesser Poland.

Between 2009 and 2016, she served as the Vice President and R&D director of Advisio Consulting Methodologies — a certification network for systems-oriented consultants of organizational development.

In 2014, she became Assistant Professor at The Institute for Public Affairs at Jagiellonian University. She continued for two years, traveling between Krakow and Brussels, where she also in 2014, became Senior Researcher in the Evolution, Complexity, and Cognition Group at Center Leo Apostel (ECCO, CLEA), where she was a Postdoctoral Fellow and completed it under the supervision of Professor Francis Heylighen in 2019, when she started her position as the Director of Education at the CLEA.

A year after she came to Brussels, in 2015, Marta became the Managing Director of the Global Brain Institute at VUB. In 2018, she initiated the Postgraduate School of Thinking at the Center Leo Apostel and became its Program Director in 2019 until 2021.

Read The Global Brain as a model of the future information society: An introduction to the special issue.

In 2016 and until 2017, Marta was a Visiting Scholar at the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS). She collaborated with Professor Luk Van Langenhove to devise an inventory to guide observation of integrative interventions performed by one social system on another (e.g. in public policy, developmental aid, peacekeeping, and diplomacy).

Marta earned her Ph.D. in Humanistic Management with Philosophy of Socio-Systemic Change from Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 2014. With an interdisciplinary background in cognitive science, complexity studies, social epistemology, theory of language, and educational leadership. For her Ph.D., she developed a socio-cybernetic framework for understanding the resistance to change encountered by public policy interventions, and she has applied this framework to studying traditional Polish academic institutions’ responses to the policies introduced under the umbrella of the EU’s Lisbon Strategy.

She was awarded the best doctoral dissertation at the Faculty of Management and Social Communication of the Jagiellonian University in 2014 for her thesis Autopoiesis of the university. A study of the application of the autopoietic system concept for forecasting change processes in Małopolska universities.

She earned her Master’s Degree of Arts in Philosophy with the Theory of Language also from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 2001. In her Master’s thesis under the supervision of Professor Jolanta Antas, she dealt with the philosophical understanding of language, and in particular with the pragmatic-linguistic approach to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s concept of a language game. Her thesis was titled Koncepcja “gry je̜zykowej” Wittgensteina w świetle badań współczesnego je̜zykoznawstwa, Tow. Autorów i Wydawców Prac Naukowych Universitas, 2002.

Watch Marta Lenartowicz: Education for Complexity and the Human Energy 2022 Workshop Presentation.

Follow her contributions at the School of Thinking and at the Constructivist Community.

Visit her LinkedIn profile, CRIS profile, Wikipedia page, Google Scholar page, ResearchGate page, and Academia page. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.