Fundamental Principles of Life Workshop

The Fundamental Principles of Life Workshop will be taking place at KOMCEE East K213 room on Komaba campus, on January 15-17, 2019. It will gather a small group of researchers with strong expertise in Artificial Life, to discuss the path towards reaching an understanding of the fundamental principles governing living systems, combining theoretical approaches at our disposition from diverse areas including thermodynamics, information theory, learning theory, evolutionary biology and complex systems.

ELSI FPL Workshop: Practical Informations

Organizers: Olaf Witkowski & Lana Sinapayen
Dates: January 15-17, 2019
Venue: East K213 room, KOMCEE 2nd Floor, Komaba Campus (University of Tokyo)
Access: (see below)
Contact number: +819064941268
Contact email:

The format will be a 3-day intensive working workshop. The group will first be distilling shared obstacles between theorists in achieving a theory of life, from a shared working document compiled before the meeting. During the meeting, all experts present will focus on evaluating together what is the most valuable next step that can be made in the field. The expected output will include the formation of new working groups based on shared problems, reframing the set of questions aimed at in the main relevant conferences, and pushing them towards future large-scale projects based on theoretical insights we’ll have discussed. Please refer to the schedule page for details.


This will be the inaugural ELSI “Meeting of Experts”, a new collaboration mechanism for ELSI researchers. The format is different from usual workshops and symposiums that have generally been hosted in the past. There will be no formal talks or presentations, it will be entirely facilitated discussions and deep brainstorming between established experts and a limited number of ELSI researchers who have already worked in this area. These meetings are designed to primarily develop specific sectors of the ELSI research, but will also include an educational component. After the meeting, tutorials will be organized to introduce and initiate other ELSI researchers interested in learning about and incorporate Artificial Life techniques into their own research activities. More of these targeted activities are planned in the future.