Course theme

Type of course


Resilience of living systems

  • 02 - 07 July 2023
  • Ede
  • Environmental Life Sciences, Social Sciences & Economics
  • 2.5 ECTS

Resilience is the capacity of a system to maintain or recover certain functions while undergoing shocks and stresses. It emerges from the many interactions between people and natural and/or artificial system components, and the capacity of people to adapt. Under threat of climate change, national and international conflicts, habitat destruction, and biodiversity loss, we urgently need to understand and better manage the complexity and intertwining of the environmental en and social system at our planet. The time is here to help create a genuinely resilient society. We work on food security, flood protection, continuous energy supply, sustainable cities, management of (semi)natural systems, and so forth. All these topics involve aspects of resilience. We need to involve other people in our resilience thinking, build a community of resilience thinkers. Hence this course: making the resilience community happen. We invite you to participate!


During this four-week online course, the participants become acquainted with different resilience concepts and their application from an interdisciplinary perspective. Accordingly, we will address how resilience theory can be used to tackle fundamental and societal issues from a socio-economic and bio-physical perspective and will provide a critical reflection on the relevance, use, and applicability of the concept of resilience. The objective of this course is thus to connect resilience concepts to viable applications by offering an efficacious analytical/computational approach. Participants will work in teams on the conceptualization and quantification of the resilience of a particular system. In the end, each team presents suggestions for a practical way to improve resilience of the studied system.

In the course, Agent Based Modelling will be used as the primary modelling tool. Hence, the first week involves a practical introduction to programming in NetLogo for construction of an Agent Based Model to represent a modelled system. ABM stands out for its potential to model the variety of human sociality and behaviour.

We will focus particularly on:

  1. Definitions, characteristics, and determinants of resilience and how this varies between scientific disciplines;
  2. The identification of resilience-related problems;
  3. The quantification of resilience, including modelling, measurement, analysis, and prediction, and options for management and governance of the systems’ resilience.

Former occurrences of this course

1-24 June 2021   |   24-29 May 2020 (cancelled due to the COVID)   |   29 April – 4 May 2018

  • PE&RC, Wageningen University
  • Every three years
  • Min. 20, max. 30 participants
  • No prior knowledge is required
  • 26 April 2021