Theoretical considerations explored through simulations and empirical evidence, suggest that the synergy that arises from the interactions of individuals is the single most important feature in explaining adaptation when studying the evolution of living organisms and the dynamics of economic systems. The simulations show that synergy is more likely to be achieved when interacting individuals are similar or are attracted by homophily or through assortation. Synergy and assortation form the basis upon which Inclusive Fitness Theory was proposed half a century ago by W.D. Hamilton to explain the emergence and maintenance of cooperation that allows the existence of society. Here I propose an Extend Inclusive Fitness Theory that includes in the fitness calculation all direct and indirect benefits an individual obtains by its own actions, and through interactions with kin and with genetically unrelated individuals. This theory focuses on the sustainable cost/benefit threshold ratio of cooperation, allowing a much deeper understanding of the evolution of cooperation among kin and non-kin, intra and inter-specific cooperation, co-evolution, the emergence of symbioses, of social synergies, and the emergence of division of labor. The working of synergy allows understanding the adaptive advantages of cooperation not only in biology but also in economics, promoting interdisciplinary cross fertilization of ideas. This theory provides an integrated framework for the study of both, biological evolution of social behavior and economic market dynamics.


Klaus Jaffe Chemist from the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, studied Biochemistry at the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas and obtained a PhD from the University of Southampton, UK, in 1980. He studies the evolution of animal and human societies using methods borrowed from chemistry, biology, physics, sociology, anthropology and computer sciences. He has published over 200 scientific articles and several books. At present he coordinates Doctoral Programs of Interdisciplinary Science at various universities.

Interdisciplinary Studies of Synergy e-session

Photos by : David Rytell