system often sounds too theoretical, ambiguous and we use it in many ways.
purposes therefore Ulanowicz, Goerner and Lietaer rather used the term “network”,
and defined a system as a network of elements in flow of energy, matter and
Examples: Monetary system, water system, Internet, health care system
in the monetary system, water flows in the water system, information flows in
the Internet, in a country’s health care system we can see the flow of Corona
patients, as the stream of people infected by that virus flow through doctors,
hospitals, clinics, etc. With these streams of matter we can also see flow of
energy and information (like for Corona hospital budgets and information on diagnosing,
testing, tracking lines of contamination etc.)
system has two special features: it organizes and creates itself, serving one purpose: to sustain it. To survive.
Even we as
individuals organize ourselves - continuously
adapting as required to survive.
And we re-create
ourselves continuously: we renew our skeleton every 10 years, intestines every
15 years, liver every 2 years, skin every 2 weeks.
clarity of terms is essential
is a system’s property. To
understand a non-sustainable situation, we must both identify the system we wish
to understand and the flow we wish to make sustainable.