Framing a System


  • Ioven Fables Boston College


perception, system, frame of reference, scale, ecosystem


Boundaries of a system are largely determined by human perception. To an extent this occurs arbitrarily, but to an extent it is a response to changing environmental conditions.  Given this dynamic, the way a system is framed in terms of its boundaries affects human action on a global scale.  Understanding this framing can empower the human agent and enable a recontextualization of human potential such that our planetary system is approached and maintained in an ecologically equitable and sustainable fashion. This paper outlines how such framing relates to different scales of human civilization and what some of the important practical distinctions are related to such an act of framing. 

Author Biography

Ioven Fables, Boston College

I am a systems theorist from Hawaii with about seven years of experience in systems thinking. I developed an understanding of sustainability and socio-cultural systems from collaboration with software engineers, scientists, and academics. Currently an M.A. candidate at Boston College, my intention is to develop applications of formal systems theory, during a PhD program and career beyond, that can support innovation at academic institutions and/or corporations.