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ECUADOR INITIATIVE: Transition Proposals Toward a Commons-Oriented Economy and Society
Sponsored by the National Institute of Advanced Studies of Ecuador, carried out by the Free/Libre Open Knowledge (FLOK) Society.
MuSIASEM in Depth
MuSIASEM is an open framework able to take into account the economic, environmental, social, cultural, technical and political dimensions in an integrated analysis, accounting for different flows such as monetary, energy, waste or water. As a result, ultimately we can get “congruent” relations among the different set of variables.
The results of the MuSIASEM are sets of georreferenced vectorial indicators that are easy to understand, and this is one of the strengths of the method. But it is build on strong and heavy theoretical blocks. Here we summarize its roots.
Complex System Theory
From CST, MuSIASEM has taken concepts that are useful to deal with the definition of the societies as part of a broader hierarchical system and with the different levels of it that are relevant for the analysis of the sustainability.
Hierarchical levels of a Socio-Ecosystem. By Cristina Madrid.
Under the CST perspective, the Societal Metabolism is a notion used to characterize the processes of energy and material transformation in a society that are necessary for its continued existence, sustainability or Autopoiesis. In order to maintain this, those transformations cannot overpass the thresholds posed by the Ecosystem Metabolism. Both, societies and ecosystems are levels of a Hierarchical System. In them, there are relations that have to be maintained within and among the levels, including the relations that control the biophysical transformations, or metabolic patterns. The metabolic patterns of the social level of a hierarchy depend on its internal and external relations. They pose internal and external constraints to the autopoesis of the system.
More about CST: Robert Rosen, Humberto Maturana, Fracisco Varela, Tim Allen, Howard Odum, Ramón Margalef, Ilya Prigogine
From Bioeconomics, MuSIASEM has used the flow-fund model of Georgescu-Roegen. With it, MuSIASEM is able to deal with the degrees of complexity given by the different meanings a resource has in each of the levels of analysis and by the relation between them.
In MuSIASEM, flow is a semantically open definition for elements that come into or out of the relevant system level during the analytical representation. They give information about what the system level(s) does to maintain itself. Fund is a definition used for those elements that remain there during the complete time of the representation. They are the components of the system that must be maintained.
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