Forms of Capital

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Forms of Capital is a term of art describing the generative capacities of complex systems to evolve or develop. Forms of capital describe durable attributes of systems that enable their functions over time. It is somewhat synonymous with "infrastructure" but applied more broadly. This usage appears to have been developed by Roland 2011 and in apparently parallel work by Hallsmith & Lietaer 2011 has since been adopted by a wide range of authors.


  • Rolland 2011 defines cultural, experiential, intellectual, spiritual, social, material, financial and living forms of capital.
  • Hallsmith & Lietaer 2011 defines "ten types of community capital": natural, built, technological, social, historic and cultural, human, economic, entreprenurial, and potential exchange capital.
  • Cereghino 2018 develops this concept of multiple forms of capital, integrating the concepts of Roland & Landua with Hallsmith & Lietaer, considering the scale of operation of different forms of capital, and expanding concepts of ecological capital across landscape scales.


  • How does the concept of 'forms of capital' relate to various academic disciplines that describe those forms. For example, cultural capital is described as the ability of an individual to exert power in a social system.