About the conference

Stockholm Resilience Centre together with the Resilience Alliance are excited to welcome you to the upcoming Resilience 2017 conference in Stockholm.

Following previous Resilience conferences held on triennial basis since 2008, Resilience 2017 will discuss resilience as a key lens for biosphere-based sustainability science. It will reflect back on the scientific progress made, and aim to set out exciting future directions for research. A main focus will be on global sustainability challenges and opportunities, which today are heavily influenced by the speed, scale and connectivity of the Anthropocene. Read more about our take on resilience in a recent summary in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science, by Professor Carl Folke, science director at Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Explore five major conference themes:

Social-ecological transformations for sustainability

This theme will focus on the frontier of deliberate transformations to sustainability by exploring solutions compatible with both people and planet.

Considering the many global environmental problems that we face today, and that human activity is emerging as a major force shaping the Earth system, it is becoming clear that we need to facilitate, catalyze and identify opportunities for transformations to sustainability. This needs to happen at a rate and scale that the challenges of the Anthropocene call for. This conference theme will explore the frontiers in the research field around sustainability transformations – looking at potential solutions to the global challenges that can contribute to creating good lives for people today and in the future, while at the same time strengthen Earth’s life support system. We invite sessions and presentations on a wide range of topics that relate to sustainability transformations, such as patterns and dynamics of transformation in social-ecological systems, the role of social and technical innovation and agency in driving transformational change, and critical analyses of the dynamics of scale in order to understand how promising innovations, currently being promoted, can tip the social-ecological system into a new, sustainable pathway.

Connectivity and cross-scale dynamics in the Anthropocene

This theme will explore global complex interactions, effects and activities that in the context of increasing biosphere-disconnect, aim to reconnect people to the planet.

Airline traffic, shipping routes and land-based cargo physically connect the world, whereas increasingly global markets, financial flows and corporations connect distant ecosystems to consumers. The flow of ideas and information is in turn shaping global perceptions about the challenges and opportunities on a human-dominated planet. The effects of human activities are increasingly obvious on both poles, in the deserts, and in the deep sea, but paradoxically, it is also becoming increasingly clear how functioning ecosystems shape the physical and emotional well-being of humans. Increasingly connected societies and novel connections between humans and ecosystems are generating teleconnected and surprising dynamics. What is also becoming evident is the pervasive ability of societies to adapt and transform in the face of change – how ideas and innovation can spread on a connected planet. We invite sessions and presentations that will explore these complex interactions, from cascading ecosystem effects across the planet to the “contagious” rise of urban gardening and analogous activities aimed to reconnect societies to the biosphere.

Multi-level governance and biosphere stewardship

This theme will explore how people in various contexts can strengthen the capacity of the biosphere to support human wellbeing in the face of change.

Humans across the globe depend on, influence, and are part of an intricate web of life that forms the biosphere. A major challenge is to meet human needs and aspirations in ways that nurture instead of erode the capacity of the biosphere to support future generations. Biosphere stewardship is about maintaining the diversity of living systems and their capacity to support human wellbeing in face of change and uncertainty. Stewardship emerges from human-nature interactions that engage with complexity through continuous learning. Examples range from urban gardening to wetland restoration and sustainable fisheries, involving actors, networks and organizations. Multi-level governance connects local initiatives to regional, national and international decision-making , enabling stewardship and allowing for context-specific responses to change at an appropriate time and scale. This conference theme invites sessions and presentations that advance theory and practice of biosphere stewardship and multi-level governance. For example: What characterizes governance structures and processes that enable stewardship at multiple scales? What shapes and forms can stewardship take in an urbanizing and increasingly connected world?


Approaches and methods for understanding social-ecological system dynamics

This theme will focus on inter- and transdisciplinary scientific approaches that can support research and understanding of social-ecological interactions in the Anthropocene.

Analyzing the challenges and opportunities of the Anthropocene, with a specific focus on human-environmental interactions, requires innovative approaches and methodologies. This ranges from novel method development within the field of sustainability science itself, to combining traditional methods from the natural and social sciences and the humanities in new and creative ways to address sustainability questions, and to engaging with stakeholders in processes specifically designed to co-create knowledge and solve particular problems. While discussions on approaches and methods will surface in all conference themes, this theme will specifically focus on the inter- and transdisciplinary scientific approaches and theories that may best support research in the Anthropocene, in order to genuinely debate and understand social-ecological interactions in the 21st century.

Cross-cutting perspectives on resilience

This theme will explore a number of cross-topic themes, each illustrating recent developments in resilience thinking.  

Resilience approaches and thinking has made advances in multiple domains of science and society the last decade. This conference theme will explore this progress in a diversity of topics ranging from marine systems, to climate change adaptation and food security. The ambition is to discuss emerging insights, key challenges for research and applications, and exciting new opportunities. Sessions in this theme have been put together by the conference’s Scientific Committee based on submitted abstracts as a means to secure that multiple perspectives on resilience and its applications, are presented and discussed during the conference.  


20-23 August 2017


Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre
Nils Ericsons Plan 4
111 57 Stockholm

Map showing conference venue (orange), reception venue and Stockholm Central station.

Keynote speakers


Katrina Brown is Professor of Social Science at the University of Exeter, UK, working at the interface between international development, environmental change and resilience. Her research focuses on how individuals and societies understand and respond to change, and their different capacities for adaptation and transformation.

Committed to interdisciplinary research on sustainability, she has led several international research teams to examine environmental change and poverty alleviation in developing countries. Her 2016 book, ‘Resilience, Development and Global Change’ develops a human-centred perspective on resilience for development, highlighting resistance, rootedness and resourcefulness.


Harini Nagendra is a Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University, India. Her research focuses on the impact of urbanization on ecological sustainability, the role of institutions on forest change, and the use of remote sensing for conservation. She is a Scientific Steering Committee member of the Global Land Project and Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society.

In 2013, Harini received the Elinor Ostrom Senior Scholar award for her research and practice on the urban commons. She also writes extensively for the public through newspapers, blogs and other fora. Her 2016 book ‘Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future’ examines the impact of urbanization on human-nature relationships, and the implications for urban resilience in the global South.


Marten Scheffer, Professor, leads the Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management group at Wageningen University and the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies’ SARAS.

He is interested in unraveling the mechanisms that determine the stability and resilience of complex systems. Examples include the feedback between atmospheric carbon and the earth temperature, the collapse of ancient societies, inertia and shifts in public opinion, evolutionary emergence of patterns of species similarity, the effect of climatic extremes on forest dynamics and the balance of facilitation and competition in plant communities. He now works on finding generic early warning signals for critical transitions.


Sundaa Bridgett-Jones is Senior Associate Director, International Development, at The Rockefeller Foundation, where she leads initiatives that contribute to global discourse on international development trends. She steers the Foundation’s investments in building the field of resilience, notably in the area of measuring resilience.

Previous work includes advancing human rights and Internet freedom as Acting Director for Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy with the U.S. Department of State. Sundaa also served as Director of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative at Princeton University, and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs for Asia and the Middle East at the United Nations.


Carl Folke is a Professor and Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He has extensive experience in transdisciplinary collaboration between natural and social scientists, and is one of the world’s most cited researchers across all disciplines.

Carl has worked with ecosystem dynamics and services as well as the social and economic dimension of ecosystem management and proactive measures to manage resilience. He is an elected member of both the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.


Brigitte Baptiste is the General Director of the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, Colombia. With an educational backbone in biology and Latin American Studies, she has extensive experience from numerous national ecology projects spanning from conservation and environmental planning and analysis of territorial transformation processes, to biocomplexity, bio-speleology (cave biology) and biopolitics. She is also interested in gender and culture themes.

Brigitte is a member of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (MEP/ IPBES), representing Latin America.


Johan Rockström is a Professor in Environmental Science at Stockholm University, and the Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. He is an internationally recognized scientist on global sustainability issues, where he, e.g., led the recent development of the new Planetary Boundaries framework for human development in the current era of rapid global change.

He has more than 100 research publications in fields ranging from applied land and water management to global sustainability. He is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences


Frances Westley is the JW McConnell Chair in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Her research focuses on the dynamics of social innovation, and institutional entrepreneurship in complex adaptive systems. She is also one of the principle leads behind Social Innovation Generation, a Canadian wide initiative in social innovation.

Frances serves on numerous advisory and editorial boards and was previously director at Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has held the position of James McGill Professor of Strategy at McGill University’s Faculty of Management.


Tone Bjordam is a visual artist inspired by nature, perception and science. She creates sculpture installations, abstract paintings and intricate, detailed drawings. She is also a nature photographer and produces videos where she records movements and progression of liquid colour to create imaginary landscapes and paintings in motion.

Tone has a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from Oslo National Academy of the Arts and her work has been on display in numerous countries around the world. Her connection with resilience science started after a video exhibit at the Carnegie Art Award 2010 exhibition which caught the attention of conference keynote speaker Marten Scheffer. Since then she has been involved in a diverse set of science related art projects.

Tentative timeline

All updates will be notified through the website, social media and the monthly Stockholm Resilience Centre newsletter. The exact dates will be updated continuously.

Letters of acceptance /refusal

April 12

Early-bird and funding application close

Early-bird closed April 30

Funding application closed May 7

Registration closes

May 31


Information on session details

June 20


Available on the website

Tentatively in July

Registration is closed

Registration for the 4th triennial Resilience conference is closed. We look forward to welcoming you in Stockholm, 20 to 23 August!

Please contact resilience2017@reachem.se for questions specific to your registration, accommodation and payment.

Other queries about the conference? Send an email to the organizing team at resilience2017.src@su.se or read more about practical details and use the contact form below.

Conference programme

A draft programme is now available for download. The programme will be updated continuously.

Programme at a glance

Practical info


We are proud to inform that on Sunday August 20 the Stockholm City welcomes all conference participants for a drink at the City Hall at 6-8 pm. 

Photo: Yanan Li

Recommended alternatives for hotels close to the venue, and in different price ranges will be available for booking directly through the registration page. From the registration page you can also access the Swedish Tourist Association, where you can search for and book hostels. There are also limited number of free couch-surfing places. Please note that hostels and couch-surfing require self-booking.


We proudly present the opportunity to couch-surf in the homes of Stockholm Resilience Centre staff, for a different accommodation experience while attending the conference.

Living in someone’s private home can include some practical limitations, but it also gives you the opportunity to experience Stockholm from your host’s point of view. The couch-surfing option is free of charge, and places are limited. Students and conference participants from low-income countries applying before April 30 will be given priority. Thereafter, a first-come, first-served basis is implemented.
You will receive more detailed information about the couch-surfing as you register your interest.

To register for couch-surfing, or if you have any further questions about couch-surfing, please e-mail Katja Malmborg (katja.malmborg@su.se) with “Couch-surfing at Resilience 2017” in the subject line.

Register for the conference here

Associated events

International Sustainability Science Conference, 24-26 August

Back-to-back to Resilience 2017 (21-23 August), is the International Sustainability Science Conference also in Stockholm. Bridging these two major conferences is a one-day knowledge exchange forum between science, policy and business to showcase and discuss new ideas and innovations to deliver the SDGs:

Ideas and innovation forum, August 24
Ideas and innovations will be developed through a series of SDG Labs that will take place in advance of the conferences. The best ideas have been selected and will be presented at the forum. Read more about the winning labs here.
Contact: owen.gaffney@su.se

The Stockholm Act, August 21-27

Timed to coincide with Resilience 2017, adding another reason to make the most out of your conference experience, the recently founded Stockholm Coordination Initiative is organizing this one-week festival, blending cutting edge sustainability science with art, politics and finance. During the Stockholm Act festival, the integrated picture of the global goals will be visualized and concretized to present possible ways forward for societal transformation.The Stockholm Coordination Initiative was founded to coordinate change agents within the fields of science, culture, politics, civil society, and business. Read more about the Stockholm Act here

Child minding service
Please contact us if you need child minding during the conference. We can help you get in touch with experienced staff.
Media registration

We welcome journalists to attend the conference. Please complete this media accreditation form.

Note there are two related conferences in Stockholm in the same week – the Resilience 2017 conference and the International Conference on Sustainability Science, bridged by an Ideas and Innovation Forum featuring 21 selected SDG labs.

Read more about ICSS here
Read more about the SDG labs here

For more information contact our conference media coordinator Owen Gaffney

Price & payment

Prices for participants are

Early-bird student: 2200 SEK
Early bird regular: 3500 SEK ­­
Student: 3200 SEK
Regular: 5500 SEK
One-day-stay: 2000 SEK

Please note that the early-bird fees close April 30th.
All payment can be made using card payment, invoice or bank transfer.

Donate funding
Many scientist and young scholars show interest in attending Resilience 2017, but lack sufficient funding for covering both travel, accommodation and registration expenses. You will have the opportunity to donate funding and help bring more people and perspectives forward, as you register for the conference.

Thank you in advance!

PhD students and Early career researchers day

PhD students and early career researchers’ day

If you are an early career researcher (a PhD candidate or currently doing your Post-doc) visiting the conference, you are warmly invited to a pre-conference event held at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sunday 20th August 2017, 10am – 4pm, organized by the SRC’s PhD student group.

This is a great opportunity to network and mingle with other early career resilience and sustainability researchers in a relaxed environment, before the scientific programme kicks off at the conference venue on Monday. The day will involve meeting fellow colleagues, and participating in a variety of workshop sessions that will take place over the morning and afternoon (outdoors if the summer weather is kind on the day), with an inclusive lunch at the SRC.

Please note that signing up to this event will be considered as a commitment on your behalf – due to space constraints we have to limit the number of people who can attend. Therefore, we ask that you please make sure to attend for the full day if you sign up, and most importantly, let us know beforehand if you cannot make it so that someone else can take your place from the waiting list.

We will be in contact!

Best wishes from the SRC PhD group

Note: This event is fully booked. If you signed up on the waiting list and in case any of the event participants should cancel their attendance,  more information will follow on a first come first served basis closer to the conference.


Information for poster presenters:

Print the poster in maximum A0 format portrait (approx. 900 mm width x 1200 mm height). Please note that we are unable to accommodate posters larger than A0, or landscape formats. Apart from these formatting restrictions, we invite creativity when designing the poster.

Set up
Sunday 20 August 15.00 – 17.00
Monday 21 August 7.30 – 10.00

You will receive further instructions on where in the venue your specific poster should be placed as well as information about the time of your poster tour.

Review process
Double-blind peer review.

Contact us

Feel free to e-mail us to ask questions or provide feedback on resilience2017.src@su.se

Follow us on Twitter using #ResFrontiers for all conference updates



Contact us

Feel free to e-mail us to ask questions or provide feedback.

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