Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Resilience Thinking and Sustainable Development

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63951-2_324-1


Resilience thinking addresses the dynamics of complex social–environmental systems and explores how such systems can be managed in the face of disturbances – it is a paradigm beneficial toward the aims and objectives of sustainable development.


The roots of resilience thinking can be traced to ecological research where system-level observations of the natural world and their underlying dynamics led toward new insights on the concept of resilience. In the natural world, shocks and disturbances are a constant reality of evolutionary life. Ecological systems, e.g., food webs, river basins, and grasslands, have developed an inherent ability to anticipate uncertainty, adapt, and maintain the resilience of critical functions. Learning from the collective wisdom of the natural world on resilience can aid our thinking toward sustainable development.

Sustainable development is a normative vision whereby our collective developmental needs of today do not endanger the...


Resilience Thinking Environmental Education Strategies Socio-environmental Systems Aquatic Life Forms Water Ecosystem Services 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advanced Systems Analysis GroupInternational Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria
  2. 2.Center for the Development of Global Leadership EducationThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Socio-Cultural Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Division of Public PolicyHong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong KongChina
  5. 5.Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public PolicyUniversity College of LondonLondonUK
  6. 6.Graduate School of Public PolicyThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

Section editors and affiliations

  • Patrizia Lombardi
    • 1
  1. 1.Politecnico di TorinoTurinItaly