There’s a different story that emerges If you look at the life cycles of natural systems. Whatever their outcomes their beginnings are *always* with a phase of compound growth, a period of invasively expanding competition with their environments. The invasive growth processes found in nature do naturally become self-limiting, but are basically not unlike the compound growth of our BAU economy.
The difference is in how the growth system responds to its natural limits, after having first emerged by a process of invasive growth. The event of birth is the quintessential example of ending a compound growth process and transitioning to a collaborative growth process of learning to get along in the world.
So I don’t think it’s quite correct to say that:
“Life’s economy is primarily based on collaborative rather than competitive advantage”
because if you consider the life-cycle of sustainable systems the more correct statement is:
“Life’s economy is dependent on invasive growth taking competitive advantages which then yields to collaborative ones”
So I think it’s the **transition** from competitive to collaborative growth that really distinguishes sustainable from unsustainable growth, something we can study from the myriad examples of natural and man made systems that indeed start invasively but then become sustainable, by a process of transitioning from invasive to adaptive growth, progressing from “conquest” to “homemaking” as its guiding purpose.