SSD2022: Social-ecological models

The call for abstracts is now open for Sustainability Science Days Conference 2022 in Finland, with the theme “systemic transformations to sustainable futures”. Read more about the conference and submit your abstract here. I would especially like to welcome your abstracts to our session INVESTIGATING SUSTAINABILITY TRANSFORMATIONS WITH SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL MODELS.

Session description:

This session explores the challenges of modelling sustainability transformations from the perspective of social-ecological systems. The diversity of methods, problems, and possible solutions in modelling transformations are explored and discussed interactively with the audience.

Designing and guiding systemic sustainability transformations requires an in-depth understanding on how transformative change emerges from complex, adaptive interactions between human actors, institutions and ecosystem dynamics. Social-ecological system (SES) models, both simulation models and models that statistically describe SES structures, have proven to provide a powerful approach for investigating the nature and outcomes of human-environment interactions, including identification and testing of key leverage points at various scales. Diverse values and worldviews can be included in SES models.

Envisioning sustainability solutions necessitates broadening the use of SES models and strengthening the engagement between SES modelers, stakeholders and local communities. The predictive models of the COVID-19 pandemic and the successful use of economic and ecological models in society provide robust evidence on how modelling can be utilized in addressing local and global challenges.

Modeling transformations in SES is challenging and requires pushing modeling frontiers. This session collates the current knowledge of modeling approaches that account for human-environment connections. The session emphasizes the future directions of SES models and brings together people across different disciplines to discuss the development needs of SES modelling approaches. In  doing so, the state of the art for modelling the complexity of SES interconnections is presented whilst exploring the key research questions related to systemic sustainability transformations.

This session focuses on the following conference themes:

  • How can different approaches that consider human and non-human relations such as planetary well-being foster systemic transformation to a sustainable future?  
  • How to formulate and enact interventions focusing on deep leverage points of systemic change?
  • How to build better agency among different societal actors (including citizens and communities) toward acting for change, and especially how to promote inclusion and engage with marginalised groups in the change processes?
  • How can sustainability design, different types of knowledge production and ways of knowing be integrated especially in the field of just transitions? 

Conveners: Johanna Yletyinen (University of Jyväskylä), Juan Carlos Rocha (Stockholm Resilience centre)

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