Insight #1 Transformations
Common to many cases of social-ecological transformations is the shift from management of single resources to broader integrated approaches with humans as an integrated part. In Australia, change agents used a national election as a political window of opportunity for implementing a new zoning legislation for the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: A. Maslennikov/Azote
Resilience thinking can help us understand how to initiate and navigate large-scale transformations in social-ecological systems.
Despite pleas for major change, there is still a lack of understanding of the mechanisms and patterns involved, and of the conditions under which critical transformations can emerge.
This lack of understanding greatly decreases the chances for successfully navigating transformation and embarking upon sustainable trajectories. Research at Stockholm Resilience Centre focuses on bridging this gap.
1. Transformations involve incremental as well as abrupt change at many different scales.
2. There are at least three recognizable phases of transformation in social-ecological systems.
3. Institutional entrepreneurship and transformational leadership play an important role in moving through these multiple phases.
4. There is a clear link between crisis and opportunity for creating radical shifts and transformations.
5. "Shadow networks" play an important role in experimenting and finding new solutions to global environmental problems.
6. Innovations can break self-reinforcing feedback loops that keep social-ecological systems on an undesired trajectory or in a lock-in trap.
7. Resilience thinking adds the social-ecological system perspective to transitions toward global sustainability.
Phase 1: In the preparation phase, institutional entrepreneurs and their networks may work simultaneously at different scales of the social-ecological system.
By intervening at broader institutional levels, they can open up new trajectories of development.
Phase 2: In the navigation phase, crossscale brokers can provide bridging functions that connect different actors operating at different scales and launch new initiatives and scale up innovations.
Phase 3: In the building resilience phase bridging organisations can create incentives and foster values for stewardship in the new context.
Source; Olsson et al. 2004, Folke et al. 2009
Research news | 2023-06-02
More freshwater experts needed in the IPBES biodiversity panel
Centre researcher Jan Kuiper lists why and how more freshwater experts could contribute to the Intergovernmental Science–Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
General news | 2023-06-01
Centre researcher Juan Rocha elected into Young Academy of Sweden
Centre researcher Juan Rocha joins the Young Academy of Sweden, a junior version of the prestigious Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, for a five-year term
Research news | 2023-05-31
Groundbreaking study quantifies safe and just Earth system boundaries
International commission proposes new safe and just boundaries for maintaining a healthy planet and protecting people from significant harm
Research news | 2023-05-25
AI could create a perfect storm of climate misinformation
The speed and the way misinformation about climate change and sustainability issues moves around the world is rapidly changing. Now, the Centre presents a new synthesis on AI and climate misinformation in connection to the Nobel Prize Summit 2023, "Truth, Trust and Hope"
Research news | 2023-05-22
Financial actors and academia join forces to build back biodiversity
Today is International Biodiversity Day! This year with the theme “From agreement to action: build back biodiversity”, and for us, that is a good reason to highlight the potential of the finance sector in reviving biodiversity
General news | 2023-05-17
Maria Tengö appointed special professor at Wageningen University
Maria Tengö is the most recently appointed professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre