• Andrew Thatcher
  • Paul H. P. Yeow


Current human activities are seriously eroding the ability of natural and social systems to sufficiently adapt and cope with these changes. Clearly humanity cannot continue along our current path without seriously damaging our own ability to survive as a species. This problem is usually framed as one of sustainability and the need to address a set of interrelated wicked problems. In this chapter we provide the broad background to the sustainability problem from a human factors and ergonomics perspective by focusing on the broad areas where our discipline might contribute to solutions. This is done by firstly giving a historical overview of the work that has already been conducted from a human factors and ergonomics perspective in addressing sustainability and secondly by outlining the approach taken for the remainder of the book which is based on Thatcher and Yeow’s (2016a) sustainable system-of-systems model for human factors and ergonomics. The chapter concludes with brief comments on the overall aims of the book in helping human factors and ergonomics to address sustainability concerns.


Sustainability Sustainability development Human factors and sustainable development Climate change 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Thatcher
    • 1
  • Paul H. P. Yeow
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of BusinessMonash University MalaysiaBandar SunwayMalaysia

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