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SocioEconomic Systems & Earth Systems


SocioEconomic Systems and Earth Systems aims to explore the conceptual frameworks on how SESs and ESs are linked in order to identify solutions for current societal challenges, such as climate change, food security, and the biodiversity crisis.



Socio-economic systems (SESs) play a crucial role in shaping the structure and functioning of our societies, governing how resources are allocated, how wealth is distributed, and how individuals (and entities) interact with each other. SESs can vary significantly across different regions and historical periods, and different systems can coexist to varying degrees within a single society. Additionally, they can evolve over time in response to changes in technology, ideology, and to external factors such as globalization and environmental challenges.

Earth systems (ESs) refer to the physical, chemical, biological, geological, and historical processes and the interactions and interconnections between various components of our planet (atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere and biosphere – including all ecosystems and living organisms). ESs are complex and dynamic, as well as interconnected, influencing each other through processes such as energy transfer, material cycling, and feedback loops. Understanding them is essential for studying natural phenomena, predicting environmental changes, and managing Earth’s resources sustainably.

Currently living people are the first generation of the first species to know that they are driving the planet off-balance with catastrophic consequences for many of the current life forms including our species. Do we have the answers to invert this trend? How do we know? Are they viable? Can the necessary stewardship, social cohesion and governance be achieved?


Present and future solutions:

  1. Taking stock and understanding the massive impacts and interrelations
  2. Looking for solutions: Current attempts
  3. Looking for solutions: The Broad view, disruptive ideas, and potential end goals


The project and its activities:

In order to go deeper into this subject, and start to explore possible solutions for the challenges we are currently encountering, we propose here a set of activities that we believe will contribute to bringing light to these questions. We will gather information and knowledge and promote critical thinking and debate with a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses the latest knowledge in earth systems science, ecology, economics, sociology, and psychology.

SES&ES will be an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and knowledge centre bringing together in conferences, workshops, and steering groups the thought leaders from all the key natural and social sciences to promote this dialogue and research these themes. This newly created research group will aim to contribute to understanding what a thriving world of 10 billion people ensuring all SDGs might look like — what shared vision, which narratives, which moral underpinnings, which social contracts, which technologies, which political systems and which institutional architectures.


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