Category Archives: Transformation

Our Panarchic Future

Holling and his colleagues call their ideas “panarchy theory“- after Pan, the ancient Greek god of nature. Together with anthropologist and historian Joseph Tainter’s ideas on complexity and social collapse, this theory helps us see our world’s tectonic stresses as … Continue reading

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World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability

Adding together all of the challenges involved in the transformation for sustainability to come, it becomes clear that the upcoming changes go far beyond technological and technocratic reforms: the business of society must be founded on a new ‘business basis’. … Continue reading

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Human Progress within Planetary Boundaries

The year 2015 has special importance for the transformation towards sustainable development. New Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are then supposed to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The aim is to offer a new orientation for political action in the … Continue reading

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Sustainability Transformations – a Resilience Perspective

Scholars and policy makers are becoming increasingly interested in the processes that lead to transformations toward sustainability. We explored how resilience thinking, and a stronger focus on social-ecological systems, can contribute to existing studies of sustainability transformations. First, we responded … Continue reading

Posted in Resilience, Resilience thinking, Socio-ecological systems, Sustainability, Sustainable development, Sustainable transformations, Transformation | Tagged , , , , , ,

Visions and Pathways Towards Sustainable Development

This paper surveys the current status quo of societal knowledge about transformation towards sustainability. Visions are central for policy processes and human development in general, since we cannot discuss terms such as “progress”, “growth” or “innovation” of society without considering … Continue reading

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Resilience Thinking and 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 … Continue reading

Posted in Governance, Resilience, Socio-ecological systems, Thresholds, Transformation, Transition | Tagged , , , , ,

Resilience Thinking – Integrating Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability

Resilience thinking addresses the dynamics and development of complex social–ecological systems (SES). Three aspects are central: resilience, adaptability and transformability. These aspects interrelate across multiple scales. Resilience in this context is the capacity of a SES to continually change and … Continue reading

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Connecting Communities and Complexity: creating conditions for Transformational Change

The standard, deficit-based, approach to health promotion tends to focus on health problems, designing services which are meant to solve these problems, of which members of communities are made the passive recipients. An alternative approach recognises that health problems are … Continue reading

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Chaos Theory and the Sciences of Complexity: Foundations for Transforming Education

An understanding of chaos theory and the sciences of complexity is crucial to systemic transformation of our educational systems to better meet the rapidly changing needs of our children and communities. Helpful concepts include co-evolution, disequilibrium, positive feedback, perturbance, transformation, … Continue reading

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Urban Pioneering Movement as an example of Emergence and Change

This article examines systemic change through a gradual, self-generating change that can lead to a paradigm shift, using urban pioneering movement in Helsinki as an example. The urban pioneering movement aims at transforming the urban culture through activities that generate … Continue reading

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