BE-26 :: Holistic approach

Complex societal challenges, like (research on) land use and soil management, should be approached in an integrated and holistic view in which the interactive nature and interdependence of external and internal factors is stressed. In an integrated approach complex systems are viewed as a whole, with its own dynamics, and the individual components should “collaborate” to fulfill the main objective. This results in an integration of many different disparing functions and different disciplinary fields for a collective optimum performance at minimum cost to the objective in a sustainable manner and also result in long term benefit to the environment. Strong emergence of collective behavior of complex system should be the cornerstone of an integrated approach.
E.g. There is a strong need to engage the whole product/process chain and sector, using a complete life cycle oriented approach: “Life Cycle Thinking”.
Research questions:
Process related item and relevant to all four integrative themes.
How to promote an integrated approach and system thinking (e.g. life cycle thinking)?
How to set up an holistic and systemic approach in soil and land use (research), taking into account indirect and unexpected events? How to find the equilibrium between the 2 extremities: fragmentation of knowledge and the postmodern “talking about the whole without acting”?
How can system dynamical modeling help to understand the complexity so that new needed knowledge and/or measures can be developed (e.g. try to connect the C-N-P-cycles in one holistic model)?
How to take into account the different scales (in time and space) in soil and land use (e.g. parcel, region, landscape, country, …), needing all a different framework, within the holistic and integrated approach?