SIAM News Blog

Resilience in the Digital Age

Scientific Session at the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting

Seattle, Washington

Saturday, February 15, 2020, 8:00 am to 9:30 am

“Resilience” has emerged as an organizing principle for understanding, managing, and governing complex linked systems of nature and people. The notion of resilience is central to international agreements, such as the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Yet while the general concept of resilience is apparent—a system’s ability to recover from setbacks, adapt to change, and avoid catastrophic collapse—no clear framework exists for measuring resilience in complex linked systems.

Today’s digital world of big data, massive computing capacity, artificial intelligence, and machine learning creates an extraordinary opportunity to transform approaches for building resilience in complex linked systems. For the first time, we can dream of conceptualizing and operationalizing resilience by (i) defining its characteristics, (ii) quantifying the resilience capacity of a complex linked system, (iii) determining the critical links between the social and natural components of a resilient system, and ultimately (iv) indicating how to build resilience into such systems.

A scientific session organized by Fred Roberts (Rutgers University) and Christiane Rousseau (University of Montreal) at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)—to be held February 13-16 in Seattle, Wash.—will focus on the theme of resilience. The session, which is part of the track on “Digital Futures,” features three speakers.

  • Amy Luers (Future Earth) will address the global framework for measuring resilience in complex linked systems, as well as opportunities offered by the digital age to characterize resilience and establish guidelines for both building and evaluating resilient societies.
  • Hans Kaper (Georgetown University) will focus on the issue of resilience in the context of food security and describe proposals to measure the resilience of food systems to shocks and stressors.
  • Wayne Getz (University of California, Berkeley) will review four problems that result from the global climate crisis: emerging zoonotic diseases, diminishing resources, warming-induced casualties, and catastrophic natural disasters. He will discuss digital means that counter these problems.
blog comments powered by Disqus