How relationships contribute to and can help solve grand sustainability challenges
Recording of the seminar that took place at the The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 11 October 2023
Michele Barnes, James Cook University, uncovers how relationships can mediate the drivers and outcomes of sustainability challenges
Societies around the globe are facing unprecedented sustainability challenges – including ensuring food security and confronting the consequences of climate change.
Understanding how people contribute to and respond to these challenges is of critical importance for building a sustainable future.
In this talk, Michele Barnes presents an integrative network approach which captures the relationships people have with each other and with the environment, and uncovers how these relationships can mediate the drivers and outcomes of these grand sustainability challenges. For this, she will focus on two grand sustainability challenges; food security and climate adaptation. The seminar will conclude by discussing future directions focused on the evolution of networks in the context of shocks; and how networks, socio-cognitive processes, and power interact to shape responses to global change.
About the speaker
Michele Barnes is an associate professor based in the College of Arts, Society, and Education at James Cook University in Australia. Her research focuses on the social structural foundations of complex sustainability problems, particularly climate adaptation. Her work on social networks and the environment has attracted several high-profile awards, including from the U.S. National Science Foundation (SPRF-IBSS, 2015), the Australian Research Council (DECRA, 2018), the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (Paul Bourke Award, 2021), and the International Network for Social Network Analysis (Freeman Award, 2023). She currently serves as the president of the Australian Network for Social Network Analysis and is on the board of directors for the International Network for Social Network Analysis. Barnes is committed to research impact and regularly engages with policymakers and practitioners to work toward a sustainable future for both people and ecosystems.
About Stockholm seminars
The Stockholm Seminars cover a broad range of sustainability science perspectives with a focus on the dynamics and stewardship of social-ecological systems. The seminars are held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and organised by the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, the Anthropocene Laboratory, and the Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere programme, all three at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, together with Albaeco, Future Earth and Stockholm Resilience Centre. Since its start in 2000 more than 100 of the world’s leading scientists and experts have taken part in this seminar series, including Nobel Laureates.
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