„The scientist has to have a way of thinking about the environment of a system that is richer and more subtle than a mere looking at for boundaries. He does this by noting that, when we say that something lies ‘outside’ the system, we mean that system can do relatively little about its characteristics or its behavior. Environment, in effect, makes up the things and people that are ‘fixed’ or ‘given’, from the system’s point of view.“

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„For a given system, the environment is the set of all objects outside the system: (1) a change in whose attributes affect the system and (2) whose attributes are changed by the behavior of the system.“

—  Arthur D. Hall American electrical engineer 1925 - 2006
p. 61 cited in: Clute, Whitehead & Reid (1967) Progressive architecture. Vol.48, Nr. 7-9. p. 106

„From the physical point of view the characteristic state of the living organism is that of an open system. A system is closed if no material enters or leaves it; it is open if there is import and export and, therefore, change of the components. Living systems are open systems, maintaining themselves in exchange of materials with environment, and in continuous building up and breaking down of their components.“

—  Ludwig von Bertalanffy austrian biologist and philosopher 1901 - 1972
Von Bertalanffy (1950) " The Theory of Open Systems in Physics and Biology http://vhpark.hyperbody.nl/images/a/aa/Bertalanffy-The_Theory_of_Open_Systems_in_Physics_and_Biology.pdf" In: Science, January 13, 1950, Vol. 111. p. 23

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„In concept a feedback system is a closed system. Its dynamic behavior arises within its internal structure. Any action which is essential to the behavior of the mode being investigated must be included inside the system boundary.“

—  Jay Wright Forrester American operations researcher 1918 - 2016
p. 4-1 as cited in: Richardson, George P. " Reflections on the foundations of system dynamics http://obssr.od.nih.gov/issh/2012/files/Richardson%202011.pdf." System Dynamics Review 27.3 (2011): 219-243.

„For any given system, the environment is the set of all objects whose behaviour is influenced by the behaviour of the primary system, and those objects whose behaviour influences the behavior of the primary system.“

—  Arthur D. Hall American electrical engineer 1925 - 2006
p. 20 cited in: Baleshwar Thaku eds. (2003) Perspectives in resource management in developing countries. p. 54

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„Any system of public administration inevitably reflects its environment.“

—  Leonard D. White American historian 1891 - 1958
Leonard D. White (1932, 22), as cited in: Donald P. Moynihan. " Our Usable Past: A Historical Contextual Approach to Administrative Values https://www.lafollette.wisc.edu/images/publications/facstaff/moynihan/PAR69(5)UsablePast.pdf." Public Administration Review 69.5 (2009): 813-822.

„For continued system cohesion, the mean rate of system adaptiation must equal or exceed the mean rate of change of environment.“

—  Derek Hitchins British systems engineer 1935
p. 63 Cited in: Lars Skyttner (2005) General Systems Theory: Problems, Perspectives, Practice. p. 103

Russell L. Ackoff photo
Deng Xiaoping photo

„The United States brags about its political system, but the [American] President says one thing during the election, something else when he takes office, something else at midterm and something else when he leaves.“

—  Deng Xiaoping Chinese politician, Paramount leader of China 1904 - 1997
When asked about China's political stability by a group of American professors in 1983, as quoted in The Pacific Rim and the Western World: Strategic, Economic, and Cultural Perspectives (1987), p. 105

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