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From Complex Regions to Complex Worlds

C. S. Holling, University of Florida

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Abstract

Panarchy focuses on ecological and social systems that change abruptly. Panarchy is the process by which they grow, adapt, transform, and, in the end, collapse. These stages occur at different scales. The back loop of such changes is a critical time and presents critical opportunities for experiment and learning. It is when uncertainties arise and when resilience is tested and established. We now see changes on a global scale that suggest that we are in such a back loop. This article assesses the possibility of using the ideas that are central to panarchy, developed on a regional scale, to help explain the changes that are being brought about on a global scale by the Internet and by climate, economic, and geopolitical changes.

Key words

adaptive cycles, change, complex systems, panarchy, transformation
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087