Autopoesis is the self-organization of emergent systems. This is an important element of Complexity Theory.

Rather than the evolution or the growth of any system being directed from above or behind, this process can be understood to be organized within itself and by the context of systems in which it arises.

For example, the interactions between quarks gives rise to the emergent system of an atom. The interactions between atoms gives rise to molecules. The interactions between molecules gives rise to chemicals. The interactions between a vast array of quarks/atoms/molecules/chemicals gives rise to single cells which can interact with the chemicals of the environment to eat and execrete. Some single celled organisms feed on the chemicals already collected by other cells. Cells interact to create defenses against being preyed upon. Predators improve their offensive strategies and abilities in co-evolution with the defenses of prey.

An elegant, simple, and effective description of many different kinds of processes which points to a bottom-upwards emergence which is undirected but tending towards greater richness and complexity rather than a top-down structure of teleological implementation.