Resilience Thinking

Within resilience thinking, there are three major strands from which all research and conceptual thinking departs. The first has already been mentioned before, namely that there are complex interdependencies between people and ecosystems.

The second is a historical aspect and describes the tremendous acceleration of human development over the past 200 years, particularly since World War II. This acceleration is pushing our planet dangerously close to its boundaries, to the extent that abrupt environmental change cannot be excluded. Furthermore, it has led scientists to argue that we have entered a new geological era called the Anthropocene, or Age of Man, where humanity is influencing every aspect of the Earth on a scale akin to the great forces of nature.

The third strand highlights the fascinating paradox that the innovative capacity that has put us in the current environmental predicament can also be used to push us out of it. Resilience thinking embraces learning, diversity and how to adapt to a wide range of complex challenges. It introduces the term social-ecological thinking which essentially strives to find innovative ways to reconnect with the biosphere and stay within planetary boundaries.

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