• "What is resilience? An introduction to social-ecological research”
    New resource from Stockholm Resilience Centre
    Publication provides accessible overview of resilience thinking
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Thursday, 02 May 2013 00:00

"What is resilience? An introduction to social-ecological research”

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New publication from the Stockholm Resilience Centre explores the idea of resilience thinking and the idea that humans and nature should be seen as one social-ecological system.

What is resilience? An introduction to social-ecological research” is a new publication from the Stockholm Resilience Centre that provides an accessible overview of the concept of resilience. This (free!) visual e-book is divided into three short sections based on scientific articles prepared for the 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium on global sustainability. Each chapter focuses on an area of resilience thinking and social-ecological research, with an eye to the impact humans are having on nature and how to address the resulting challenges.

What is resilience?” focuses on both necessary actions and exciting opportunities, demonstrating how we can use our increasing understanding of the challenges we’re facing by beginning to work with the processes of the biosphere, and not against them. Chapter One delves into the interdependence of people and ecosystems, while Chapter two looks at how humans have begun to dominate the planet, living off “the Earth’s capital, rather than the interest” and the need to become stewards of the planet once again. Chapter Three ties the first two sections together nicely. It explores how our innovative capacity can help us reconnect with the biosphere while remaining within the planet’s boundaries.

The e-book ends with brief case studies from around the world that highlight the local and regional implications and solutions of the issues discussed in the preceding chapters.


Highlights of key messages:

  • “In spite of immense technological development and progress, our economies and societies still fundamentally depend on ecosystems to provide us with a hospitable climate, clean water, food, fibres and numerous other goods and services.”
  • “We are the first generation with the knowledge of how our activities influence the Earth as a system, and thus the first generation with the power and the responsibility to change our relationship with the planet.”
  • “An immense number of sustainability initiatives are emerging (transition towns, clean energy, agroecological farming, ecosystem-based fisheries management, etc.). Such initiatives need to be upscaled through e.g. innovation funds, seed money, structural adjustment funds and other incentives in order to have a global impact. Social media and associated advances in information and communication technologies can play a role in this process.”


Click here to access a PDF of “What is resilience? An introduction to social-ecological research”