Epilogue: The challenge of sustainability: Lessons from an evolutionary perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


The greatest challenge our generation faces is creating a sustainable future. At the core is maintaining the services ecosystems provide humanity, but our ability to achieve that objective is made more difficult because ecosystems, the biosphere, and the socio-economic system with which they are linked are complex adaptive systems, in which individual agendas translate into global consequences. For management, that introduces problems of the Commons, and of how to achieve cooperation in attaining the best possible solutions for the collective good. At the core are issues of equity, of prosociality, and of the management of public goods and common-pool resources. Progress has been made in addressing these issues, but realism argues that new institutional frameworks will be necessary to create a sustainable future for the global biosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSustainability Science
Subtitle of host publicationThe Emerging Paradigm and the Urban Environment
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781461431886
ISBN (Print)1461431875, 9781461431879
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


  • Common pool resources
  • Commons
  • Complex adaptive systems
  • Discounting
  • Equity
  • Prosociality
  • Public goods
  • Sustainability


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