key concepts of systems theory

biomatrix theory

The following is the list of key concepts of biomatrix theory.

It follows our proposed sequence for learning the concepts of biomatrix theory which was also published as a book, Biomatrix: A Systems Theory in Graphics. Visit our books page if you would like to study the presentation offline.

graphic alphabet of biomatrix theory

graphic alphabet (activity system arrow, governance arrow, impact arrow, time-space arrow, boundary line, tapping bar, process, structure, aim, ethos, mei, issue, web of activity and entity systems)


concept of the biomatrix

two types of systems within the biomatrix

activity system

entity system

sub-webs of the biomatrix

web versus field perspective of the biomatrix

organisation of the biomatrix in space

spatial organisation of activity systems

activity systems form supply chains

chains of sub-activity systems

parallel and sequential (sub)activity systems



spatial organisation of entity systems

three-fold organisation of entity systems

emergence of entity systems

the entity system as centre of the biomatrix

containing hierarchy of entity systems

containing hierarchy of parts of an entity system

the entity system as “emerging middle”

boundaries between entity systems: web perspective

boundaries between entity systems: field perspective

organisation of the biomatrix in time

stages of development

co-evolution across levels

current versus ideal future of systems

seven forces of system organisation


mei (matter, energy, information)

outer versus inner environment

transactional versus contextual environment

ethos field of an entity system

ethos and self

ethos field of an activity system




structure of an activity and entity system


levels of governance

types of governance

governance of activity and entity systems

design emphasis in activity and entity systems

dynamics of change within the biomatrix

clockwise versus counterclockwise change

turbulence of change

(dis)order within a system

(im)balance within an entity system

(im)balance between entity systems

recursive / fractal / holographic nature of systems

dual perspectives within biomatrix theory

activity versus entity system perspective

process versus structure perspective

space versus time perspective

physical versus conceptual reality of a system

interaction between physical and conceptual reality

biomatrix methodology

principles of systemic development




emergent problems


limit overshoot

principles of systemic interventions




methods of systemic interventions

generic system dynamics of the biomatrix

telentropy tracing

problem solving

problem dissolving

systemic brainstorming

systemic change management

backcasting from the desired ideal future

system redesign

iterative change management


philosophy of science

philosophy of science