Sustainable system-of-systems concept

Sustainability issues such as natural resource depletion, pollution and poor working conditions have no geographical boundaries in our interconnected world. Addressing these issues requires a paradigm shift - to think beyond a bounded, linear model understanding towards a broader system framework.

For this reason, Dr Paul H.P. Yeow from the School of Business and his team introduced a sustainable system-of-systems model that integrates the current hierarchical conceptualisation of possible interventions with important concepts from the sustainability literature, including the triple bottom line approach and the notion of time frames. A sustainable world requires a broader system thinking than that which currently exists in human factors/engineering/social science.

This study proposes a sustainable system-of-systems model that incorporates ideas from ecological sciences, notably a nested hierarchy of systems, a hierarchical time dimension and the complex adaptive cycles. The implications for sustainable design, such as mitigation and adaptation designs, are considered.