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Humanitas Chair in Sustainability 2014-2015


Johan Rockström

Professor in Environmental Sciences

Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University



‘Planetary Boundaries 2.0: The latest advancements on defining a safe operating space for humanity on Earth’

Major advancements in Earth system science and resilience research, enabled the scientific proposition in 2009 to define science based planetary boundaries, aimed at delineating a biophysical safe operating space for human development on Earth. The key elements of scientific advancement that formed the ingredients of the planetary boundaries framework include (1) the evidence of the advent of the Anthropocene, (2) tipping elements in the Earth system, (3) the unique role of the Holocene equilibrium as the only stable state of the planet we know that can support our modern world, and (4) the deeper understanding of interactions, feedbacks and threshold dynamics among processes and components of the Earth system. Since its original publication the PB framework has triggered major scientific scrutiny, debate and advancements (with 933 scientific citations and 62 scientific publications directly addressing planetary boundaries, Web of Science 20th October 2014). This has resulted in significant progress in assessing the identification of planetary boundary processes and improved definition of boundary levels. It has also triggered scientific efforts of coupling global planetary boundaries with regional definitions and to deepen the analysis of interactions among boundaries. It has also triggered new integrated research on global governance and equity dimensions of planetary stewardship of a safe and just operating space within planetary boundaries.  

Cambridge Conservation Seminar, Dept of Geography, Downing Site,

Wednesday 29th October 2014, 5pm,

All Welcome (no booking required)


Friday 31st October, 2pm, All Welcome 

‘From Sustainable Development to Global Sustainability: How Earth Resilience and the Anthropocene Changes the prospects for human wellbeing in the world’

Symposium at CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, Sidgwick Site


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