The acronym MuSIASEM stands for Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism. It is a methodological framework designed to analyze the societal use of resources and the impacts it creates in the environment. It was created around 1997 by Mario Giampietro and Kozo Mayumi, and has been developed since then by the members of the IASTE group and the external collaborators.

This is a framework designed to deal with the many degrees of complexity that environmental studies require, such as:

  • The definition of social systems as parts of a broader, more complex hierarchical system
  • The different levels of the system that might be relevant for this analysis: ecosystems, societies…
  • The different nature of the resources and their connections: water, energy, land…
  • The different meaning these resources have for each level: water for humans or for ecosystems…
  • The different perceptions of the relevant resources and levels

MuSIASEM is a method to characterize metabolic patterns (how and why we use resources) and a decision support tool (what scenarios would be preferable).

Want to know more about MuSIASEM? Go to MuSIASEM in depth.


The energy metabolic pattern of a society
From: Sorman AH and Giampietro M (2013). The energetic metabolism of societies and the degrowth paradigm: analyzing biophysical constraints and realities. Journal of Cleaner Production, 38: 80-93.