On Ecosystems

The term “ecosystem” is frequently used in both natural and, at least these days, many business contexts. Considering that an “ecological system” describes the nature of interaction in a community of organisms that interrelates with its environment, and that virtually every natural environment on Earth involves interactions that are directly or historically influenced by the Sun, then it stands to logical reason that the Sun, or something like it, is a fundamental component of every ecosystem. One might argue, “What about life around dark, deep-sea thermal vents? How could the Sun be involved in that?” To which another may reply, “Is not the energy source for that life motivated by the heat and chemical expulsion from those vents from a deeper source within the Earth’s crust or upper mantle? And the source of that propulsion is generated by enormous, planetary-scale geological forces that themselves are determined by the variegated chemical makeup of the planet’s interior being influenced by the incredible forces of gravity that it, itself, generates, is it not? And aren’t those gravitational forces a pure product of the mass and density of the planet, which were largely determined billions of years ago as the raw elements aggregated together in the swirling nebula that was eventually to become our solar system? And wasn’t that planetary formation process determined foremost by our particular star, its mass/gravity and its radiant properties?” 

Remember, the cosmos is not simple, therefore, combat simpletism.

Every natural ecosystem on Earth relates back to the Sun; not just any star, our specific Sun. No ecosystem on Earth could conceivably exist without the presence and the initial motivating factor of our nearest star, the Sun. So why does every single model of a business “ecosystem” exclude the influence of a star-like element? Any such business “ecosystem” or explanation that does not factor in a Sun-like star—a virtually inexhaustible source of energy in our lifetime—fundamentally fails to provide an accurate representation of real activity. All ecosystems critically depend on such an energy source; without it, they collapse, or never form in the first place. Likewise, it is a fiction that any business model can sustain commercial activity without accounting for a Sun-like variable in its constitutional equation.

To more sustainably embed the human economy into the natural ecosystem, which we are already incorporated into, which has the pre-existing condition of being Sun-powered, and which we all, collectively, would not like to be replaced with another heartless variety of capitalism-as-usual, we human economic participants must engage with our trade systems with both greater responsibility and sharper acumen, as is facilitated by the LOPSIII (pronounced: lop-see) model for business operations.

In LOPSIII commerce: 

  • LOPSIII Members more acutely grasp current ESG Standards and how their own LOPSIII enterprise practices are ethically and environmentally sustainable. 
  • All production and services—inputs and outputs—are valued in consideration of both their environmental origins and their environmental effects. (ie: carbon offsets are a quick way to compensate for near-term concerns until longer term adjustments can be made to become more sustainably environmentally friendly.)
  • Every LOPSIII must observe and sustainably adapt to the current ESG Standards that are expressed by the locality that hosts the enterprise. (Each city is engaged in a constant rebalancing effort with its local environment. As population density, demographic makeup, and capital flow swell and pulse through each city uniquely over time, they contend for space and prominence amongst each other, as well as with natural forces in the natural world all around. As the environment changes, so ought the city in response. This environmental adaptability is a critical component of local sustainability.)

Furthermore, considering the notion of ecosystemic balance, i.e. sustainability, we would be wise to remember that naturally occurring ecosystems, such as a forest, contain an unfathomably complex concoction of species occupying every scale of existence and constantly fluxing in their populations, adaptive behaviors, and transactional relationships with the resources in their environment. Organizing the countless interrelating individuals and their causal relationships with the environment IS the process of life itself; individual beings cannot exist in isolation. Balance—in this open system—is an ever-elusive, unquantifiable, moving target. Individuals with diverse levels of mobility consume resources at variable rates and altering frequencies in different places at different times. The balance of the system is unpredictable—constantly changing, shifting, rebalancing— over time, and with wildly varying degrees of livable imbalance arising locally, regionally, and perpetually. 

Using useful and accurate words is a critical part of shaping mental conceptions. Words are important. Error-laden descriptions promote error-laden behaviors. 

LOPSIII enterprises, like all enterprises, are only ever a part of the larger natural global ecosystem—the greater soil within which businesses find what they need in order to grow. Attempting to alter and reduce the scope that the word “ecosystem” encompasses is unhelpful to the goal of economically ethical organizational business structure. This is textbook simpletism. It certainly qualifies as bad faith and it may even be akin to self-sabotage. Intelligent economic behavior must strive to incorporate and adapt to information accurately and rationally. Basing business organizational structure off of functionally meaningless or misapprehended conceptual associations, e.g. the lie that a discreet business environment is an “ecosystem”, must be avoided whenever and wherever possible.

As participants in our own environment, we have the capacity to influence those conditions and help shape the environment of our future. Ethical, sustainable business ecosystems must include the natural environment (and, at least indirectly, the Sun) and they must equally acknowledge all of its participants, no matter their background, wealth, race, ethnicity, gender or any other characteristic. This dream can be realized once those who have been historically, economically disenfranchised in the US have been elevated to an equivalent footing of opportunity so that all can contribute and benefit from society.

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