Here’s some work that Ian and I did in 2007 examining the various interconnected stocks and flows of energy and material that might exist at some point in the future. It’s an interesting and very holistic view that likely needs some updating.
I remember initially trying to capture Ian’s sketch in a way that didn’t just appear to be a rat’s nest of interconnections and I settled on the “bus” approach that you see here. Interestingly, those actually identify stocks in the system. It would be fun to develop a system that enables you to zoom in and out of this diagram in a way that’s similar to road mapping software. As you zoom out you see the stocks and flows and eventually just the stocks. As you zoom in you see more and more feedback loops. That would add a useful third dimension to understanding this system.
Another useful exercise might be to try to capture today’s stocks and flows in relevant areas and then to note the transformations from today to tomorrow. With appropriate sliders and other affordances you could set various points and spans in time and get a very dynamic view of this model.
Hmmm…. need to think about this some more.