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The Seven Principles for Resilience Thinking

Following development of the Planetary Boundaries framework, the Stockholm Resilience Centre went on to develop and publish ‘The Seven Principles for Resilience Thinking’ – a blueprint for how to build resilience in social-ecological systems. That is systems where there are interconnected relationship between people and nature. This relates to the context within which farmers operate in agriculture and can serve as a tool for consideration in farming systems design development.

The seven key principles identified as fundamental to establishing resilience [in a socio-ecological context] are :

  1. Maintain diversity and redundancy
  2. Manage connectivity
  3. Manage slow variable and feedbacks
  4. Foster complex adaptive systems thinking
  5. Encourage learning
  6. Broaden participation
  7. Promote polycentric governance systems

What do these mean? Read the paper below for an explanation of these seven key principles. Watch the 3-minute video below for a quick overview.

Applying resilience thinking


Resilience: the capacity of a system to deal with change and continue to develop

How to apply resilience thinking

Watch this 3-minute video and for a brief insight into each of the Seven Principles for Resilience.

Build an understanding of the seven key principles by reading the paper which includes small case studies as examples.

Further resources


The Science of Resilience Thinking – Transforming Development

This video explores why we need to transform development through resilience thinking. It highlights the different entry points to ecological resilience as well as the facets of resilience thinking.

Resilience thinking for practice – Taking action in a complex world

This video addressed how to apply resilience theory into practice to address the key global sustainability challenges.

*View the complete Stockholm Resilience Centre video library for more resilience thinking videos here

Resilience dictionary

Here you find a list of quick definitions to the many different terms that are used within resilience research. Access the dictionary here.

Stockholm Resilience Centre

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Enquiries to Kallista Bolton at GGA


Posted on

26 Mar 2024