rethink.earth is part of communicating lessons learned under the GRAID project at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Funded by Sida (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), GRAID stands for “Guidance for Resilience in the Anthropocene: Investments for development,” and the program aims to translate research from the centre for applications in the real world.

“Global development happens everywhere, and that means we want to tell stories from everywhere. You might read in Rethink about innovative urban lake restoration in Bangalore, or how rice farmers follow sacred rules set down centuries ago in Balinese water temples. Our future stories might describe urban farming in Detroit, or art that explains climate change in South Africa,” says Rethink editor Naomi Lubick. “The point is to talk about how systems change and adapt, and in the end, how we can create a more resilient world,” in the sense of resilience examined by the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

That definition is explored in the first feature published in Rethink, “Rethink Earth”, about centre director Carl Folke’s work and a partial history of resilience research. In the piece, Lubick wrote, “Resilience is about cultivating the capacity to sustain development in the face of both expected and surprising change. It is also about facing diverse pathways of development and being able to navigate the potential thresholds between those pathways. Resilience of a community, city, rainforest or any social-ecological system at all means that it has the capacity to be flexible and deal with changes without changing its basic identity, so to speak. A resilient system can cope with pressure from outside and continue developing within a certain configuration, good or bad.”