Communication and Sustainability Science Teams as Complex Systems


"Communication is essential to resilience, as interactions among humans influence how social-ecological systems (SES) respond to change. Our research focuses on how specific communication interactions on sustainability science teams, such as how people meet with each other; the ways in which they categorize themselves and others; the decision-making models they use; and their communication competencies affect outcomes. We describe research from a two-year study of communication in Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative, a statewide network of sustainability science teams. Our results demonstrate that decision making and communication competencies influenced mutual understanding, inclusion of diverse ideas, and progress toward sustainability-related goals. We discuss our results in light of key resilience themes and conclude with recommendations for communication design in sustainability teams for improved collaborative process and outcomes."



collaboration, communication, interdisciplinarity, resilience