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To check out the local social economy, projects are required that explore the relationships between people and the social and environmenal systems that support and sustain them and which together comprise the human ecosystem. The delineation between social systems and ecological systems is artificial and arbitrary. Virtually everything that humans are or do (and the same goes for any species) affects their distribution and abundance. Thus, using the term 'human ecosystem' actually expresses a broad ambition to understand human behaviour, which in the above diagram is defined as the interactions between a person and the socio political systems that define the social ecosystem.

These systems range from the microsystems which an individual meets with on a daily basis, such as family, school and peers and interactions between them, through the more distant systems of governmental and cultural structures, which are bounded by overarching beliefs and values that change with time.