Earth Resilience and Sustainability Initiative

The Earth Resilience and Sustainability Initiative is a joint effort of Princeton University, the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) at Stockholm University, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Together, we address some of the most challenging environmental questions facing humanity, including the resilience of the Earth system to climate change, biodiversity loss, and how to balance food, water and energy security for all while ensuring the sustainability of a growing urban population that is in balance with the ecosystems that sustain it. The initiative was formally launched in August 2019.

We’ve created a unique consortium that examines integrative, interdisciplinary linkages across the themes of urban sustainability transformations, food system resilience, and global systemic risk and resilience. We explore how social-ecological network resilience is influenced by multiscalar (local, regional, national, international) movements of food, money, people, and information through urban social-ecological-technological systems—flows that are expanding in an urbanizing world. As both a cause and a consequence of multiscalar social-ecological interactions, human behavior is central to understanding network structure, function, and resilience and implementing sustainable urban transformations. We explore these questions through the lens of cross-cutting topics such as urban dietary changes and water system transformations, which are fundamentally linked to networks, food systems, urban sustainability, and human behavior. With some of the world’s leading scholars on Earth resilience and sustainability working alongside a cadre of rising stars, our group is uniquely positioned to address these integrative topics in ways that lead to impactful scientific and applied outcomes.

Primary funding for the Earth Resilience and Sustainability Initiative is provided by the Office of the Dean for Research and the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI) at Princeton University, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Supplementary funding comes from the Office of the Provost and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University, as well as project support from several agencies.