Service as Entropy Reduction: A Conceptualization of Service for Sustainable Coexistence

  • Helge Löbler
Part of the New Economic Windows book series (NEW)


Service is ubiquitous. It is a fundamental activity in human coexistence. However, many people are unaware that natural and ecological systems provide service as well. For example, 30% of the food consumed by humans depend on natural services, in particular on the pollination by insects. Clean water is preserved by natural water cycles. Human intentions, interests or desires can obviously not explain the existence of all these different kinds of service. They would exist without humans on earth. Consequently, our understanding of service has to be much broader than just including man-made service. This chapter proposes a conceptualization of service as a fundamental process of coexistence particularly the coexistence of humans, and more important, the coexistence of humans together with nature. Today, humans’ ecological footprint on earth results in a resource overshoot already in August. On August 8, 2016, we had used as much from nature as our planet can renew in the whole year. We need a better conceptualization of our coexistence on this planet. Humans cannot survive if they destroy the resources they need. However, the planet can survive without humans. Service is proposed and conceptualized here as an integrated concept for a mutual coexistence of humans together with nature. Once we understand the cyclic intertwinement of human and natural activities, humans can adjust their life to natural cycles without reducing quality of life.


Service Resources Exchange-change process Entropy reduction Ecology 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Service and Relationship ManagementLeipzigGermany

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