UNE Business School Seminar Series – “Enabling decision making under uncertain and transformational change” with Dr Russell Wise (CSIRO)

Posted by | February 16, 2018 | Seminar Series, sustainability | No Comments

UNE Business School welcomes Dr Russel Wise to our 2018 Seminar Series

Enabling decision making under uncertain and transformational change

When: 1.00pm – 2.00pm, Friday 16 February 2018

Where: Lecture Theatre 2, EBL Building (W40)

Adapting to climate change is a difficult challenge, especially in the context of rapid technological, social, demographic and economic change. The climate changes people need to anticipate and respond to are complex and uncertain, and their effects on human-nature systems are without precedence in rate, scope and scale. Even with sound knowledge generated by researchers about climate impacts and potential responses, decision makers often lack the mandate, legal authority, and legitimacy to act without significant evolution of the social and institutional context which legitimises them.

The Adaptation Pathways team at the CSIRO has been working with stakeholders in Australia and internationally to develop a ‘package’ of concepts, tools, processes and capacities to help stakeholders diagnose the systemic causes of problems and reframe the nature of the adaptation challenge, reveal strategies for changing societal decision-making processes, and adaptively learn through doing. In this talk I will present three main concepts and associated practices we have developed and applied in diverse settings: “climate ready objectives”; the “values-rules-knowledge model of decision contexts”; and “adaptation pathways”. I will explain, using examples from biodiversity conservation (NRM), coastal zone planning and management, and the assessment of large infrastructure investments, why and how these have been used in practice and the key policy and research implications that have emerged.

Russell Wise is a Sustainability Economist in the Climate Risks and Resilience Group at the CSIRO in Canberra. Russell has expertise in a diversity of disciplines including economics, ecology, geography, and social change processes. Over the last 12 years Russell has led interdisciplinary teams and research programs in South Africa and Australia focused on building stakeholders’ capacities to understand and respond to unprecedented global changes in climate, ecosystems, technology and economic development. In doing so, Dr Wise has become one of Australia’s leading authorities in climate adaptation, particularly in relation to overcoming barriers to long-term planning and decision-making under uncertainty. Key to this has been the development of novel approaches to collaboratively designing and applying original concepts and decision-support tools and processes such as adaptation pathways to support policy, planning and investment decisions within government, non-government, and private agencies in Australia, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and Indonesia.

Current projects Russell is working on include: ‘Scoping and developing a web-based Climate Risk Information Services Platform’, ‘Climate change risk in cost–benefit analysis’, and ‘Building Capacity for Sustainable & Responsible Development in the Bismarck Sea’. Russell has more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, including >20 technical reports and >40 scientific journal papers. More details about Russell can be found at: http://people.csiro.au/W/R/Russell-Wise; https://research.csiro.au/eap/.

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