Socio-natural antientropic potential: the role of economy and innovations


The self-organization processes of nature are analyzed. The increasing production of negative entropy (order) by the open stationary (non-equilibrium) systems on earth accompanies entropy production, which complies with the second law of thermodynamics. The analysis of the systemic nature of the self-organization processes shows that ecosystems and social structures form a multi-level network. This multi-level network is the result of a unified socio-natural antientropic potential (AEP). Each of the core functional elements of AEP (biological organisms, public associations) reduces entropy and increases order. At the same time, the core elements contribute to negative entropy from the external environment and export the accumulated entropy (disorder). During natural and social evolution, new levels of AEP appear. Natural selection leads to more structure and better individual links. Revolutionary AEP transformations occur through phase transitions. The AEP forming systems change their parameters, abruptly and move to a new state. Innovations in nature and society lead to phase transitions. Humanity faces another phase of the transformation of the III and IV industrial revolutions. Its trend (attractor) is caused by the real need to dematerialize the industrial metabolism of the socioeconomic system, the impact of which exceeds the carrying capacity of the biosphere. This paper shows that the primary vector of the modern AEP transformation is the transition from the material and information functions, ensuring the biological needs of man to the functions providing the information needs of the social development.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. A to Z of thermodynamics by Pierre Perrot. (1998). Oxford, New York, and Tokyo: Oxford University Press.

  2. AI and automation. (2020). Knowledge for policy. European Commission. Retrieved March 25, 2020, from

  3. Avery, J. (2003). Information theory and evolution (p. 233). Singapore: World Scientific.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Ayres, R. U. (1997). Information, entropy and progress: A new evolutionary paradigm (p. 301). New York: American Institute of Physics.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bailly, F., & Longo, G. (2006). Mathematics and the natural sciences. The Physical singularity of Life, 280. Retrieved March 20, 2020, from

  6. BNEF: Energy to storage increase 122X by 2040. Renewable energy world. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from

  7. Boltzmann, L. (1974). The second law of thermodynamics. Retrieved March 11, 2020, from

  8. Boulding, K. E. (1997). The economics of the coming spaceship Earth/Classics in environmental studies. An overview of classic texts in environmental studies (pp. 218–228). The Hague: International Books.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Burgot, J.-L. (2019). Thermodynamics in bioenergetics. London, New York: CRC Press.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Carnot Cycle: Efficiency and entropy. Chemistry (2019). LibreTexts. Retrieved March 11, 2020, from

  11. Clark, J. O. E. (2004). The essential dictionary of science (p. 881). New York: Barnes & Nobel.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Clausius, R. (1879). The mechanical theory of heat (p. 434). London: Macmillan and Co.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Daly, H. E. (1997). Beyond growth. The economics of sustainable development (p. 253). Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Dawkins, R. C. (1990). The selfish gene (2nd ed., p. 368). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Digital Revolution. Retrieved March 03, 2019, from

  16. Drake, G. W. F. (2020). Entropy. Physics. Definition and equation. Retrieved March 11, 2020, from

  17. Entropy (order and disorder). Retrieved March 11, 2020, from

  18. Fisk, D. (2011). Thermodynamics on main street: When entropy really counts in economics. Ecological Economics, 70, 1931–1936.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Georgescu-Roegen, N. (1970). The entropy law and the economic problem. Pace university libraries. Retrieved March 27, 2020, from

  20. Georgescu-Roegen, N. (1971). The entropy law and the economic process (p. 457). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Gribbin, J. (2015). Q is for quantum: An encyclopedia of particle physics (p. 923). Golden: ReAnimus Press.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Halpin, H. (2012). The philosophy of anonymous. Ontological politics without identity. Radical Philosophy, November (RP176), 19–28.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Hermann-Pillath, C. (2011). The evolutionary approach to entropy: Reconciling Georgescu-Roegen’s natural philosophy with the maximum entropy framework. Ecological Economics, 70, 606–616.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Hill, J. (2016). Renewable energy now accounts for 30% of global power generation capacity. CleanTechnica. Retrieved March 27, 2020, from

  25. History of robots. (2020). Retrieved March 25, 2020, from

  26. How many people have smartphones. (2020). worldwide. Retrieved March 27, 2020, from

  27. How much data is generated each day? World economic forum. Retrieved March 25, 2020, from

  28. Information explosion. Retrieved March 27, 2020, from

  29. Internet growth statistics. 1995 to 2019. (2020). The global village online. Retrieved March 20, 2020, from

  30. Kemp, S. (2020). Digital 2020. 3.8 billion people use social media—We are social. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from

  31. Khvoynitskaya, S. (2019). The history and future of the internet of things. Itransition. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from

  32. Kurtov, M. (2005).Genezisgraficheskogopol'zovatel'skogointerfeysa.K teoriikoda (p. 219). Moskva: Izdatel'stvo IF RAN. (in Russian).

  33. Lehninger, A., Nelson, D. L., & Cox, M. (1993). Principles of biochemistry (2nd ed., p. 1160). New York: Worth Publishers Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  34. McCaffery, J., & Nargil, L. (2020). 14 Facts about animals that have gone extinct in the last 100 years. Reader’s Digest. Retrieved March 20, 2020, from

  35. Melnyk, L. (2016a). Instruments and key factors sustainable (green) economy formation. Actual Problems of Economics., 4(178), 30–36. (in Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  36. Melnyk, L. G. (2014). Trialectics of systems formation and development. Actual Problems of Economics., 10(160), 34–39.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Melnyk, L. G. (2016b). Teoriya razvitiya system. Saarbrücken: Palmarium Academic Publishing. (in Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  38. Melnyk, L., Kubatko, O., Dehtyarova, I., Matsenko, O., & Rozhko, O. (2019). The effect of industrial revolutions on the transformation of social and economic systems. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 17(4), 381–391.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Mindell, A. (2011). Sila bezmolviya. 06.11.2011. Retrieved from Russian).

  40. Montevil, M., Longo, G., & Soto, A. M. (2018). From the century of the gene to that of the organism: Introduction to new theoretical perspectives in life sciences, information sciences (pp. 81–97). Hoboken: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  41. O’Neill, R. V., & Khan, J. R. (2000). Homo economicus as a keystone species. BioScience, 50(4), 333–337.[0333:HEAAKS]2.3.CO.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Odum, H. T. (1996). Environmental accounting emergy and environmental decision making (p. 370). New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Odum, H. T., & Odum, E. C. (1976). Energy basis for man and nature (p. 360). New York: McGraw-Hill Book company.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Oxford dictionary of chemistry (2008). In Daintith, J. (Ed.) (p. 584). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  45. Oxford dictionary of science (2017). NHRS Academic & Professional Books. Jonathan Law (p. 1088). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  46. Palachy, S. (2019).Stationarity in time series analysis. A review of the concept and types of stationarity. Towards data science. Retrieved March 20, 2020, from

  47. Podolinsky, S. A. (2005). Trudcheloveka i ego otnosheniye k raspredeleniyuenergii. M.: BelyyeAlvy. (in Russian).

  48. Raine, A., Foster, J., & Potts, J. (2006). The new entropy law and the economic process. Ecological Complexity, 3(4), 354–360.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Renewable energy new accounts for a third of global power capacity. International Renewable Energy Agency. Press release. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from

  50. Rifkin, J. (1980). Entropy: a new world view (p. 305). New York: Viking Adult.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Robots double worldwide by 2020: 3 million industrial robots use by 2020. IFR press release. Retrieved March 25, 2020, from

  52. Rodriguez, R. A., Riera, R., & Delgado, J. D. (2017). Ecology: Science or philately? An interdisciplinary analysis of sustainability by exploring if it is possible to get more and more information by reducing collateral environmental damages. Science of the Total Environment, 596(597), 43–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Schrödinger, E. (1944). What is life—the physical aspect of the living cell (p. 64). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Second law of thermodynamics—An overview. (2020). Science direct topics. Retrieved March 11, 2020, from,

  55. Sethna, J. P. (2017). Statistical mechanics: Entropy, order parameters, and complexity (p. 350). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Shannon, C. E. (1948). A mathematical theory of communication. The Bell Sytem Technical Journal, 27, 379–423.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Simondon, G. (2017). On the mode of existence of technological objects (univocal) (p. 310). Minneapolis: Univocal Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Sineviciene, L., Sotnyk, I., & Kubatko, O. (2017). Determinants of energy efficiency and energy consumption of Eastern Europe post-communist economics. Energy and Environment., 28(8), 870–884.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Sotnyk, I. N., Dehtyarova, I. B., & Kovalenko, Y. V. (2015). Current threats to energy and resource efficient development of Ukrainian economy. Actual Problems of Economics, 11(173), 137–145.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Stiegler, B. (1998). Techics and time. 1: The fault of Epimetheus (p. 316). Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Pitt, D., & Samson, P. R. (Eds.). (1999). The biosphere and noosphere reader (p. 224). London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  62. The essential dictionary of science (2004). In Clark, J. O. E. (Ed.) (p. 881). New York: Barnes & Nobel.

  63. The incredible growth of the Internet since 2000. Pingdom Royal. Retrieved March 20, 2020 from

  64. Thomson, W. (1852). On the universal tendency in nature to the dissipation of mechanical energy. Philosophical Magazine, 4(4), 304–306.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Townsend, K. N. (1992). Is the entropy law relevant to the economics of natural resource scarcity. Environmental Economics and Management, 23(1), 96–100.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Vernadsky, V. (2014). 150 years of Vernadsky: The biosphere (p. 78). Create Space Independent publishing Platform.

  67. Vernadsky, V. I. (2013). Biosferainoosfera. Kiev: Bibliotekazhurnala. ORGANIC UA. T. 1, 416. (in Russian).

  68. Wohlers Associates: za 2017 godsprosna 3D-printerydlyapechatimetallamivyrosna 80% (2018). Retrieved March 27, 2020, from (in Russian).

  69. World Internet users statistics and 2020 world population stats. Retrieved March 27, 2020, from

Download references


The publication contains the results of research conducted within the framework of the research project “Development of the Fundamental Bases of the Reproductive Mechanism of Socio-Economic Development during the Third Industrial Revolution” (# 0118U003578). The publication contains the results of research realized within the framework of the scientific research work “Modeling the Eco-Innovations Transfer in the “Enterprise-Region-State” System: Impact on Ukraine's Economic Growth and Security” (#0119U100364).

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Leonid Melnyk.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Melnyk, L. Socio-natural antientropic potential: the role of economy and innovations. Environ Dev Sustain 23, 3520–3542 (2021).

Download citation


  • Entropy
  • Negative entropy
  • Antientropic potential
  • Phase transition
  • Open stationary system
  • Socioeconomic development
  • Socio-natural potential
  • JEL Classification
  • А10
  • А13