DOI: 10.1002/iis2.13073 ISSN:

Sustainability: A Complex System Governance Perspective

Charles B. Keating, Polinpapilinho F. Katina, Joseph M. Bradley, Richard Hodge, James C. Pyne
  • Automotive Engineering


This paper explores the sustainability field from a Complex System Governance (CSG) perspective. In general, sustainability suggests maintenance at a specific rate or level. It is also frequently held as maintaining ecological balance to negate the depletion of natural resources. CSG offers sustainability a theoretically grounded, model based, and methodologically sound approach to better inform sustainability design, execution, and development for complex systems. CSG examines sustainability as an outcome‐based product resulting from effective governance of an underlying system which produces sustainability. Thus, sustainability is proposed as a ‘systems engineered product’, whose design, execution, and development will be favored by CSG systems engineering. Following an introduction, two primary objectives are pursued. First, Systems Theory is used to provide an alternative view of sustainability. Second, a perspective of sustainability is developed through the paradigm of the emerging CSG field. The paper closes with the contributions, opportunities, and challenges for deployment of CSG for enhanced development, transition, and maintenance of sustainable systems.

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