I’m not an ecologist. However, my interests in the systems sciences has connected me to the research originating with the Resilience Alliance. I decided to make time to educate myself in the current research presented at Resilience 2011: The Second International Science and Policy Conference, at Arizona State University in Tempe.
The conference program is available online — including video, slides, and abstracts.
As an additional contribution to learning, I’ve posted digests of the talks that I’ve attended on the Coevolving Commons. I habitually type notes into my laptop during meetings. Some people find these digests helpful, to gain a high-level appreciation of content before committing more time to watching a video, or reading an article. (On the digest pages for plenary talks, I’ve provided links back to speakers’ videos and slides).
Attending a 5-day meeting in person enables a rich immersion of ideas in a domain. I got to see, up close, some people whose work is worth knowing about, including …
- Buzz Holling, in a panel with Kathleen Sutcliffe and Andrew King on “Resilience in Business“;
- Brian Walker, increasing scientific rigour, introducing “Resilience Propositions on Trial” (in advance of a later panel);
- Garry Peterson, leading a panel on “Social Ecological Regime Shifts and Transformation“;
- Martin Scheffer, providing background history as “Resilience Revisited“;
- Joe Tainter, framing complexity in human societies in “Resources and Societies: Past and Futures“; and
- Elinor Ostrom — a Nobel prize laureate in economics — on “Thinking about the Future: A Social-Ecological Systems Approach to Sustainability“
… plus many other talks over the four days. (I caught a plane eastbound on the fifth day, so I missed a few plenary talks).
Since I didn’t expect that the resilience science community would necessarily know about the systems sciences, I contributed a talk on “Natural systems, service systems: Scientific perspectives on redesigning social-ecological systems“.
Learning about a new field can be a challenge. One approach is to start low on a scale of legitimate peripheral participation, watch for commonalities and patterns to emerge.
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