Advertisement

Philosophy of Field Methods in the GPSS-GLI Program: Dealing with Complexity to Achieve Resilience and Sustainable Societies

  • Takashi Mino
  • Miguel EstebanEmail author
  • Vivek Anand Asokan
  • Niranji Satanarachchi
  • Tomohiro Akiyama
  • Izumi Ikeda
  • Chiahsin Chen
Chapter

Abstract

The world is facing a multitude of pressing problems, including environmental degradation, natural disasters, and social inequity, to name but a few. These challenges are also complex and uncertain in nature, though it is crucial for humanity to attempt to solve them in order to achieve sustainable societies. The Graduate Program in Sustainability Science-Global Leadership Initiative (GPSS-GLI) of the University of Tokyo is an academic program which looks forward to facing these challenges. The program has a strong focus on field exercises, which attempt to introduce students to the real situations being experienced by people. Students are encouraged to deal with complexity by engaging the issue from a holistic (“top-down”) and transboundary (“bottom-up”) perspective. Having a holistic view and transboundary perspective may provide a basis to deal with the complexities and uncertainties present in sustainability issues, where it is difficult to provide solutions by thinking only of fixed end-targets. Through such efforts it is hoped that students can understand and propose solutions on how to achieve more sustainable and resilience societies. The present chapter will serve as an introduction to the rest of the chapters in this book, briefly outlining the general philosophy of the GPSS-GLI regarding Global Field Exercises (GFEs) and Exercises in Resilience (ERs).

Keywords

Resilience Sustainable societies Field methods Sustainability science Philosophy GPSS-GLI 

References

  1. Agrawal, A., Chhatre, A., & Hardin, R. (2008). Changing governance of the world's forests. Science, 320(5882), 1460–1462.Google Scholar
  2. Akiyama, T., Li, J., & Onuki, M. (2012). Integral leadership education for sustainable development. Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 7(3), 55–69.Google Scholar
  3. Alliance, R. (2010). Assessing resilience in social-ecological systems: Workbook for practitioners.Google Scholar
  4. Bell, S., & Morse, S. (2008). Sustainability indicators: measuring the immeasurable?. UK: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  5. Berkes, F., & Folke, C. (Eds.). (1998). Linking sociological and ecological systems: management practices and social mechanisms for building resilience. NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brekke, K. A. (1997). Economic growth and the environment: On the measurement of income and welfare. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  7. Carpenter, S., Walker, B., Anderies, J., & Abel, N. (2001). From metaphor to measurement: resilience of what to what? Ecosystems, 765–781.Google Scholar
  8. Clark, W. C. (2007). Sustainability Science: A room of its own. PNAS.Google Scholar
  9. Clark, W. C., & Dickson, N. M. (2003). Sustainability science: The emerging research program. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(14), 8059–8061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clayton, A. M., & Radcliffe, N. J. (1996). Sustainability: A systems approach. Earthscan.Google Scholar
  11. Daly, H. (2008). A steady-state economy. Sustainable Development Commission.Google Scholar
  12. Ehrlich, P., & Hanski, I. (2004). On the wings of checkerspots: A model system for population biology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Ehrlich, P. R., & Levin, S. A. (2005). The Evolution of Norms. PLoS Biology, 3(6), e194.Google Scholar
  14. Espinosa, A., Harnden, R., & Walker, J. (2008). A complexity approach to sustainability–Stafford Beer revisited. European Journal of Operational Research, 187(2), 636–651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Esteban, M., Onuki, M., Ikeda, I., & Akiyama, T. (2015). Reconstruction following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake tsunami: Case study of Otsuchi Town in Iwate prefecture, Japan. In M. Esteban, H. Takagi, & T. Shibayama (Eds.), Handbook of coastal disaster mitigation for engineers and planners. Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinemann (Elsevier).Google Scholar
  16. Folke, C., Carpenter, S., Elmqvist, T., Gunderson, L., Holling, C. S., & Walker, B. (2002). Resilience and sustainable development: building adaptive capacity in a world of transformations. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 31(5), 437–440.Google Scholar
  17. Folke, C., Hahn, T., Olsson, P., & Norberg, J. (2005). Adaptive governance of social-ecological systems. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 30, 441–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gibson, C. C., Ostrom, E., & Ahn, T. K. (2000). The concept of scale and the human dimensions of global change: A survey. Ecological Economics, 32(2), 217–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. GPSS-GLI. (2015). Retrieved December 20, 2015, from http://www.sustainability.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp/.
  20. Gunderson, L. H. (2002). Resilience and the behavior of large-scale systems (Vol. 60). Island Press.Google Scholar
  21. Hawkes, J. (2001). The fourth Pillar of sustainability. Culture’s essential role in public planning. Common Ground, Australia.Google Scholar
  22. Holling, C. S., Gunderson, L., & Peterson., G. (2002). Sustainability and panarchies. In L. G. Holling (Ed.), Panarchy: Understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Island Press.Google Scholar
  23. Holling, C. S. (2005). Adaptive environmental assessment and management, Blackburn Press.Google Scholar
  24. Holling, C. S. (1986). The resilience of terrestrial ecosystems: local surprise and global change. Sustainable development of the biosphere, 292–317.Google Scholar
  25. Holling, C. S., Gunderson, L., & Peterson., G. (2002). Sustainability and Panarchies. In L. G. Holling & Panarchy (Eds.), Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems. Island Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hopwood, B., Mellor, M., & O’Brien, G. (2005). Sustainable development: Mapping different approaches. Sustainable Development, 13(1), 38–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kates, R., William, C., Clark, J., Michael, H., Carlo, J., Ian L., et al. (2000). Sustainability science.Google Scholar
  28. Kates, R., Clark, W., Corell, R., Hall, J., Jaeger, C., Lowe, I., McCarthy, J., Schellnhuber, H., Bolin, B., Dickson, N., Faucheux, S., Gallopin, G., Grubler, A., Huntley, B., Jager, J., Jodha, N., Kasperson, R., Mabogunje, A., Matson, P., & Mooney, H. (2001). Sustainability science. Science, 292(5517), 641–642.Google Scholar
  29. Komiyama, H., & Takeuchi, K. (2006). Sustainability science: Building a new discipline. Sustainability Science, 1–6.Google Scholar
  30. Ladyman, J., Lambert, J., & Wiesner, K. (2013). What is a complex system? European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 3, 33–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lang, D. J., Wiek, A., Bergmann, M., Stauffacher, M., Martens, P., Moll, P., & Thomas, C. J. (2012). Transdisciplinary research in sustainability science: Practice, principles, and challenges. Sustainability Science, 7(1), 25–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lerch, A., & Nutzinge, H. (2002). Sustainability: Economic Approaches and Ethical Implications. Journal of Economic and Social Policy, 6(2), 2.Google Scholar
  33. Levin, S. A. (2006). Learning to live in a global commons: socioeconomic challenges for a sustainable environment. Ecological Research, 21(3), 328–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Liu, J., Dietz, T., Carpenter, S. R., Alberti, M., Folke, C., Moran, E., & Taylor, W. W. (2007). Complexity of coupled human and natural systems. Science, 317(5844), 1513–1516.Google Scholar
  35. Lozano, R. (2008). Envisioning sustainability three-dimensionally. Journal of Cleaner Production, 16(17), 1838–1846.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mikami, T., Shibayama, T., Esteban, M., & Matsumaru, R. (2012). Field Survey of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. Coastal Engineering Journal (CEJ), 54(1), 1–26.Google Scholar
  37. Mino, T., & Hanaki, K. (Eds.). (2013). Environmental leadership capacity building in higher education: Experience and lesson from Asian program for incubation of sustainability. Japan: Springer.Google Scholar
  38. Neumayer, E. (2003). Weak versus strong sustainability: Exploring the limits of two opposing paradigms. Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  39. Olsson, L., Jerneck, A., Thoren, H., Persson, J., & O’Byrne, D. (2015). Why resilience is unappealing to social science: Theoretical and empirical investigations of the scientific use of resilience. Science Advances, 1(4), e1400217.Google Scholar
  40. Ostrom, E. (2007). A general framework for analyzing sustainability of socio-ecological systems. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, 274,19–31.Google Scholar
  41. Page, S. E. (2010). Diversity and complexity. NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Peter, C., & Swilling, M. (2014). Linking complexity and sustainability theories: Implications for modeling sustainability transitions. Sustainability, 6(3), 1594–1622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pezzey, J. (1992). Sustainable development concepts. World, 1, 45.Google Scholar
  44. Robinson, J. G. (2011). Ethical pluralism, pragmatism, and sustainability in conservation practice. Biological Conservation, 144(3), 958–965.Google Scholar
  45. Rockström, J., Steffen, W. L., Noone, K., Persson, Å., Chapin III, F. S., Lambin, E., & Nykvist, B. (2009). Planetary boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity.Google Scholar
  46. Satanarachchi, N., & Mino, T. (2014). A framework to observe and evaluate the sustainability of human–natural systems in a complex dynamic context. SpringerPlus, 3(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sen, A. (1999). Development as Freedom. Oxford UP: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Scholz, R. W., & Tietje, O. (2002). Embedded case study methods: Integrating quantitative and qualitative knowledge. Sage.Google Scholar
  49. Scholz, R. W., Lang, D. J., Wiek, A., Walter, A. I., & Stauffacher, M. (2006). Transdisciplinary case studies as a means of sustainability learning: Historical framework and theory. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 7(3), 226–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Spangenberg, J. H. (2011). Sustainability science: A review, an analysis and some empirical lessons. Environmental Conservation, 275–87.Google Scholar
  51. Solow, R. (1991). Sustainability: An economist’s perspective. Marine policy centre, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  52. Swart, R. J., Raskin, P., & Robinson, J. (2004). The problem of the future: sustainability science and scenario analysis. Global Environmental Change, 14(2), 137–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Takagi, H., Esteban, M., & Tram, T. T. (2014). Coastal Vulnerabilities in a fast-growing Vietnamese city. In D. T. Nguyen, H. Takagi, & M. Esteban (Eds.), Coastal disasters and climate change in Vietnam: Engineering and planning perspectives. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  54. Walker, B., Holling, C. S., Carpenter, S. R., & Kinzig, A. (2004). Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society, 9(2), 5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Mino
    • 1
  • Miguel Esteban
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vivek Anand Asokan
    • 1
  • Niranji Satanarachchi
    • 1
  • Tomohiro Akiyama
    • 1
  • Izumi Ikeda
    • 1
  • Chiahsin Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Sustainability Science-Global Leadership Initiative, Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of TokyoKashiwa, ChibaJapan

Personalised recommendations