Popular Science

Browse here for a selection of articles, brochures, and videos that explore resilience thinking and practice in southern Africa. Please click on the images to navigate to the resources.

What is resilience? An introduction to social-ecological research

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Resilience is the capacity of a system, be it an individual, a forest, a city or an economy, to deal with change and continue to develop. It is about the capacity to use shocks and disturbances like a financial crisis or climate change to spur renewal and innovative thinking. Resilience thinking embraces learning, diversity and above all the belief that humans and nature are strongly coupled to the point that they should be conceived as one social-ecological system.

Applying resilience thinking: Seven principles for building resilience in social-ecological systems

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Over the past decades, few concepts have gained such prominence as resilience, the capacity of a system to deal with change and continue to develop. There has been an explosion of research into ways to promote or undermine the resilience of various systems, be it a landscape, a coastal area or a city. However, the multitude of suggested factors that enhance resilience has led to a somewhat dispersed and fragmented understanding of what is critical for building resilience and how an understanding of these factors can be applied.

Video: How to apply resilience thinking

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Resilience as a concept has become something of a buzzword within sustainability research and policy. But amid the enormous attention it has attracted, confusion exists. What does resilience actually mean and how it should be applied? This video presents seven principles for building resilience in social-ecological systems.

Incubating ideas on how southern Africa can manage the Anthropocene

The Conversation, 2017

We have been involved in a project to develop possible scenarios for southern Africa that start with existing positive things happening in the region. The idea was to start thinking about possibilities that broke with a business-as-usual approach and employed more creativity in thinking about how to overcome the challenges facing the region and the world.

Seeds of Good Anthropocenes in southern Africa

Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, 2017

The “Seeds of a Good Anthropocenes” project aims to counterbalance current dystopic visions of the future that may be inhibiting our ability to move towards a positive future for the Earth and humanity, by developing visions of potential “Good Anthropocenes” – positive visions of futures that are socially and ecologically desirable, just, and sustainable.  Watch the video for an example of how such positive and resilient futures can be imagined for southern Africa.