Theorized in 2019 by Stéphane Hairy and Benjamin Albouy, the bio-integrated economy, also known as homeostatic economy,is a macro-economic model wishing to link the human economy with the resources and the living on which the economy depends for its proper functioning. In short, it is a question of looking at the environment that allows our economy and our species to live by "coupling" our economy with our environment.

In line with the work that attempts to link economics, thermodynamics, ecology or biology, the EBI is anchored in the current of ecological economics also called bioeconomy. From Frederick Soddy, a pioneer on these reflections, to Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen,one of the instigators of the movement of decay and ecological economy, to Herman Daly,a critic of economic growth and proposing a so-called "stationary" economy, the EBI proposes a continuation of this work by the materialization of an applicable economic model, at the scale of international economic zones.

Why the bio-integrated economy?

We believe that the current global situation (destruction of biodiversity, pollution, exploitation of resources, etc.) is largely caused by the development of an economic system that does not take into account natural constraints. Neither the Living nor the resources are taken into account in the founding principles of our modern economy. In this sense, humanity seems totally helpless in the face of this gigantic challenge.

We believe at Ex Naturae that it is not only possible to envisage an efficient exit from the crisis, but also a sustainable future for future human generations and the non-human Living. To this end, the proposal of the bio-integrated economy is not anchored in yet another micro-economic development, but in a macro-economic systemic change. We therefore believe that the main problem lies in the rules underlying the current economic system that do not correspond to the physical reality of our world.

Thus, the EBI proposes an economic solution that attempts to reconcile "economic reality" with "physical reality" by proposing an overhaul of the economic system in its foundations.

What is the basis of the EBI?

The EBI is mainly inspired by natural emerging phenomena and in particular certain principles related to thermodynamics, biology and ecology (in the scientific sense of the term). Therefore, we wanted to draw inspiration from the natural emerging phenomena that have allowed for billions of years, the maintenance of the self-organization of living beings. It is, in a way, a bio-inspired economic system and not an application of thermodynamics, ecology and biology to economics.

Our orientation is based on the assumption that no living species or ecosystem uses as a principle that of infinite exponential growth, conversely, ecosystems tend towards dynamic "balances" that converge to change perpetually. These balances, which ecologists call "climax" are achieved when ecosystems reach, after ecological succession,a more stable state where the energy and matter entering the system serve only to keep it as it is.

 

To reach and maintain the final stage of ecological succession, ecosystems need an input of energy and matter, specific to open thermodynamic systems. And if you have no idea what an open thermodynamic system might be, don't panic, we explain it to you in the following article. 

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / 2019-2021 Ex Naturae ONG

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