Just adaptation and the role of social capital

How can we adapt all sectors of society to respond to climate pressures? In the first event of SEI’s Climate Adaptation series, leading political scientist Daniel Aldrich delves into the meaning of climate adaptation and the role of social capital in building resilience.

Climate change is an accepted reality with consequences now and into the future. It has already had adverse impacts on social and ecological systems, particularly on water security, food production, health and wellbeing, and infrastructure, across cities and settlements. Consequently, it is widely acknowledged that strategic and deliberate actions are needed to protect individuals and communities from the negative impacts of climate change. This panel discussion will provide a broad introduction to climate change, climate adaptation, and the important role that social networks play in building adaptive capacity and resilience.

Join leading political scientist Professor Daniel Aldrich, Director of Northeastern University’s Security and Resilience Study Program, and a panel of experts, to learn about climate change adaptation, and the critical role of social capital in building resilience. Our panellists will also highlight real-world examples where people have drawn upon social capital as a key factor in supporting communities adapt to climate change.

This event is part of the Sydney Environment Institute’s Climate Adaptation series, which explores the strategic and deliberate measures needed to protect individuals and communities from the adverse impacts of climate change. As climate disasters increase in severity and frequency, nations must adapt all sectors of society from infrastructure and food supply chains to investment strategies in a just and sustainable manner. This series, led by SEI Postdoctoral Fellow Justin See, platforms thought leaders across research, business, policy and communities to delve into the opportunities of climate change adaptation and the different scales of change.

This event was held at the University of Sydney on Tuesday 18 April 2023.

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Daniel Aldrich, social capital expert

Daniel Aldrich is an award-winning author, has published five books including Building Resilience and Black Wave, more than 90 peer-reviewed articles, and written op-eds for the New York Times, CNN, HuffPost, and many other media outlets. He has spent more than 5 years in India, Japan, and Africa carrying out fieldwork and his work has been funded by the Fulbright Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Abe Foundation, the Rasmussen Foundation, and the Japan Foundation, among other institutions. In 2021 he was Klein Lecturer at Northeastern University.

Jo Longman, mental health and climate change expert

Jo Longman is a Senior Research Fellow at the University Centre for Rural Health based in Lismore NSW and an SEI member part of the Climate disaster and adaptation research theme. She is a social scientist with over 20 years’ experience in qualitative and mixed methods research and evaluation. She is passionate about improving the health of people living in rural Australia. Since catastrophic flooding in the Northern Rivers area of NSW in 2017, she has been researching the mental health impacts of flooding, and climate change more broadly.  She is currently involved in a qualitative project exploring communities’ self-organising following disaster. 

David Schlosberg (Chair), environmental justice expert

David Schlosberg is Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney, and Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. His work focuses on contemporary environmental and environmental justice movements, environment and everyday life and climate adaptation planning and policy. He is one of the Research Leads on Climate Justice and Problems of Scale, Creating Just Food and Energy Policy, Environmental Disasters and Just Governance, Building an Understanding of Best Practice Local Food Interventions, Community Engagement in Food Governance and Evaluating FoodLab Sydney.

Header image: By Maythee Voran via Shutterstock ID: 612624638.

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