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Building Transformative Capacity in Social-Ecological Systems: Insights and Challenges.

Olsson, P., Ö. Bodin and C. Folke. (2010.) In: Armitage, D. and R. Plummer (eds.). Adaptive Capacity and Environmental Governance. Springer Verlag, New York, pp 263-286.

Abstract:

We use a ‘resilience lens’ to identify gaps in the understanding of capacity to transform socialecological systems’ (SES) trajectories toward ecosystem stewardship and highlight some challenges that needs to be addressed. We draw on the organizational evolution literature in combination with the latest insights on SES transformations to give a more detailed understanding what constitute transformative capacity. Two case studies illustrate the possibilities and challenges. SES transformations require knowledge and skills that can link ecosystem and social system dynamics, and develop strategies to overcome barriers and enable institutional changes that foster transformations. We identify some criteria that seem important for developing a framework for analyzing transformations and assessing transformative capacity in social-ecological systems, or more specifically the capacity. These include experimentation and innovation, agency and social networks, opportunity context, diversity, boundaries, and collaboration.

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