Some parties have reported me that the message was truncated (no figure
and half the text missing.). So herewith the whole text, and the figure
too. People willing to read the original message with correct formatting
should go to the link indicated just below.
Greetings to all--Pedro
(This email post has also been archived in the drop box. In case you are
unable to read this entire post, please download from this link
Sustainability through multilevel research: The Lifel, Deep Society
Dear FIS Colleagues,
Over the last fifty years or so, we have made significant progress in
enhancing our theoretical understanding of self-organizing complex
systems. When it comes to self-organization in complex living systems,
along with advances in theoretical research, advances in disciplines
like prebiotic evolution, molecular biology, complexity, linguistics,
information systems, ecology, bacteriology, soil microbiology,
sociology, and economics have all contributed to provide deeper insights
into the processes and organization in living systems at multiple
Having reached here we can ask the questions- can this new science help
us develop a unified view of our socio-economic and natural systems? Can
such a view reveal new systemic ways to align economics and ecosystems?
This series of articles [1-3] are a part of the "Lifel Deep Society
Build-A-Thon" initiative. A research Build-A-Thon that aims to bring
together domain level researchers, philosophers and theoretical
researchers, and other problem solvers to build a multilevel model that
can prove to be useful in enhancing our understanding of the combined
ecosystem-economics system. This initiative provides exciting new
opportunities for researchers to both further their own research, while
also contributing towards addressing the larger problem of
The first article  reveals an important common multilevel
organizational pattern in self-organization of living systems that
proposes that socio-economic organizations could be an extension of a
larger multilevel organizational pattern in natural self-organization.
In this paper, two new classes of systems have been defined to capture
important characteristics of internal organization in living systems
across multiple levels. An examination of multilevel living systems
through the lens of these definitions reveals a common multilevel level
organizational pattern (CMOP) that extends across levels from molecular,
to ecological and to social self-organization. The outcomes of the
common multilevel organizational pattern are discussed, with important
implications and areas for further research.
The second article  examines the possibility of organizational and
role similarities between banks and financial investment networks in
social self-organization, and networks of subsoil Mycorrhiza and
gut-bacterial networks in ecosystems. The multilevel model of
self-organizing living systems developed previously, has been used to
pose questions and make multilevel organizational comparisons to glean
new insights into the roots of our banking and financial investment
networks in self-organizing living systems. Research findings point to
the possibility that banks and financial investment networks play a role
in social self-organization that could be in some ways similar to that
played by Mycorrhiza and gut bacterial networks in the self-organization
of ecosystems. A multilevel understanding of these systems could help us
not only understand the roots of financial investment systems in
self-organizing systems but also help better align financial systems and
economics with natural ecosystems, and further the agenda of ecological
sustainability. Some implications, questions and avenues for further
research have been discussed.
The third article is an extended abstract and presents an overview of
this initiative .
Taken together the two articles [1,2] present a cascading organization
where autotrophic species arise through the transformation of
geochemical molecules into biomass. This biomass becomes food for
heterotrophic species, and leads to the emergence of ecological exchange
networks between autotrophs and heterotrophs. Further, the emergence of
sociality in heterotrophic species initially gives rise to kinship based
social groups like families and extended communities based on shared
adaptation among multiple family units, followed by non-kinship based
social groups, and exchange networks of human resources between kinship
based social groups like families and non-kinship based social groups
like businesses in our economic system.
Three levels of modulator systems modulate resource flows between
competing sets of species networks at the three different levels in
self-organization . Mycorrhiza networks are believed to modulate
flows of geo-chemicals between competing autotrophic species. Gut
bacteria are thought to modulate flows of biomass across competing
ecological networks comprised of autotrophs and heterotrophs. Finally,
financial investment networks are known to modulate flows of human
resources across competing networks of families and business
organizations. This presents a picture of a cascading living
organization that commences with geochemical cycles and extends to our
socioeconomic systems, as outlined in Figure 3.
Figure 3: A unified view of ecological and social organizations, using
CMOPs presented in the previous articles [1,2]. Level 1, involves
molecular self-organization into autotrophic (and chemoautotrophic)
living cells. Level 2, involves the self-organization into ecosystem
networks of exchanges between autotrophic and heterotrophic species.
Level 3, involves the social self-organization in heterotrophic species
into networks of exchanges between kinship and non-kinship based social
groups. The view presents a cascading, and energetically coupled
organization that spans across three levels. Further, at each level
there appears to be a modulator system that gives rise to "community
structure" in exchange networks. It is suggested that the modulator
systems are Mycorrhiza networks at level 1, gut bacteria at level 2, and
financial investment networks at level 3. This leads to the question-
can one think of ways in which self-organization at the three levels
could be synergized through some kind of a currency exchange? The red
dotted line in Figure 3 highlights this possibility.
One of the main goals of this series of articles is to pose new
questions by connecting research from across multiple disciplines. The
CMOPs are intended serve as a multilevel scaffolding that connects ideas
and findings from across disciplines to build an initial multilevel
view, a view that is to be further debated, discussed and developed in
the course of the Build-A-Thon. Hence the ideas presented here are not
presented as final words on any research topic but rather intended to
serve as a bridge to connect research across disciplines and pose
questions for further research.
This discussion on the FIS network invites your ideas, questions,
comments, criticisms, suggestions on the multilevel view presented here,
and three high-level questions arising from this view:
1. Is our social organization in some of its essential elements an
extension of the larger pattern in the organization of living systems as
proposed here ?
2. Are there important organizational or role similarities between
modulator systems- Mycorrhiza networks, gut bacterial networks and
financial investment networks?
3. Are there ways in which these insights could be leveraged to align
dynamics between ecosystems and economic systems?
A deeper understanding of our socio-economic reality through a
multilevel view is possible only if we can successfully integrate
research from across multiple disciplines and different research groups.
Your inputs will be valuable, and help in this attempt to develop a
multilevel unified view of social and natural systems through
collaborative multilevel research.
Both articles [1,2] also present a number of open questions in the
discussion section. Together these questions cover a large number of
research domains. Different questions could be in area of interest for
different people in this group or you may have questions beyond those
posed in the articles. While it may not possible to debate all these
questions at once, if one or more questions generate common interest
from a group of people, they could be taken up for further discussion
and possibly collaborative development. Hence, your comments, feedback,
criticisms, further questions in any area would be most helpful both in
collective assessing areas of interest for this group, as well as
shaping direction for further collaborative research. I would appreciate
if you could also point out your own work and references, or work of
colleagues that are relevant here.
My apologies for loading you with three papers and multiple questions at
once, and thank you for being patient and bearing with the tedium.
I would like to specially thank Pedro for introducing me to this group,
encouraging me to post the FIS group, and allowing this post.
Your comments are very much appreciated, and would go a long-way in
developing these ideas further.
At these times of mindless destruction, and conflict I am reminded of
the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, a personification of peace, who had made
France his home.
"/Once you begin to realize your interconnectedness with others, your
inter-being, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other
life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at
the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to
see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living
mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and
to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources."/ Thich Nhat Hanh
Peace for our French Colleagues, Families and Friends.
201-TV Industrial Estate, 248-A, S.K. Ahire Marg,
Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India
E-Mail: nikhil.joshi at lifel.org
Copies of the three papers (1-3) below have been uploaded in the DROPBOX
with the URL in each reference. If you have problems in accessing them
please email me at: Nikhil.Joshi at lifel.org
<http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis> ,Thank You.
1. Joshi, N. Multilevel Research, Part II: Exploring natural roots of
socio-economic organization, Pre-publication copy, for Internal Use Only
2. Joshi, N. Multilevel Research Part III: The roots of money and
investment systems, could they lie in self-organization of living
systems? Pre-publication copy, for Internal Use Only (2015)
3. Joshi, N. Science, Organization and Sustainability: A Multilevel
Approach. In Proceedings of ISIS Summit Vienna 2015- The Information
Society at the Crossroads; 2015; p. I003. DOI:
The first two papers [1.2] are pre-publication copies for private use of
the FIS members and their students. Please do not circulate or upload
them on any public server. Thank you.
Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta X
50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 (& 6818)
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