Understanding social-ecological systems

A short introduction to the interactions and dependencies between humans and nature, and what it means when we call them "complex adaptive systems"


Resilience starts from the belief that humans and nature are strongly coupled to the point that they should be conceived as one social-ecological system. This means that in our globalized society, there are virtually no ecosystems that are not shaped by people and no people without the need for ecosystems and the services they provide. People and nature are truly intertwined in what we refer to as social-ecological systems.

Social ecological systems are in turn complex adaptive systems composed of many diverse human and non-human entities that interact. They adapt to changes in their environment and their environment changes as a result.

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Advancing Complex Adaptive Systems and resilience thinking

What is resilience?

Resilience dictionary

How to apply resilience thinking

Reconnecting to the biosphere

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201