The resilience lens
It is in this context that the resilience perspective becomes of interest. The concept of resilience was invented to address the paradox of how change and persistence work together in sustainable systems. Social-ecological resilience research addresses the interplay between periods of gradual change and periods of sudden and abrupt change and how to deal with disturbance and make use of change for innovation and development, while simultaneously sustaining characteristic structures and processes. In this sense resilience research addresses the flexibility and options of desirable pathways for societal development in changing environments where the future is unpredictable and surprise is likely.
The capacity to adapt to and shape change is an important component of resilience in social-ecological system. In a social-ecological system with high adaptability, the actors have the capacity to renew and reorganize the system within desired states in response to changing conditions and disturbance events. This includes sources of resilience for dealing with uncertainty and change and a focus on adaptive capacity, learning and innovation in social-ecological systems and also the capacity to govern transformations into improved and more desirable pathways of societal development.