Resilience and Sustainable Development – Theory of Resilience, Systems Thinking and Adaptive Governance

Resilience thinking is inevitably systems thinking at least as much as sustainable development is. In fact, “when considering systems of humans and nature (social-ecological systems) it is important to consider the system as a whole. The human domain and the biophysical domain are interdependent”. In this framework where resilience is aligned with systems thinking, three concepts are crucial to grasp: (1) humans live and operate in social systems that are inextricably linked with the ecological systems in which they are embedded; (2) social-ecological systems are complex adaptive systems that do not change in a predictable, linear, incremental fashion; and (3) resilience thinking provides a framework for viewing a social-eco-logical system as one system operating over many linked scales of time and space. Its focus is on how the system changes and copes with disturbance. To fully understand the resilience theory, the report focuses therefore on the explanation of a number of crucial concepts: thresholds, the adaptive cycle, panarchy, resilience, adaptability, and transformability. As shown, humanity and ecosystems are deeply linked. This is also the fundamental reason why to adopt the resilience-thinking framework is a necessity for governance.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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