ICoRD'13 pp 491-503 | Cite as

Sustainability and Research into Interactions

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)

Abstract

Sustainability is an ambitious interdisciplinary research agenda. The required knowledge, tools, methods and competencies being spread across wide-ranging areas pose challenges for researchers in sustainability who often specialize in one discipline. The efforts of researchers to understand sustainability comprehensively and contribute will be benefited if research outcomes are presented against an integrating framework for sustainability knowledge. Though general systems theory has this agenda, it targets consilience and not sustainability in particular as in sustainable development. However, systems concepts provide for a structure to imbibe aspects of sustainability. We propose a nested structure for organizing relevant research across the various scales of concerns that characterize sustainability. As understanding sustainability fundamentally requires understanding the interactions between natural and human systems, we discuss this in the context of the proposed structure and research into interactions.

Keywords

Sustainability research Nestedness Interactions Systems coherence 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Ramani K for valuable comment on the draft and The Boeing Company for financial support under contract PC36018 at SID, IISc.

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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Product Design and ManufacturingIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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