Beijer Fellows

Carl Folke | Professor, Director

Carl Folke is Director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He is also cofounder and Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University. He took on these positions in 2007.
Carl is a systems thinker in integrative science for sustainability, recognized for his research on social-ecological systems and resilience thinking. His work emphasizes that humans and our societies are embedded parts of the biosphere dependent on its life-supporting ecosystems, while simultaneously shaping them from local to global scales and from the past into the future. .

Carl Folke


Address: The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Box 50005 SE-104 05 Stockholm Sweden


Centre of Excellence: Resilience and Sustainability - integrated research on social-ecological systems

Human activities are driving global environmental dynamics towards systemic changes in economic and social systems, with further feedbacks to the global environment making the Earth system a truly a social-ecological system. At a minimum, these changes will cause concern about future human well-being and in worst cases challenge the survival of our species.  We currently lack institutions capable of addressing global-scale socio-ecological system governance.

Our aim is to gain better understanding of the global social-ecological system, the likelihood and consequences of sequential or coincident multiple shocks in this system, and how society responds or fails to respond - to these shocks. We propose to address this task by developing a ‘framework’ for conceptualizing the global social-ecological-economic system, its responses to crises and shocks and options for intervention to improve the odds of beneficial system outcomes..

This program continues Beijer’s tradition to dealing with research on complex social ecological systems scaling up the perspectives to a global level.


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Governing Social-Ecological Transformation: Adapting to the Challenge of Global Environmental Change.

This book addresses the factors and features of society’s abilitiy to adapt its institutions to governance of ecosystem management. It explores institutional changes that are taking place as a response to increasing global environmental pressures at local, national, and international levels. It also looks at the structural barriers and the opportunities for change through innovation and transformations, where they are occurring or not and why.

A number of case studies cut across important social and political issues in key problems areas, including terrestrial, coastal and marine, climate, food production, and urban settings.

Emily Boyd and Carl Folke are editing the book for Cambridge University Press.

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