Resilience. From mental health to economic development, resilience is a characteristic that many have an intuitive sense for, but can’t quite define. Defining and operationalizing this vital concept is central to the work of the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC). “Resilience starts from the belief that humans and nature are strongly coupled,” the SRC explains. In an increasingly globalized society, ecosystems are shaped by people and people depend on the essential services that ecosystems provide. From Stockholm, Sweden to Palo Alto, California, scientists from many disciplines are coming together to apply resilience thinking in innovative, forward-looking ways to re-envision positive futures for life on Earth.
Building on years of collaboration in this field, the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences officially join the Natural Capital Project partnership this month. The Natural Capital Project, centered at Stanford University, includes the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, The Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund as core members.
“We’re so honored to welcome the Stockholm Resilience Centre into the core NatCap partnership, reflecting more than two decades of close collaboration among leaders of the respective institutions. The powerful team at SRC will strengthen our science innovation and help open new pathways towards green, inclusive growth around the world,” said Gretchen Daily, Natural Capital Project co-Founder.
The new partnership accelerates the dynamic research currently under development between Natural Capital Project scientists and their counterparts at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics. The Swedish collaborators bring knowledge and research on the broad areas of resilience, complex adaptive social-ecological systems, and biosphere stewardship to the Natural Capital Project network.
“The work and perspectives of the Natural Capital team brilliantly complement our work on resilience. It is very exciting that our long and productive collaboration will now flourish even more,” said Prof. Carl Folke, Stockholm Resilience Centre founder and current director of the Beijer Institute.
Two research programs funded by the Swedish Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundationwill serve as the cornerstone for the partnership, providing new insights on how humans shape the environment from local to global levels and how we can create pathways for sustainability.
Three years into the first funding cycle, the research program has generated more than fifty scientific publications. The researchers are exploring scientific frontiers that connect people and nature. From food systems to livable cities, they are applying unique lenses to better understand how development–both socially and economically–influences the wellbeing of humans and the resilience of the biosphere.
The new partnership will be celebrated at this year’s Natural Capital Symposium in March, the Natural Capital Project’s annual gathering where global leaders converge at Stanford University.
Looking forward, the Natural Capital Project’s unique partnership promises to push forward the growing science around resilience thinking, natural capital approaches, and the future of human life within Earth’s biosphere.
Header photo credit: K. Helander/Azote