Emergency and the re-emergence of civic engagement in the US – Reflections of an ethnographer in pandemic Austin, Texas

In June 2020, Central Texas entered the yearly flash flood season in unusual circumstances. In addition to the well-known weather-related emergency, daily living was also being radically shaped by nation-wide protests defending Black Lives, and four months of the coronavirus pandemic. In Austin, where I resided with my family, life in the intersection of these… Read more

WISE Symposium on Creeping Catastrophes

WISE organized a virtual symposium on “Creeping socio-ecological catastrophes: Is excluding the long term in decision-making inevitable?” on 4 November 2020. In addition to WISE researchers, the invited participants were Tony Barnosky, Stanford University; Arjen Boin, Leiden University; Olivier Borraz, SciencesPo; Mikulas Cernota, University of Economics in Bratislava; Ashley Dawson, City University of New York; Michael… Read more

When mitigation is adaptation

The cascade of disruptions during the first quarter of 2020 – wildfires in Australia, flooding in Europe, mass migration from the Middle East, and the coronavirus pandemic – predicts the new normal. From now on, we will be reducing the causes of future socio-ecological disruptions while still recovering from the effects of the latest disruption…. Read more

Keeping the lights on when all hell breaks lose

Most of us expect for lights to turn on with the push of the button without giving any thought to how much our everyday lives depend on energy. But how can widespread energy systems survive extreme and unexpected events and recover afterwards? While many of the traditional threats to energy systems are well known, there are many important threats with little consideration given so far.

Automated pilots of the Baltic – enhancing or weakening navigational reliability?

In the WISE project, part of the work has consisted in identifying resilience gaps related to the Baltic Sea. In the environmental policy WISE sub-group (EPRG), we have focused particularly on maritime safety. In this blog, I reflect upon the significance of recent trends toward automated pilotage from the point of view of navigational reliability.