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Sustainability Calling: Underpinning Technologies

ISBN: 978-1-84821-842-0
432 pages
August 2015, Wiley-ISTE
Sustainability Calling: Underpinning Technologies (1848218427) cover image

Description

This book discusses the key concepts of the technologies that underpin the drive towards sustainability in today’s complex world.  The authors propose an integrated view of the frontiers facing any organization nowadays – whether an enterprise, an administration or any human collective construction – that operates with a goal, a mission or an objective.

While a unified approach still seems unachievable, the authors have nevertheless tackled the amalgamation of the underpinning elements (theories, domains of expertise and practice) and propose a model for assimilating the new concepts with a global view to design the sustainable organizations of the future. The book paves a way towards a general convergence theory, which will manifest, as a by-product, genuine sustainability.   Furthermore, and due to the fact that the same main principles apply, the book redesigns the notion of “competitiveness”, which today is too often simply reduced to profitability.

 

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Table of Contents

LIST OF ACRONYMS xiii

PREFACE xix

INTRODUCTION xxiii

PART 1. MODELS THAT CAN ASPIRE TO BE BETTER SUITED TO FUTURE NEEDS 1

CHAPTER 1. DISASSEMBLING SOME TRADITIONAL VIEWS 3

1.1. Time and space: past, present and future 3

1.2. The (big) law of correspondence 5

1.3. Intricate imbrications and their uncertainties 10

1.4. Many levels: subatomic, micro, meso, macro, chrono, etc. 11

CHAPTER 2. IS GLOBALIZATION, OR HOLISM, REALLY A NEW PHENOMENON? 13

2.1. Some characteristics of the present globalization 13

2.2. A brief history of a very old concept: globalization 13

2.3. The nature of today’s globalization 17

2.4. Some features of today’s globalization 18

2.5. Impacts of a disruption: “catastrophe” in a global context 19

2.6. Management in economy: risks and disturbances are also global 20

2.7. Extending and transposing these concepts to enterprises 26

2.8. Consequences: collective consciousness and behavior 29

2.9. A common idea of “catastrophism” and the need for ecology 31

2.10. Should we try to predict that the worst is yet to come? 35

2.10.1. The question is not “knowing what will happen and when”, instead “what could and/or should happen” 35

2.10.2. Methods and tools related to conventional anticipation and prediction 37

2.11. What we can conclude at this stage 40

2.11.1. On process performance and governance guidance 40

2.11.2. On new constraints within a networked society 42

CHAPTER 3. UNDERLYING DISTURBING PROCESSES: ASYMMETRIES, CORIOLIS AND CHIRALITY 47

3.1. By way of introduction 47

3.2. New ways of thinking 48

3.3. Information asymmetry 48

3.3.1. Symmetry and asymmetry in nature 48

3.3.2. A reminder on matter, dark matter and dark energy 49

3.3.3. What kind of matter and dark energy? Is it an asymmetry? 50

3.3.4. Physical or virtual substance? Aether and “mind stuff” 51

3.3.5. Asymmetry in nature: is this a novelty? 52

3.4. Information asymmetry in a call center business 54

3.5. General Information on asymmetry: antiglobalization corporations 57

3.6. Asymmetry in communication and decision systems 58

3.7. Decision-making in an asymmetric world 60

3.7.1. When does asymmetry occur? 61

3.7.2. Asymmetry due to mental predisposition (or soul) 61

3.7.3. Application 62

3.8. Chirality and symmetry and their impact on structures 64

3.8.1. Extensions of chirality 65

3.8.2. Applications of chirality 66

3.9. The Coriolis effect 68

3.9.1. A physics reminder: the dynamic movement of bodies 68

3.9.2. Description of the Coriolis effect 68

3.9.3. Displacement and moving of physical objects: a question of amplitude 69

3.9.4. Curvature of displacements on the Earth 70

3.9.5. Application to molecular physics 71

3.9.6. Insect flight stability too 71

3.9.7. The Coriolis effect on the shape of live beings 71

3.10. Characteristics of evolution: symmetric pattern growth 72

3.10.1. Growth process of living organisms 72

3.10.2. Local complexity growth 76

3.10.3. Characteristics of the fractal structures: applications 77

3.10.4. Traffic improvement 80

3.10.5. Sunflower considerations 83

3.11. Conclusions on underlying disturbing processes 85

3.11.1. Generalities 85

3.11.2. From rationality to ethics 86

3.11.3. Consequences: highlighted concepts for a new engineering methodology 87

3.12. Appendix 89

CHAPTER 4. TIME AND SPACE REVISITED IN THE CONTEXT OF COMPLEX SYSTEMS 91

4.1. Time and space revisited in dwindling dance 91

4.2. The concept of time within complex systems 92

4.2.1. What is in an issue? 92

4.2.2. Notions relative to the perception of time: a static point of view 93

4.2.3. Digital time: a dynamic point of view 95

4.2.4. More about time with the Web 96

4.2.5. Time is not a continuous variable 99

4.3. The perception of space 100

4.3.1. What is in an issue? 100

4.3.2. On the perception of a disturbance 101

4.4. Impacts related to the perception in space and time 102

4.4.1. The increasing reach of media 102

4.4.2. Knowledge management and the shrinking of the space-time system 104

4.4.3. On the rationality of our world 105

4.4.4. Are time and space essential parameters and variables? 106

4.4.5. How are antagonisms linked to time? 112

4.5. On the reversibility of time 114

4.5.1. What is in a notion? 114

4.5.2. Example 1: the study of an inverse function 115

4.5.3. Examples 2: losing one’s key, wasting or forgetting an idea 117

4.5.4. Consequences for practical life: time’s arrow 118

4.5.5. On decision support systems, reversibility and sustainability 120

4.6. Consequences for the complex systems surrounding us 123

4.7. Conclusions 129

4.7.1. Generalities 129

4.7.2. About decision-making 132

CHAPTER 5. THE ENTROPY OF SYSTEMS 135

5.1. System entropy: general considerations 135

5.1.1. Introduction 135

5.1.2. Information and its underlying role in message and decision significance 136

5.1.3. Consequences 138

5.2. The issue and context of entropy within the framework of this book 140

5.3. Entropy: definitions and main principles – from physics to Shannon 141

5.3.1. Entropy: introduction and principles 141

5.3.2. A comment 143

5.4. Some application fields with consequences 143

5.4.1. Entropy in the telecommunications systems 144

5.4.2. Entropy in decision-making (for DSS applications) 145

5.5. Generalization of the entropy concept: link with sustainability 147

5.5.1. A comment 148

5.5.2. An interpretation of entropy 148

5.5.3. Diversity in measuring entropy 150

5.6. Proposal for a new information theory approach 151

5.7. Main conclusions 153

PART 2. ON COMPETITIVENESS: NATURE AS AN OBVIOUS APPROACH IN SUSTAINABILITY 157

INTRODUCTION TO PART 2 159

CHAPTER 6. A CONTINUOUS SURVIVAL OF SPECIES? CRISIS AND CONSCIOUSNESS PRODUCTIONS 163

6.1. Introduction and general considerations: what’s new behind life? 163

6.2. Life survival: introduction and model transposition 167

6.3. Discussing the situation in between the three areas 172

6.4. Discussing the situation inside each of the three areas 174

6.5. Evolution of life: impact on management decision systems 175

6.5.1. How does the brain work? Are we exhaustively perceptive? 176

6.5.2. Levels of consciousness in the brain: application to DSS 178

6.5.3. Survival and decision-making: what makes the difference? 181

6.5.4. Consequences 183

6.6. Opening new thinking ways 184

6.6.1. When consciousness leads to ethics 184

6.7. Consciousness as an iterative feedback process growing from one level to another 185

6.8. Life and equilibriums in ecosystems 187

6.8.1. About the need for changing some paradigms 188

6.8.2. Application to ecosystems 189

6.8.3. Life: why and how? To perpetrate the survival of an ecosystem? 92

6.8.4. Who is behind “survival” considerations? Who is the supervisor? 193

6.8.5. Survival methodologies: which attitude and behavior? 195

6.8.6. Role time and evolution mechanisms in survival 197

6.9 Conclusions 198

6.10. Consequences and action plan 200

CHAPTER 7. AGING AND SURVIVAL: APPLICATION TO HUMAN BEINGS, EUSOCIALITY AND AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY 203

7.1. A general consideration: what is new behind life? 203

7.2. A little bit more about aging, survival and eusociality 203

7.3. Does aging equal disability? 204

7.4. Aging and intelligence: variance and time dependency 207

7.5. Back to eusociality 212

7.5.1. What is in a concept? 212

7.5.2. Relationship with the “Inclusive Society” 213

7.6. As a first conclusion 216

7.7. Case study: aging, motivation and involvement in collaborative work 219

7.7.1. Introducing the case 219

7.7.2. The problem definition 219

7.7.3. Why the aging of an organization is often linked to that of its members 220

7.7.4. Aging and motivation 222

CHAPTER 8. EVOLUTION OF LIFE PRINCIPLES: APPLICATION TO A CORPORATE POPULATION 227

8.1. Introduction: corporate aging and dying 227

8.2. The human resources situation of small- and medium-sized enterprises 230

8.3. The human resources situation in senior enterprises 231

8.4. Global evolution: the product lifecycle of an enterprise 232

8.5. Product lifecycle management 234

8.6. Example of corporate life and death: the saturation stage 235

8.7. Product lifecycle of new technologies 237

8.8. How to model the evolution of an organism (enterprise) 239

8.9. How to measure and control aging in enterprises 240

CONCLUSION TO PART 2 245

PART 3. GOLDEN SECRETS AND MECHANISMS 249

CHAPTER 9. TECHNOLOGY TOTALITARIANISM IN SOCIETY, CHANGE MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE CONCERNS 251

9.1. Introduction 251

9.2. Consequences associated with Web usage 252

9.3. Public–private governance: a privacy process issue 253

9.4. The principle of impermanence: Snapchat and Confide 254

9.5. Extension of the applications 255

9.6. Pervasive network interconnections 256

9.7. Enterprises: Web evolution and sustainability 257

9.8. Additional comments about the control of instabilities 258

9.9. Sustainable networks 259

CHAPTER 10. PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICAL MECHANISMS OF SELF-ORGANIZATION: IN A WORLDWIDE COOPERATIVE CONTEXT 261

10.1. Introduction: complexity in nature 261

10.2. Complexification: main principles of the “fabricational” evolution 263

10.2.1. Fundamental rules are quite simple and universal 263

10.2.2. Application: an example of complexification 266

10.2.3. What is next? 270

10.3. Self-organization: the basic principles to understand system complexity 271

10.3.1. Closed loop systems 271

10.3.2. Analysis of the feedback loops 272

10.4. Application to the real world 274

10.4.1. Networks, social networks and Web applications 274

10.4.2. The brain: the evolution of the human species is in continuous momentum 276

10.5. Conclusions 279

10.5.1. Impact on risk management 279

10.5.2. Impact on system sustainability 280

CHAPTER 11. COMPLEX SYSTEMS APPRAISAL: SUSTAINABILITY AND ENTROPY IN A WORLDWIDE COOPERATIVE CONTEXT 283

11.1. Introduction 283

11.2. The context 285

11.3. Information systems: some application fields and the consequences 287

11.3.1. Entropy in information systems: business intelligence 287

11.3.2. Importance of entropy in an organization 290

11.3.3. Recommendations and management practices in sustainable systems 293

11.4. Evolution of entropy in complex systems 295

11.4.1. Notion of time in artificial intelligence 295

11.4.2. Temporal evolution of entropy in reasoning processes 295

11.4.3. Discontinuities in the increase and reduction of the state vectors 299

11.5. Underlying sustainability principles in information and decision 302

11.5.1. Structuring in phases 302

11.5.2. Analyzing the scientific thought 303

11.5.3. Knowledge structuring principles 304

11.5.4. Basic characteristics and measurement of an information system 305

11.5.5. Increasing complex system design: measurement 307

11.5.6. Entropy control in information systems: a set of practices 308

11.6. Business intelligence systems and entropy 309

11.6.1. Introduction 309

11.6.2. The brain: some specificities 310

11.6.3. The brain: underlying principles for a DSS organization 312

11.6.4. Collaboration and collective approaches 314

11.6.5. Loneliness: a common impact of collective approaches 317

11.6.6. Organization of some target complex systems 320

11.7. The holonic enterprise paradigm 320

11.7.1. Introduction 320

11.7.2. Properties of holons 321

11.7.3. A transposition 323

11.7.4. A comment 325

11.8. Self-organization and entropy 326

11.8.1. Discussing examples 326

11.8.2. What comes after holonic systems? 327

11.8.3. Evolution 328

11.8.4. Consequences 331

11.9. Analysis of new trends in sustainable production systems 332

11.9.1. Introduction 332

11.9.2. Research and development 333

11.9.3. Emergence of modern networking: concepts and entropy 335

11.9.4. Evolving organization of the networks 336

11.9.5. Impact of disturbances 337

11.9.6. Lean concepts: continuous flow manufacturing (CFM) and just-in-time (JIT) 339

11.9.7. The general problem of “decoupling” processes 341

11.9.8. Network and Web sciences 341

11.10. Artificial life and collective thinking science 344

11.10.1. General comments about bio-mimicry 345

11.10.2. Bio-inspired information systems 346

11.10.3. Reminder of bio-inspired technologies and their sustainability 349

11.10.4. What about cloud computing? 353

11.11. Conclusions 355

11.11.1. Proposal for a new approach in information and business theory 356

11.11.2. Conclusion 359

11.11.3. Concluding remarks 360

CHAPTER 12. TELEPATHY AND TELESYMPATHY 361

12.1. About the brain 361

12.2. The law of accelerating returns 362

12.2.1. Introduction 362

12.2.2. The role of the interconnections in the new paradigm 363

12.2.3. Factors involved in a major change: skill mismatch 364

12.2.4. Brain communication: telesympathy and telepathy 366

12.2.5. Non-invasive brain–computer interface 366

12.3. Telepathy: an ultimate process? 367

12.3.1. Quantum entanglement and telepathy 368

12.3.2. Quantum entanglement and teleportation 370

12.4. Telesympathy: a less ambitious prerequisite 370

12.4.1. Introduction 370

12.4.2. Origin of telesympathy 371

12.4.3. Definition of telesympathy 372

12.4.4. A comment 372

12.5. Conclusions 373

BIBLIOGRAPHY 375

INDEX 397

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Reviews

"The book is an interesting source of new concepts to redefine sustainability and how to use it in the decision-making process. The authors give an overview of the complexity of today s world and provide new ideas and tools to help tackle this complexity...For people interested in the subject, the book will provide in-depth knowledge of sustainability on a global level." (Johnson Matthey Technology Review June 2017)

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