Yiannis Laouris

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Yiannis Laouris
Yiannis Laouris
Service type Senior Scientist and Board Member
Previous Key Posts Pre-registration Doctor, Limassol Hospital, 1985-1986
Post-Doctoral, Georg August, Neurophysiology, Univ. of Goettingen, 1986-1988
Post-Doctoral and Res. Ass. Prof., Univ. of Arizona, 1988-1992
CEO CYBER KIDS, 1992-1999
Manag. Director Ekkotek Ltd., 2001-2003
Head of New Media Lab 2006-2010
Current Post N.E.T.S. Academic Staff
Degree(s) Medical Degree
PhD (Neurophysiology)
MSc (Systems and Industrial Engineering)
Field(s) of Study Medicine
Systems and Complexity Science
Technology and Innovation
Conflict Resolution
Dialogic Design Science
University(ies) University of Leipzig
Carl Ludwig Institute of Physiology
University of Arizona
Specialization(s) Peace Initiatives, Conflict Resolution, Sociology and Technology.
Social/Academic Work focused on the interface between science, technology and social entrepreneurship
Notable Achievements See Full List of Awards
External Links External Link(s)

For a detailed curriculum vitae of Dr. Laouris click: Full CV.

Yiannis Laouris is a neurophysiologist and systems scientist trained in Germany and the US, who has become known for his socially responsible work and scientific contributions in the fields of peace and development through the application of modern technology and Dialogic Design Science. Laouris currently serves as CEO of Future Worlds Center and Head of the New Media Lab and also the Futures Design Unit. He is also Director of Ekkotek High-tech business incubator and GNOUS Labs Ltd..


Laouris was born in Pafos, Cyprus, in 1958. Son of teacher Chris Laouris, he lived and attended schools in various districts of Cyprus, including The English School, Nicosia, the Pancyprian Gymnasium, and the Acropolis Gymnasium. In 1974 he became a refugee. He served in the Cypriot National Guard as the first senior Cypriot cryptographer in the Headquarters after the Military coup in Cyprus of the Greek military junta and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.


Laouris graduated from the medical school of the Karl Marx University (today known as the University of Leipzig, in Leipzig, Germany enjoying three parallel scholarships because of his top grades, and completed a PhD in Neurophysiology with summa cum laude with Prof. Peter Schwartze at the Carl Ludwig Institute of Physiology in the years of the cold war. He continued his research in neurophysiology at the medical school of Georg-August University Göttingen with cyberneticists and systems physiologists Professors Hans Diedrich Henatsch and Uwe Windhorst. He then joined the Department of Physiology at the medical school of the University of Arizona, with a joint appointment at the Robotics, Prosthetics, and Motor Control Group, where he collaborated with Douglas G. Stuart. While being in the US, he also completed a Masters in Systems and Industrial Engineering (GPA 4.0).

Early contributions in neuroscience

In the late eighties and nineties, Laouris applied Digital signal processing in time and space domains as well as in frequency domains to single-cell recordings from experimental animals to study transmission properties and fatigue of cat motor neurons, muscle afferents and Renshaw cells. He published with cyberneticians/systems physiologists Peter Schwartze, Uwe Windhorst, Roger M. Enoka and Douglas G. Stuart. Laouris has published more than 40 neuroscience papers and chapters in journals such as Experimental Brain Research, Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and World Futures and has presented more than 150 papers at conferences worldwide.

In 1991, Laouris founded the Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute, which later evolved to Future Worlds Center.

Promoting peace, multi-culturalism and Millennium Development Goals

In the nineties, Laouris was a co-founding member of the Cyprus Conflict Resolution Trainers Group, the Technology for Peace initiative, Youth Promoting Peace, Cyprus Intercultural Training Initiative, and CYINDEP: Cyprus NGO Platform "Development". Between 1997 and 2010, his team envisioned, designed and implemented a few dozen of peace projects in Cyprus and Israel-Palestine. A high-profile application, the Civil Society Dialogue Project in Cyprus, aimed to re-engage peacebuilders from both communities following the negative outcome of the Annan Plan.[1] [2] [3]

Between 2007 and 2008, together with Elia Petridou, he envisioned and implemented Multicultural Cyprus to promote awareness and increase the sensitivity of the Cypriot Society on how a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Cyprus serves European values and promotes regional and international peace.

Between 2008 and 2020, he and Kerstin Wittig pioneered dozens of initiatives with more visible the following:

Laouris's most recent contributions are in Reinventing Democracy. He led projects which implemented 16 Structured Democratic Dialogue processes aimed to support youth from across the globe to identify shortcomings of current systems of governance and invent and propose new, innovative and concrete actions towards reinventing democracy in the digital era.

This work culminated in the Manifesto: Democracy in the Digital Era.

Yiannis Laouris, together with his daughter Romina Laouri (nine years old at the time), and George Vakanas, also invented a board game in the eighties known as Glasnost the Game, in which the winner is the player who manages to disarm. Ironically, this can only be achieved after one conquers most territories on the planet!

Promoting safer use of the internet

For more than a decade, Laouris's team (including Elia Petridou, Georgina Siitta Achilleos, and Anna-Maria Drousiotou) pioneered in creating the Cyberethics: Cyprus Safer Internet Center, which won 15 EU grant awards totalling 4.7 million euro. This has placed Cyprus as #1 in Europe in the field. Regrettably, in 2017, the government decided to take over the project and led it to its death.

Pioneer in the refinement and promotion of structured dialogue

Yiannis Laouris pioneered the application of the Dialogic Design Science in the Cyprus and Middle East peace movements and in many pan-European networks such as the COST 219ter: Accessibility for all to services and terminals for next generation mobile networks, COST 298: Participation in the Broadband society, Insafe, UCYVROK, and CARDIAC. He is credited for the discovery of the Law of Requisite Action[4] as formulated in the context of Dialogic Design Science. The Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies recognized his contributions to systems science honoring him with The Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies Award in 2008. Yiannis worked closely with Aleco Christakis (one of the fathers of the science) and many other Agoras scientists (including Kevin Dye, Tom Flanagan, Heiner Benking, Norma Romm, Paul Hays. He also serves on the Board of the Institute for 21st Century Agoras.

Yiannis pioneered the evolution of Dialogic Design Science, introducing virtual and asynchronous processes. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Membership in Boards

A social and business entrepreneur

Yiannis has launched many successful social ventures and/or initiatives. Some key ones are mentioned below.

CYBER KIDS was a nationwide experiment launched in 1992 in Cyprus by Yiannis Laouris, George Vakanas and Maria Symeonides with the vision that introducing advanced computer technology into the lives of a critical number of young children using an educationally relevant and socially responsible, peace-enhancing curriculum would allow them to “transcend” the country’s educational and political life and move the new generation a decade ahead. By 1999, the number of children who benefited from their curriculum exceeded 15,000, which is approximately equal to 20% of the country’s youth population (ages 6-15). During the same period, the organization trained and employed 186 young and talented university graduates, thus combating brain drain while simultaneously spreading the CYBER KIDS philosophy and knowledge into many more spheres of social life.

Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute, which was later expanded to Future Worlds Center.

The Technology for Peace project and platform were led by Yiannis Laouris together with Harry Anastasiou, Dervis Besimler, Bekir Azgin and Hrach Gregorian.

The Cyprus Society for Systemic Studies was founded in 1993. The Cyberethics: Cyprus Safer Internet Center operated between 2006-2016. The N.E.T.S. Mediterranean Graduate School of Applied Social Cognition was founded in 2019 but has never started operations.

Laouris is also credited for leading the founding of several bicommunal organizations, including:

Yiannis has launched many business ventures, including:

The Multimedia Factory was founded by Laouris, George Vakanas, the Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute and MISnTED Ltd. in 1993 as one of the first multimedia software and educational software producing companies.

Ekkotek High-tech business incubator was founded by Laouris, Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute and MISnTED Ltd. in 1999 as the first high-technology business incubator in Cyprus. In 2009 it was revived and it now focuses on developing mobile and web Apps specialised in education and the domains of collective intelligence and wisdom. Ekkotek was developer of Cogniscope 3, IdeaPrism, Concertina, and the core Interpretive Structural Modeling algorithm of Logosofia.

GNOUS Labs Ltd. was founded to exploit the intellectual property of Mental Attributes Profiling System developed by the Dyslexia Group of the Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute.


  • Masks of Demons, a book that exposes stereotypes between so-called "'lifelong"' enemies.
  • 10 COMMANDMENTS Citizens to the State, published in multiple languages; provides dialectic essays pointing towards major reforms in democracy
  • The Onlife Manifesto, co-author; guides EC funding priorities, as well as political and societal priorities in the hyper-connectivity era


Yiannis received numerous honors and awards throughout the years[13], the most notable being:

A complete list of awards is available here.

Key publications

Yiannis has over 80 peered reviewed papers in experimental neuroscience, neuropsychology, neuro-education, collective wisdom and structured dialogue and over 200 conference presentations.

The full list is available here.


  1. Laouris, Y., Michaelides, M., Damdelen, M., Laouri, R., Beyatli, D., & Christakis, A. (2009a). A systemic evaluation of the state of affairs following the negative outcome of the referendum in Cyprus using a structured dialogic design process. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 22(1), 45–75.
  2. Laouris, Y., Erel, A., Michaelides, M., Damdelen, M., Taraszow, T., Dagli, I., Laouri, R., & Christakis, A. (2009b). Exploring options for enhancement of social dialogue between the Turkish and Greek communities in Cyprus using the Structured Dialogic Design Process. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 22(5), 361-381.
  3. Laouris, Y., Taraszow, T., Damdelen, M., Dağlı, I., Beyatlı, D., Karayiannis, A., Dye, K., & Alexander, N. (2015). Application of the Structured Dialogic Design Process to Examining Economic Integration and Free Trade in Cyprus. ALAR Journal, 9(3), 10.
  4. Laouris, Y., Dye, K., Michaelides, M., & Christakis, A. N. (2014). Co-laboratories of democracy: best choices for designing sustainable futures. In Social Systems and Design (pp. 167-183). Springer, Tokyo.
  5. Laouris, Y., & Christakis, A. N. (2007). Harnessing collective wisdom at a fraction of the time using structured design process in a virtual communication context. International Journal of Applied Systemic Studies, 1(2), 131–153.
  6. Laouris, Y., Laouri, R. & Christakis, A. (2008). Communication praxis for ethical accountability; The ethics of the tree of action. Systems Research and Behavioral Science,25(2), 331–348.
  7. Laouris, Y., Michaelides, M., & Sapio, B. (2008). A systemic evaluation of obstacles preventing the wider public benefiting from and participating in the broadband society. Observatorio J, 5, 21-31. pg. 173.
  8. Laouris, Y., Michaelides, M., & Sapio, B. (2008). A systemic evaluation of obstacles preventing the wider public benefiting from and participating in the broadband society. Observatorio J, 5, 21-31. mentioning Laouris and Michaelides, 2007 in pg. 172
  9. Laouris, Y., Emiliani, P. L., & Roe, P. (2017). Systemic evaluation of actions toward developing practical broadband applications for elderly and people with disabilities. Universal Access in the Information Society, 16(1), 247-255. pg. 249
  10. Laouris, Y. (2022). Method to integrate asynchronously produced individual influence maps into an extrapolated population influence map following the face‐to‐face stage of a structured democratic dialogue. Systems Research and Behavioral Science.
  11. Laouris, Y. (2022). Managing Large-scale Societal Change. Operations Management. IntechOpen.
  12. Wisdom Research Network of the University of Chicago
  13. Detailed list of Laouris Honors and Awards

External Links