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Ecological Economics and Systems Thinking | Katie Kish + David Mallery | (ST-ON 2021-10-18)

In the 1980s, ecological economics seemed to be mostly economists extending their work towards environmental and resource concerns.  In the 2020s, ecological economics is seeing a new generation first schooled in other disciplines such as environmental studies or one of the social sciences, then coming into economics.  Programs that encourage the new perspective include the  Economics for the Anthropocene partnership, and Leadership for the Ecozoic network.  Emerging scholars can bring a new research agenda.

This is what I’ve been learning through the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics (CANSEE).  To bring some of that perspective to the Systems Thinking Ontario community, I invited Katie Kish and David Mallery for a conversation.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
October 18
(1h41m)
[20211018_ST-ON EcologicalEconomics_Kish_Mallery_FHD.m4v]
(FHD 1547kbps 1.19GB) [on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
October 18
(1h41m)
[20211018_ST-ON EcologicalEconomics_Kish_Mallery.mp3]
(35.5MB)

Here is the content from the original announcement.

For this session, Katie Kish and David Mallery will lead a discussion on Ecological Economics in two parts.

(1) Where is Ecological Economics going with Systems Thinking?

  • In the “Critical Pluralism” paper (see below), the newest generation of EE scholars is portrayed as taking a regenerative approach to research and learning. This is best navigated with critical pluralistic approaches well-developed in systems thinking. The shift might be better supported through a wider set of systems tools, which might also have complementary effects on systems methodologies.
Read more (in a new tab)

In the 1980s, ecological economics seemed to be mostly economists extending their work towards environmental and resource concerns.  In the 2020s, ecological economics is seeing a new generation first schooled in other disciplines such as environmental studies or one of the social sciences, then coming into economics.  Programs that encourage the new perspective include the  Economics for the Anthropocene partnership, and Leadership for the Ecozoic network.  Emerging scholars can bring a new research agenda.

This is what I’ve been learning through the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics (CANSEE).  To bring some of that perspective to the Systems Thinking Ontario community, I invited Katie Kish and David Mallery for a conversation.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
October 18
(1h41m)
[20211018_ST-ON EcologicalEconomics_Kish_Mallery_FHD.m4v]
(FHD 1547kbps 1.19GB) [on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
October 18
(1h41m)
[20211018_ST-ON EcologicalEconomics_Kish_Mallery.mp3]
(35.5MB)

Here is the content from the original announcement.

For this session, Katie Kish and David Mallery will lead a discussion on Ecological Economics in two parts.

(1) Where is Ecological Economics going with Systems Thinking?

  • In the “Critical Pluralism” paper (see below), the newest generation of EE scholars is portrayed as taking a regenerative approach to research and learning. This is best navigated with critical pluralistic approaches well-developed in systems thinking. The shift might be better supported through a wider set of systems tools, which might also have complementary effects on systems methodologies.
Read more (in a new tab)

Ecology and Economy: Systems Changes Ahead?

Following the workshop at 2019 CANSEE Conference, cohosted with David L. Hawk, we were invited to contribute an article to a special issue of WEI Magazine.  Here’s the abstract for the workshop in May:

Systems Changes, Environmental Deterioration

This dialogue-oriented workshop will be framed by two short position papers (< 30 minutes each) towards energizing a discussion on the prospects for systems thinking and ecological economics.

(1) Systems Changes research program

Shifting the emphasis from stable states to a fluid world, what patterns describe shifts due to (i) human will, and (ii) nature? The Systems Changes program aims to extend research from the 1970s (e.g. West Churchman systems approach; Horst Rittel wicked problems; Christopher Alexander pattern language; Eric Trist and Cal Pava action learning) with 21st century advances (e.g. holons and hierarchy theory; resilience science; ecological anthropology; open sourcing).

(2) Environmental Deterioration: What have we learned about systems change(s) over the past 50 years?

Since the 1960s, nations have enacted regulations towards environment issues, sustainability of resources and stewardship of the environment: USA EPA (1969); Canadian EPA (1988/1999); EU Treaty of Maastricht (1993). Yet in 2009, the Stockholm Resilience Centre declared that human activity has exceeded two thresholds of nine planetary boundaries. Is it too late for the human race to act, or even to try? The 1979 Ph.D. dissertation on “Regulation of Environmental Deterioration” from the University of Pennsylvania will be considered retrospectively.

(3) Dialectic: Group Discussion

In an open group discussion, in what ways might a shift from “systems thinking” towards “systems changes” make a difference (or not)?

Read more (in a new tab)

Following the workshop at 2019 CANSEE Conference, cohosted with David L. Hawk, we were invited to contribute an article to a special issue of WEI Magazine.  Here’s the abstract for the workshop in May:

Systems Changes, Environmental Deterioration

This dialogue-oriented workshop will be framed by two short position papers (< 30 minutes each) towards energizing a discussion on the prospects for systems thinking and ecological economics.

(1) Systems Changes research program

Shifting the emphasis from stable states to a fluid world, what patterns describe shifts due to (i) human will, and (ii) nature? The Systems Changes program aims to extend research from the 1970s (e.g. West Churchman systems approach; Horst Rittel wicked problems; Christopher Alexander pattern language; Eric Trist and Cal Pava action learning) with 21st century advances (e.g. holons and hierarchy theory; resilience science; ecological anthropology; open sourcing).

(2) Environmental Deterioration: What have we learned about systems change(s) over the past 50 years?

Since the 1960s, nations have enacted regulations towards environment issues, sustainability of resources and stewardship of the environment: USA EPA (1969); Canadian EPA (1988/1999); EU Treaty of Maastricht (1993). Yet in 2009, the Stockholm Resilience Centre declared that human activity has exceeded two thresholds of nine planetary boundaries. Is it too late for the human race to act, or even to try? The 1979 Ph.D. dissertation on “Regulation of Environmental Deterioration” from the University of Pennsylvania will be considered retrospectively.

(3) Dialectic: Group Discussion

In an open group discussion, in what ways might a shift from “systems thinking” towards “systems changes” make a difference (or not)?

Read more (in a new tab)
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