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Elisabeth Dostal

Elisabeth Dostal

Author of
Biomatrix: A Systems Approach to Organisational and Societal Change


Biomatrix Systems Theory in Graphics

Brief history
Elisabeth Dostal (born Feyrer) grew up in Austria. On a visit to South Africa she met her husband Pavel Dostal, a mechanical engineer. They live in Cape Town and Brno (Czech Republic), Pavel’s hometown.

Elisabeth loves sailing on their home-built yacht and meeting her friends over bottomless cups of coffee. She is deeply interested in the exploration of human potential, using herself as a case study.

Favourite books, quote, music
Variety delights.

Her formal educational qualifications are a master's degree in socio-economic sciences (i.e. mag. rer. soc. oec.) from Kepler University Linz, Austria (1971) and a PhD from the University of Cape Town (1997). Her PhD thesis applies Biomatrix Systems Theory to the analysis of complex societal problems and the (re)design of social systems, using the education system of South Africa as a case study.

Since 2009, Elisabeth has focused on the development and distribution of e-learning based programmes grounded in Biomatrix Systems Theory. The programmes educate managers and leaders in systems thinking and help bring about transformation of organisations and societies.

The books and programmes are available on www.biomatrixweb.com.

She is also a management consultant, specialising in the theory and praxis of societal and organisational transformation based on the Biomatrix Systems Approach. She has worked with a variety of South African and international business organisations, NGOs and governments.

Since 1994, she has been teaching systems thinking, systemic management and business futuristics in MBA and other post-graduate programmes at Stellenbosch University, as well as various other South African and European universities.

Until 1991, she was a senior researcher at the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) of Stellenbosch University, specialising in socio-economic and political forecasting and scenario planning, as well as researching long-term trends of South Africa's future. She also made methodological contributions to forecasting, planning and societal problem (dis)solving.

Scientific Articles
Elisabeth has published a range of scientific articles on the Biomatrix Systems Approach (see www.biomatrixtheory.com) and has addressed various South African and international conferences on systems thinking, systemic management and futurism (see her speech at the World Future Society conference in Cape Town).

About the books

Biomatrix: A Systems Approach to Organisational and Societal Change

(in collaboration with Anacreon Cloete and György Járos).  2005 (third edition). BiomatrixWeb, Cape Town, South Africa. (First edition published in 2004 by SUN Press, Stellenbosch, South Africa)

This book provides a comprehensive theory of management. It outlines how change in organisations and society needs to be managed in the information age: systemically. It also proposes ideas for new governance models.

Part 1 of the book provides an overview of Biomatrix Systems Theory.

Part 2 applies the theory to management, organisation development and transformation.

Part 3 applies the theory to dissolving complex societal problems.

The book may be regarded as a textbook for management, leadership and governance in the 21st century. Case studies are provided throughout the book.

Biomatrix Systems Theory in Graphics

(in collaboration with Anacreon Cloete and György Járos). 2012. BiomatrixWeb, Cape Town, South Africa

This book foregrounds the graphic representation of Biomatrix Systems Theory. Each theoretical concept is depicted by a figure, which is also explained and its relevance pointed out. Because “a picture is worth a thousand words” the reader gains an intuitive as well as intellectual understanding of the theory.

Each figure in the book is assembled using a few graphic elements, which constitute a unique graphic alphabet. Biomatrix Systems Theory is the only systems theory with a graphic alphabet.

It is our mission to contribute to a global shift in worldview towards systems thinking. This book can therefore be viewed free of charge as a presentation on www.biomatrixtheory.com.

Text by Elisabeth Dostal, January 2004
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