Home | Markus F. Peschl

Quick-Links Teaching: Winter Term 2024/25 Summer Term 2024  


Markus F. Peschl (*1965) is professor of cognitive science and philosophy of science at the University of ViennaDept. of Philosophy. His areas of research and expertise include innovation and alternative approaches to creativity, cognitive science (4E/enactive cognition), organizational theory and strategy, design, 21st century & futures skills, and spaces for knowledge- and innovation work (Enabling Spaces).

He is one of the founders of the inter-faculty interdisciplinary Vienna Cognitive Science Hub  and the head of the International Middle European Joint Masters Program in Cognitive Science (MEi:CogSci) and the Extension Curriculum on Innovation & Knowledge Creation. Markus is head of the OCKO – Organizing Cognition in Knowing Organizations Research Group. He spent several years at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD, cognitive science, neuroscience, and philosophy department) and at the University of Sussex for post-doctoral research. Furthermore, he studied philosophy in France. He is co-founder and CSO of the theLivingCore Innovation and Knowledge Architects; furthermore he holds several guest professorships at European Universities and is a key researcher in the the FWF Cluster of Excellence “Knowledge in Crisis”.

About | Research

Markus Peschl´s focus of research is on the question of innovation and knowledge creation in various contexts: ranging from natural and artificial cognitive systems, over organizations, educational settings, science, to the fields of knowledge technologies and their embedding in social  and physical/architectural systems. Following a radically interdisciplinary approach, Markus integrates approaches from organization science, cognitive science (extended mind/4E approaches to cognition, material engagement theory, affordances), cognitive institutions (organizations as socially extended cognitive systems), philosophy/epistemology, (knowledge-)technologies, and economy. The human person, his/her knowledge and patterns of (social/artifact) interaction/enaction with the environment, the creation of novelty and new niches/innovation, as well as “learning from future potentials” and 21st century & futures skills/literacy are at the center of his attention and research.

Working in the field of radical innovation, Markus has developed the concepts of Emergent Innovation and Enabling Spaces which he understands as a form of “socio-epistemological engineering”. Furthermore, he is engaged in developing alternative knowledge-/innovation-driven formats of teaching and learning and works in the field of interdisciplinary curriculum development. Markus is head of the OCKO – Organizing Cognition in Knowing Organizations Research Group.

M. Peschl holds several visiting professorships (Berlin, Bratislava, etc.), he is a key researcher in the FWF Cluster of Excellence “Knowledge in Crisis”, and has won various prizes for his innovative approaches to teaching and learning. He has published 6 books and more than 150 papers in international journals and collections. For further information see: Publications

Markus Peschl´s research is guided by the following questions (topics for projects & MA/PhD Theses):

  • How does novelty/novel knowledge/innovation come into being?
  • What are cognitive, social, epistemological, organizational, technological, and cultural foundations and enabling factors facilitating (socio-epistemological) processes of knowledge creation and the (co-)design of (innovation) artifacts?
  • What is the role of extended and enactive/4E cognition in knowledge processes and in the production of (innovation) artifacts?
  • What is the role of organizations and space in knowledge work/creation and innovation?
  • What are cognitive institutions, what are the (socially extended) cognitive foundations of organizations and their capacities to innovate and shape the future?
  • What are (future) potentials and how/what can we “learn” from them (e.g., Emergent Innovation, Theory U / Presencing (C.O. Scharmer))?
  • What are the implications from the resulting insights (from the question above) for the organizational domain and educational settings and how can they be applied in these contexts (e.g., future and innovation literacies)?
  • What are the foundations of Design Thinking, what are its pros and cons with respect to future-oriented innovation?
  • What is digitalization actually about? What are its core qualities and what makes it different from other socio-cultural-technological paradigmatic practices and shifts?

linkedin account: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markus-f-peschl

Twitter account (discontinued as of Nov 5, 2022 due to non acceptable changes at Twitter)

Link to a collection of mostly powerful and profound (research) questions | The EDGE | What is the last question?

Teaching | Courses

Quick-Links Courses Winter Term 2024/25 Summer Term 2024

“Education, I argue, is not a “stilling in,” but a “leading out,” which opens paths of intellectual growth and discovery without predetermined outcomes or fixed end-points. It is about attending to things, rather than acquiring the knowledge that absolves us of the need to do so; about exposure rather than immunization. The task of the educator, then, is not to explicate knowledge […] but to provide inspiration, guidance, and criticism in the exemplary pursuit of truth.” (Ingold, 2018, p. ix).

As the world faces increasingly complex challenges the focus of our teaching/learning activities is centered around enabling our students to engage in novel, inspiring, meaning- and mindful, as well as scientifically founded ways of interdisciplinary thinking, perceiving, working, (co-)creating, and collaborating. Our focus in teaching is on cognition, knowledge (creation), and innovation. We conceive of learning as a socio-epistemic-material activity of co-creation, interaction with the world and others, and shaping and being shaped by the world on all levels (cognitive, emotional, bodily & material, social, cultural, existential).

We believe that “future-ready students need to exercise agency, in their own education and throughout life. Agency implies a sense of responsibility to participate in the world and, in so doing, to influence people, events and circumstances for the better. Agency requires the ability to frame a guiding purpose and identify actions to achieve a goal… A concept underlying the learning framework is “co-agency” – the interactive, mutually supportive relationships that help learners to progress towards their valued goals. In this context, everyone should be considered a learner, not only students but also teachers… and communities.” (adapted from OECD Education 2030, Future Education and Skills [2018])

We provide inspiring and enabling learning/teaching environments that find their expression in novel and alternative formats of teaching/learning (e.g., project & innovation work, knowledge ateliers, prototyping, design thinking, peer-to-peer teaching/learning, etc.), state-of-the-art curricula, or innovative physical learning environments (M.Peschl has been part of the design team for the Learning Lab at the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) | (Uni:View)).

Over the last years we have established several interdisciplinary curricula and student/teacher exchange networks focussing on cognition, innovation, and knowledge (technologies):

MEi:CogSci — Middle European Interdisciplinary Master Program in Cognitive Science
Extension Curriculum (EC) Innovation and Knowledge Creation — how novelty comes into the world  
Vienna Doctoral School
Cognition, Behaviour and Neuroscience (CoBeNe)
ERASMUS Exchange program for Cognitive Science  
 CEEPUS Network for Cognitive Science, Knowledge Studies, and Knowledge Technologies  

Topics for projects & MA/PhD Theses

We offer topics for projects, MA theses, and PhD theses in the following fields: innovation, knowledge creation, enabling (innovation and knowledge work/creation), Enabling Spaces, office space design, extended cognition/4E approaches to cognition, impact of cognitive technologies for organizations, for new ways of work and office design, organizational studies, design thinking. For further details and research questions see the section on M.Peschl´s research.

Teaching Award


Selected publications (if a publication is not freely available, ask author for a reprint) :

Peschl, M. F. (2024). Human innovation and the creative agency of the world in the age of generative AI. Possibility Studies & Society, 2(1), pp. 49–76. https://doi.org/10.1177/27538699241238049
Zenk, L., Wetzel, R., & Peschl, M. F. (2024). Improvisation as a design for organizational emergence. In M. Pina E Cunha, D. Vera, A. Cunha Meneses Abrantes, & A. Miner, The Routledge Companion to Improvisation in Organizations, pp. 301–318. London: Routledge. | https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003171768-22
Peschl, M.F. (2023). Learning from the future as a novel paradigm for integrating organizational learning and innovation. The Learning Organization 30(1), 6–22. | https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-01-2021-0018 download
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2023). Co-Becoming: How to Shape Desirable Futures in Highly Uncertain Times. On learning and the role of futures literacy in a VUCA world. In C. Kohlert (Ed.), Die menschliche (Hoch)schule – Human(e) Education, pp. 19–50. Wiesbaden: Springer. | https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-39863-7_2 ask author for reprint |
download pre-final version
Peschl, M.F., A. Kaiser, and B. Fordinal (2023). Enabling the phronetically enacted self: A path toward spiritual knowledge management. Sustainability (Special Issue Knowledge Management and Business Development) 15(18), 13957. | https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813957 download
Ansorge, U., M. Pelowski, C. Quigley, M.F. Peschl, Leder, H. (2022). Art and perception. Using empirical aesthetics in research on consciousness. Frontiers in Pyschology 13, 1–14. | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.895985
Zenk, L., N. Hynek, S.A. Krawinkler, M.F. Peschl et al. (2021). Supporting innovation processes using material artefacts: Comparing the use of LEGO bricks and moderation cards as boundary objects. Creativity and Innovation Management 2021, pp 1–15. | https://doi.org/10.1111/caim.12459
Peschl, M.F., K. Roetzer, G. Bottaro, and A. Schönberg (2021). Creating novel knowledge by cooperating with each other, the world, and the future. In J. Fritz and N. Tomaschek (Eds.), Konnektivität: Über die Zusammenarbeit in der virtuellen Welt. University – Society – Industry, pp. 157–176. Münster, New York: Waxmann.
Peschl, M.F. (2020). Theory U: From potentials and co-becoming to bringing forth emergent innovation and shaping a thriving future. On what it means to “learn from the future as it emerges”. In O. Gunnlaugson and W. Brendel (Eds.), Advances in Presencing (Vol II), pp. 65–112. Vancouver: Trifoss Business Press. ask author for reprint |
download pre-final version
Kaiser, A. and M.F. Peschl (2020). The role of self-transcending knowledge in Senge’s understanding of learning organizations. Towards an interdisciplinary taxonomy of self-transcending knowledge. The Learning Organization 27. | https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-06-2020-0110
Peschl, M.F. and P. Vidovic (2020). Re:Creation. Creativity Between think-ing and thing-ing in a digital world. In J. Fritz and N. Tomaschek (Eds.), Digitaler Humanismus. Menschliche Werte in der virtuellen Welt, pp. 59–72. Münster: Waxmann.
Peschl, M.F. (2019). Design and innovation as co‐creating and co‐becoming with the future. Design Management Journal 14(1), 4–14. | https://doi.org/10.1111/dmj.12049
Peschl, M. (2019), Unlearning towards an uncertain future: on the back end of future-driven unlearning, The Learning Organization, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 454-469. | https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-11-2018-0192

Peschl, M.F., K. Rötzer, G. Bottaro, and M. Harter-Tiefenthaler (2019). The role of the shift from I-to-We and Theory-U in overcoming 21st century illiteracies. In O. Gunnlaugson and W. Brendel (Eds.), Advances in Presencing (Vol 1), pp. 161–210. Vancouver: Trifoss Business Press.

Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2019). The role of radical organizational responsiveness in a complex digital world. In J. Fritz and N. Tomaschek (Eds.), Komplexe Organisation: Digitalisierung als Triebkraft einer veränderten Arbeitswelt, pp. 15–30. Münster: Waxmann.
Hartner-Tiefenthaler, M., K. Rötzer, G. Bottaro, and M.F. Peschl (2018). When relational and epistemological uncertainty act as driving forces in collaborative knowledge creation processes among university students. Thinking Skills and Creativity 28 (June 2018), 21–40 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2018.02.013 link
Peschl, M.F. (2018). Shifting from collaboration with others to collaboration with the future in design and innovation processes. In DMI Design Management Institute (Ed.), Next wave. The21st dmi: Academic Design Management Conference Proceedings, pp. 279–288. Design Management Institute. Boston, Mass: DMI.
Peschl, M.F. (2018). Rethinking forms of collaboration for creating sustainable innovation and novelty for a thriving future. In E. Bolisani et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM 2018), pp. 685–692. University of Padova. Padova, IT.
Grisold, T. and M.F. Peschl (2017). Why a systems thinking perspective on cognition matters for innovation and knowledge creation. A framework towards leaving behind our projections from the past for creating new futures. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 34(3), pp. 335–353. | DOI: 10.1002/sres.2456  link
Grisold, T and M.F. Peschl (2017). Change from the inside out. Towards a culture of unlearning by overcoming Organizational Predictive Mind. In N. Tomaschek and D. Unterdorfer (Eds.), Veränderung. Der Wandel als Konstante unserer Zeit, pp. 45–63. Münster, New York: Waxmann.
Peschl, M. and F. Fundneider (2017). Future-oriented innovation. How affordances and potentials can teach us how to learn from the future as it emerges. In W. Hofkirchner and M. Burgin (Eds.), The future information society. Social and technological problems, pp. 223–240. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing. link
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2017). Uncertainty and opportunity as drivers for re-thinking management: Future-oriented organizations by going beyond a mechanistic culture in organizations. In W. Küpers, S. Sonnenburg, and M. Zierold (Eds.), ReThinking Management: Perspectives and impacts of cultural turns and beyond, pp. 79–96. Wiesbaden: Springer. link
Grisold, T. and M.F. Peschl (2017). On the role of Organizational Predictive Mind in change processes . In E. Tome, G. Neumann, and B. Knezevic (Eds.), Theory and applications in the knowledge economy conference; Proceedings of the international conference TAKE 2017, pp. 509–523. Zagreb.
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2017). Organizations shaping a thriving future. On future-oriented innovations and personal transformation. In B. Spieß and N. Fabisch (Eds.), CSR und neue Arbeitswelten. Perspektivwechsel in Zeiten von Nachhaltigkeit, Digitalisierung und Industrie 4.0, pp. 233–249. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Gabler.
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2016). Design as anticipation and innovation. Co-creating a future by learning from the future as it emerges. In Design Research Society (Ed.), Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference, pp. 1–14. DRS. Brighton, UK. link
Grisold, T. and M.F. Peschl (2016). Facilitating radical innovation by double-loop learning. introducing a strategic framework and toolbox. In E. Tome (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference Theory and Application in the Knowledge Economy (TAKE 2016), pp. 440–451. TAKE Conference. Aveiro, Portugal.
Tebbich, S., S.G. Griffin, M.F. Peschl, and K. Sterelny (2016). From mechanisms to function. An integrated framework of animal innovation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 371(1690), 1–11. | http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0195 link
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2016). Büro als Treiber von Wissens- und Innovationsprozessen. In M. Klaffke (Ed.), Arbeitsplatz der Zukunft. Gestaltungsansätze und Good-Practice Beispiele, pp. 31–56. Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler. link
Peschl, M.F., T. Fundneider, and A. Kulick (2015). On the limitations of classical approaches to innovation. From predicting the future to enabling “thinking from the future as it emerges”. In Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development (Ed.), Designing the Future: Economic, Societal and Political Dimensions of Innovation, pp. 454–475. Wien: Echomedia.
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2014). Why space matters for collaborative innovation networks. On designing enabling spaces for collaborative knowledge creation. International Journal of Organisational Design and Engineering (IJODE) 3(3/4), 358–391 | doi: 10.1504/IJODE.2014.065072 link
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2014). Evolving the future by learning from the future (as it emerges)? Toward an epistemology of change. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37(4), 433-434 | doi: 10.1017/S0140525X13003245 link
Peschl, M.F., G. Bottaro, M Hartner-Tiefenthaler, and K. Rötzer (2014). Learning how to innovate as a socio-epistemological process of co-creation. Towards a constructivist teaching strategy for innovation. Constructivist Foundations 9(3), 421–433. link
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2014). Designing and enabling interfaces for collaborative knowledge creation and innovation. From managing to enabling innovation as socio-epistemological technology. Computers and Human Behavior 37, 346–359. | doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2012.05.027 link

Read more

Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2013). Theory-U and Emergent Innovation. Presencing as a method of bringing forth profoundly new knowledge and realities. In O. Gunnlaugson, C. Baron, and M. Cayer (Eds.), Perspectives on Theory U: Insights from the field, pp. 207–233. Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference/IGI Global.
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2013). Creativity and innovation in a mid-sized urban learning infrastructure. Designing spaces for thriving innovation communities. In M. Schrenk et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society, pp. 205–211. Rome: CORP.
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2013). Branding as enabling knowledge creation. the role of space and cognition in branding processes. In S. Sonnenburg and L. Baker (Eds.), Branded spaces. Experience enactments and entanglements, pp. 261–277. Wiesbaden: Springer.
Peschl, M. F., & Fundneider, T. (2012). Spaces enabling game-changing and sustaining innovations: Why space matters for knowledge creation and innovation. Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change (OTSC), 9(1), 41–61. (doi: 10.1386/otsc.9.1.41_1) link
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2012). Vom “digital turn” zum “socio-epistemological creative turn”. Räume der Ermöglichung von Innovation und Wissensgenerierung. In B. Kossek et al. (Eds.), Digital Turn? Zum Einfluss digitaler Medien auf Wissensgenerierungsprozesse von Studierenden und Hochschullehrenden, pp. 47–62. Göttingen: V&R unipress.
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2012). Where Leisure Leads to Innovation: the Viennese Café. Hothouse of tomorrow and place of encounter with the new. In MAK and departure (Eds.), Das große Wiener Kaffehaus Experiment / The great Viennese café: a laboratory, pp. 58–67. Wien: Metroverlag.
 Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2012). Raum als Denkzeug. Kognitive und epistemologische Grundlagen der Wissensgenerierung und Innovation durch Denken mit dem Raum. In T.H. Schmitz and H. Groninger (Eds.), Werkzeug – Denkzeug. Manuelle Intelligenz und Transmedialität kreativer Prozesse, pp. 311–336. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.
Kossek, B. and M.F. Peschl (Eds.) (2012). Digital Turn? Zum Einfluss digitaler Medien auf Wissensgenerierungsprozesse von Studierenden und Hochschullehrenden. Göttingen: V&R unipress.
Römmer-Nossek, B., M.F. Peschl, and E. Zimmermann (2011). Kognitionswissenschaft. Ihre Perspektive auf Lernen und Lehren mit Technologien. In M. Ebner and S. Schön (eds.), Lehrbuch für Lernen und Lehren mit Technologien, pp 317–330. Berlin: Epubli.
Peschl, M. et al. (2010). Creating sustainable futures by innovation from within. Radical change is in demand of radical innovation. In R. Trappl, ed. Cybernetics and Systems 2010. Wien, pp. 354–359.
Risku, H., & Peschl, M. (Eds.). (2010). Kognition und Technologie im kooperativen Lernen. Vom Wissenstransfer zur Knowledge Creation. Göttingen: V&R unipress.
Peschl, M.F. and T. Fundneider (2008). Emergent Innovation and Sustainable Knowledge Co-creation. A Socio-Epistemological Approach to “Innovation from within”. In M.D. Lytras, J.M. Carroll, E. Damiani et al. (Eds.), The Open Knowledge Society: A Computer Science and Information Systems Manifesto, pp. 101–108. New York, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
Batthyany, A. and M.F. Peschl (2008). Mentale Verursachung. Prämissen, Ansätze und mögliche Wege aus den Dilemmata. In M.F. Peschl and A. Batthyany (Eds.), Geist als Ursache. Mentale Verursachung im interdisziplinären Diskurs, pp. 7–21. Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann.
Peschl, M.F. (2007). Enabling Spaces—epistemologische Grundlagen der Ermöglichung von Innovation und knowledge creation. In N. Gronau (Ed.), Professionelles Wissensmanagement. Erfahrungen und Visionen, pp. 362–372. Berlin: GITO.
Peschl, M.F. (2007). Triple-loop learning as foundation for profound change, individual cultivation, and radical innovation. Construction processes beyond scientific and rational knowledge. Constructivist Foundations 2(2-3), 136-145.
Peschl, M.F. (2006). Socio-Epistemological Engineering: Epistemological issues in mobile learning technologies. Theoretical foundations and visions for enabling mobile learning labs. In K. Nyiri (Ed.), Mobile understanding. The epistemology of ubiquitous communication, pp. 145–157. Vienna: Passagen.
Peschl, M.F. (2006). Modes of knowing and Modes of coming to know. Knowledge creation and co-construction as socio-epistemological engineering in educational processes. Constructivist Foundations, Vol. 1, No 3.
M.F. Peschl (2005, Ed.), Die Rolle der Seele in der Kognitionswissenschaft und der Neurowissenschaft. Auf der Suche nach dem Substrat der Seele, Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann.
Peschl, M.F. and C. Stary (1998). The role of cognitive modeling for user interface design representations. An epistemological analysis of knowledge engineering in the context of human-computer interaction . Mind and Machines 8(2), 203–236.
Peschl, M.F. (1997). The Representational Relation Between Environmental Structures and Neural Systems: Autonomy and Environmental Dependency in Neural Knowledge Representation. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences (NDPSFS) 1(2), 99–121.


Univ.Prof. Dr. Markus F. Peschl

Department of Philosophy | Faculty of Philosophy and Education and
Vienna Cognitive Science Hub
Universitätsstrasse 7 | A-1010 Wien | Austria / Europe

Tel: +43 1 4277 / 46424 | Franz-Markus.Peschl@univie.ac.at
Office: 2nd floor (entry Liebiggasse), Room C0218
Orientation plan (Dept. of Philosophy)

OCKO – Organizing Cognition in Knowing Organizations Research Group

Office hours by appointment

linkedin account: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markus-f-peschl

Twitter account (discontinued as of Nov 5, 2022 due to non acceptable changes at Twitter)

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