Posted by Kirsten Gibbs Last updated 22nd January 2021 reading time
The thing that makes ecosystems different from machines is that they are made up of autonomous, interdependent and loosely coupled components, which may themselves be ecosystems.
Autonomy allows evolution in the component. Loose coupling means that the ecosystem can tolerate a good deal of evolution before it breaks. Interdependence gives feedback to evolving components, constraining or encouraging variation, and, in the end, allowing the ecosystem itself to evolve.
Actually, it’s not really possible to break an ecosystem, but it can evolve into something that becomes hostile to one or more of its components. So the question for owners who want to build an ecosystem rather than a machine, is how to keep it in balance, without stifling creativity?
Maybe the answer is to explore something between a machine and an ecosystem?