Some notes on Information and Information-sharing Synergies

See our Information-Sharing Synergies Workshop
See also notes on Data-Sharing Synergies
See also notes on Knowledge-Sharing Synergies
See also notes on Wisdom-Sharing Synergies


  • Information is the capacity to exercise cybernetic control over the acquisition, disposition and utilisation of matter/energy in and by living systems (Corning, 1995).
  • Information can only be measured in terms of the results it achieves for specific systems.
  • Everything in the universe potentially has an informational aspect, but Information only exists in the context of specific real-world transactions within a thermodynamic/ cybernetic system, or between such a system and its environment.

Information-sharing synergies:

Information-sharing synergies are always context-specific and contingent
We can identify 4 main different types of Information-sharing synergies:

1) Linear synergies

synergies that arise as a result of additive phenomena. An aggregation of certain components or certain conditions that, in the end, result in a new situation. For example, a big group of organisms is able to do things that a smaller one cannot.

2) Phase transition synergies

Synergies that arise out of abrupt changes of state. Examples may be the crystallization of water or seed germination.

3) Emergent synergies

synergies that arise out of a merging between 2 or more parts, which result in an unexpected new situation with its own distinctive characteristics. A symphony orchestra is an example.

4) Augmentation and facilitation synergies

synergies that arise out of dynamic, cooperative processes. For example, the huddling together of emperor penguins in the antarctic cold in order to reduce energy expenditures and keep warm.

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