"Resilience, a system's ability to adjust its activity to retain its basic functionality when errors, failures and environmental changes occur, is a defining property of many complex systems. Despite widespread consequences for human health, the economy and the environment, events leading to loss of resilience—from cascading failures in technological systems to mass extinctions in ecological networks—are rarely predictable and are often irreversible. These limitations are rooted in a theoretical gap: the current analytical framework of resilience is designed to treat low-dimensional models with a few interacting components, and is unsuitable for multi-dimensional systems consisting of a large number of components that interact through a complex network. Here we bridge this theoretical gap by developing a set of analytical tools with which to identify the natural control and state parameters of a multi-dimensional complex system, helping us derive effective one-dimensional dynamics that accurately predict the system's resilience. The proposed analytical framework allows us systematically to separate the roles of the system's dynamics and topology, collapsing the behaviour of different networks onto a single universal resilience function. The analytical results unveil the network characteristics that can enhance or diminish resilience, offering ways to prevent the collapse of ecological, biological or economic systems, and guiding the design of technological systems resilient to both internal failures and environmental changes."
(Jianxi Gao, Baruch Barzel & Albert-László Barabási, 17 February 2016, Nature)
"In November 2011, the UN invited representatives from 194 states to discuss climate change at the COP17 Conference (17th Conference of Parties) in Durban, South Africa. CNN launched the ECOSPHERE Project and brought the world to the COP17 Climate Change Conference – with a hashtag.
The CNN ECOSPHERE is a digital ecosystem growing from thousands of tweets about climate change. A real–time visualisation of the global discussion on the internet.
Every #COP17 tweet stimulated growth in one of the numerous plants representing topics like Sustainability or Carbon. The size, colour and growth rate of these plants gave users a fascinating view of how the international conversation was evolving.
CNN invited people to plant a thought with hashtag #COP17 and brought the project to the COP17 Conference. Here a live digital installation connected delegates with contributions from all over the world–getting more people involved in a climate change conference than ever before."
"Is Drama with Waste Management a 'Mickey Mouse' degree ... with only a few minutes research I can see a number of reasons why this combination might be useful. Sustainable waste management is a global issue, with important consequences for global warming. A number of projects use drama as a means of enhancing community involvement in these projects. One such project was part of 'Drama for Life' Africa's premier drama/theatre/performance programme. The use of drama was also a key part of a zero waste management initiative in Wakiso district, Uganda. So I personally would applaud a student who wanted to choose to combine an interest in drama (which I assume the RSC [UK Royal Society of Chemistry] are not trying to ban) with socially responsible initiatives that could result in reduced green house gas emissions."
(Chris Cooper, Saturday 13 February 2010 at 13:18)