In this lecture, I will introduce the unifying concept of emergy (from EMbodied enERGY), starting from the pioneering work by Howard T. Odum. The hierarchical representation of emergy flows and energy transformation networks will be shown to be a natural description of the complexity of systems, able to capture the structural features from which the system dynamics arises and at the same time to point out the role of leverage points in determining the capability of a system to rearrange and reorganize upon perturbations. The basics of emergy analysis will be presented, along with the associated algebra.
Francesco Gonella short bio
PhD in Physics at University of Padova, Italy. Excéllence Postdoctorale at the Université Laval, Québec City, Canada. Since 2016, Full Professor of Physics at the Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. After twenty years of activity as an experimental physicist (study of nanostructured glasses, artistic glasses and glasses for energy technologies), ten years ago I have shifted my interests to Systems Thinking and Emergy Analysis, applied to the study of the functioning and the integrated sustainability of systems. I am Director of the “International School on Emergy Accounting'', and member of the Executive Council of the International Society for the Advancement in Emergy Research. I teach Sustainability and Systems Thinking at the Beijing Normal University in China as a high-end foreign expert, and keep courses on the same topics at the Universities of Turin and Catania in Italy. I was Visiting Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, for two years, and Visiting Researcher at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, USA) and the University of Florida (Gainesville, USA). H-index=37 (2020, Scopus). Author or co-author of almost 200 publications in international peer-reviewed Journals. Invited lecturer in Universities in Canada, USA, Germany, India, Japan, China, Poland, France.