Efficiency vs Diversity and Its Optimal Balance for Sustainable Systems

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Contextual Quote

There is a calculable balance between efficiency and diversity/redundancy:

"mathematics allows one to identify the domain of robust balance as delimited to a “window of vitality” that circumscribes sustainable behavior in ecosystems. Sensitivity analysis on this robustness function with respect to each individual component process quantifies the value of that link “at the margin”, i.e., how much each unit of that process contributes to moving the system towards its most sustainable configuration. The analysis provides heretofore missing theoretical justification for efforts to preserve biodiversity whenever systems have become too streamlined and efficient. Similar considerations should apply as well to economic systems, where fostering diversity among economic processes and currencies appears warranted in the face of over-development."

- Bernard Lietaer et al. [1]