Publication date (electronic): 30 September 2015
Using Energy Network Science (ENS) to connect resilience with the larger story of systemic health and development
Dr. Sally Goerner is Science Advisor for Capital Institute (Greenwich, CT). With advanced degrees in engineering, nonlinear dynamics, and psychology, Dr. Goerner lectures worldwide on how the Energy Network Sciences (ENS) can create a commonsense narrative of how to rebuild economic vitality by revitalizing human networks. Working with theoretical ecologist Robert Ulanowicz and Belgian financier Bernard Lietaer, she recently helped create an empirical measure of economic sustainability that shows why systemic health in economic networks requires maintaining a critical balance of resilience and efficiency. Dr. Goerner is also a member of the General Evolution Research Group (GERG), past-president and co-founder of the Society for Chaos Theory in the Life Sciences, and director and founder of the Integral Science Institute. She has written over 50 articles and four books: The New Science of Sustainability: Building a Foundation for Great Change (2008); After the Clockwork Universe: The Emerging Science and Culture of Integral Society (1999/2007); The Coming Great Change in Education (2007); and Chaos and the Evolving Ecological Universe (1994). She’s a co-author with Benard Lietaer of Money and Sustainability: The Missing Link–Report from the Club of Rome (2012).
Dan is Sustainability Liaison at FSU where he teaches courses in Sustainability Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies and helps the university on multiple projects in sustainability. He is also Development Director for Frostburg Grows, a local food production, sustainable agriculture training center, composting and renewable energy site all operating on a former coal mine.
Brian D. Fath is Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University (Maryland, USA) and Research Scholar within the Advanced Systems Analysis Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria). He teaches courses in ecosystem ecology, environmental biology, networks, and human ecology and sustainability. Dr. Fath has also taught courses on ecological networks and modeling in Portugal, Croatia, Italy, Denmark, China, France, Russia, and Germany. He holds visiting faculty appointments at the School of Environment, Beijing Normal University and at the State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences both in Beijing, China. He was a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at Parthenope University of Naples, Italy in spring 2012.His research is in the area of systems ecology and network analysis applied to the sustainability and resilience of socio-ecological systems. His interests range from network analysis to ecosystem theory to urban metabolism to systems thinking and environmental philosophy.He has published more than 130 research papers, reports, and book chapters. He co-authored three books: Flourishing Within the Limits to Growth: Following Nature’s Way, A New Ecology: Systems Perspective, and Ecological Modelling (4th edition) and is Associate Editor-in-Chief for Encyclopedia of Ecology. He is also Editor-in-Chief for the journal Ecological Modelling; President of the North American Chapter of International Society for Ecological Modelling; Chair of the Ecosystem Dynamics Focus Research Group in the Community Surface Modeling Dynamics System; and, member and past Chair of Baltimore County Commission on Environmental Quality.
The concept of resilience has become popular in international development circles in recent years, but it is only one of many factors in a larger, integrated, empirical understanding of systemic health and development emerging from the study of energy-flow networks. This article explores how the Energy Network Sciences (ENS) can provide a robust theoretical foundation and effective quantitative measures for resilience and other characteristics that undergird systemic health and development in socio-economic networks. Einstein once said that “theory makes measurement possible.” We believe ENS can provide a more effective theory of economic health, which will open the door to surprisingly precise measures. Our goal is to outline the basic reasoning behind both theory and measures.
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