Resilience 2011

It’s official! Resilience 2011, the second international science and policy conference will take place March 11-16, 2011 in Tempe Arizona. The conference title “Resilience, Innovation, and Sustainability: Navigating the Complexities of Global Change” gets right to the point. Resilience 2011 is an open conference that will bring together a diverse community of researchers and policy-minded people who are advancing resilience research and its application.

The conference website is up and running with more information forthcoming. I sent a few questions to the Chair of the conference organizing team, John Marty Anderies, to see if I could find out a little more…

AQWhat sets Resilience 2011 apart from other conferences?

JMA: Resilience 2011 will build on the success of Resilience 2008. Resilience 2008 fostered broad engagement of a range of participants from different academic fields and policy arenas and Resilience 2011 will do the same. I think one of the key features of Resilience 2011 that may set it apart will be the focus on reaching out to scholars from different disciplines who aren’t deeply involved with resilience ideas and asking them the work closely with scholars who are deeply involved to find common intellectual ground, common language, and common problems to generate new research ideas and form new collaborations. In this way, Resilience 2011 will hopefully enrich the resilience knowledge base as well as enriching the several disciplines with which it may interact through such collaborative efforts.

AQGlobal change is a key theme of the conference – why? Can you tell us anything about the other conference themes?

JMA: Global Change is a key theme of the conference because it unites several intellectual themes within the knowledge domain that includes and surrounds resilience ideas. Global change connects ecological, economic, technological, and social forces, all of which figure prominently in resilience research. Right now, we have developed 5 preliminary themes. Soon we will be sending out a call for additional themes. The preliminary themes are:

1. Thresholds, regime shifts, and transformations
2. Adaptations, resilience, vulnerability, and coping with change
3. Knowledge management, innovation, and social-ecological learning
4. Governance, polycentricity, and multilevel challenges
5. Complex systems, resource management and economic development

Within each of these themes will be several panels that address subtopics relevant to each theme. As with the themes themselves, we will be sending out a call for panel proposals later this spring. As you can see, the themes are organized around key aspects of social-environment interactions and key theoretical issues that are core to resilience thinking.

AQAt the Resilience 2008 conference we were told to “Expect the Unexpected”, what should we expect from Resilience 2011?

JMA – Again, lets hope for the “unexpected”. The conference organizing team is working very hard to develop a range of activities around the conference involving local art and culture as well as providing opportunities for conference participants to connect with the beautiful desert environment within and around Phoenix. We also hope to exploit the rich archaeological heritage of the Phoenix Basin to expose conference participants to the dynamics of past societies and how they navigated the resilience challenges that they faced living in an arid and harsh environment.

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