2016/07/25 08:35 John Kineman, “Realizing Sustainable Futures in Socio-Ecological Systems”, ISSS 2016 Boulder

Plenary @ISSSMeeting John Kineman #isss2016USA, 60th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences and 1st Policy Congress of ISSS, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Day 1 theme:  Systems Thinking for Systemic Sustainability

Plenary I – The Challenge of System(s) Sustainability

  • Description: This year’s conference focuses on what it means for a system to be sustainable (“systemic sustainability”): exploring more holistic science and thinking to understand, manage, and create sustainability in complex socio-ecological systems. We are intentionally stepping outside traditional comfort zones to explore new territory and possibly find new answers. For this we recognize the importance of empowering students; removing philosophical and institutional blocks to their inquiry into such questions, and providing them with the best tools to guide their research and practical experiences. From development of new theories and practices to integration of existing ones, our challenge is to determine what will lead society into the transformations needed for a sustainable future and beyond to even greater symbiotic and innovative opportunities; and how we as a society can help initiate those changes.

Session chair:  John Kineman

John Kineman is an ecosystem scientist at the University of Colorado, and president of the ISSS 2015-2015.

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship by David Ing.

Opening announcements by Jennifer Wilby


John Kineman, Monday plenary

[John Kineman]

Will talk a little bit about the conference, and some goals

  • Packed scheduled, diverse
  • Components of a systems view
  • A requisite variety of causes of a system

Human activity now dominates land use

  • Land use from 8000BP to Present (on Youtube)
  • Kaplan et al, 2010
  • There’s a hole in the data in Mesopotamia, a good reason to be coordinating conference with India

What is sustainability?

Moving from process sustainability to systems sustainability

Conference is about healthy systems and whole systems

  • Write a definition of whole milk, as opposed to not whole milk?
  • Whole milk includes the cow, where it came from
  • Parts, and the origin, the context
  • Measureability parts, the relation, becomes a whole

Context-behavior and context-origin are related causally

  • It’s the same in Rosen’s modeling relation
  • Material system and contextual system

Global challenge, pushing the boundaries

  • Humans are now equal to nature, occupying 50%
  • Approaching 50% extinction

Global challenges:  Earth endangered by new strain of fact-resistant humans (24media.info)

Science, policy and ethics –> social-ecological systems

  • A 4-part
  • Day 1: Vision
  • Learning cycle

Possible outcomes

  • Future vision
  • Advancing sustainability science
  • Policy recommdenations
  • Systems theory and praxis