This concept is such a wonderful concept. Put simply the effects are more than the sum of components in a way that reductionism cannot account for.
The properties of water cannot be predicted by neatly looking at the properties of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen and then adding those properties together, water is something completely new and different from its component parts; when we study the earth’s geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere as distinct from one another then the activities of the whole cannot be fully understood; when people consciously cooperate with each other the creativity that is produced is more than all the creativity they can create separately.
It is creativity that generates creativty and thus takes on a life of its own. It cannot be seen by pure reductionist thinking but only by a holistic vision of things.