Many associate resilience with being happy in the face of hardships, and able to bounce back. But when it comes to global issues such as global warming, resilience thinking can take a much more complex turn — and even become a way to engineer systemic changes to address the issue, says Dr. Garry Peterson, professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University. Interview.
For a long time now, the psychological concept of resilience has been associated with being strong in face of adversity. Even the Cambridge dictionary defines it as the ability to be happy or successful after something difficult or bad has happened — a trait of the human psyche. But when it comes to global adversities, such as global warming or pandemics, narrowing it down to individual personality traits can be reductive, warns Dr. Garry Peterson, professor in environmental sciences with emphasis on resilience and social-ecological systems at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Resilience thinking, he says, could help humanity not only to adapt to environmental hardships, but also to tackle them from their very origins.