There increasing recognition of the need to integrate resilience as a core strategy of development actions
across multiple sectors, scales and regions. This recognition stems from the dual challenge of increased
social and environmental turbulence in an increasingly globalized world. As we grapple with the urgency
of meeting the development needs of the poor and vulnerable while maintaining our planetary life support
systems – a critical foundation for human wellbeing – resilience is emerging as a key approach towards
sustainability. Africa as a region faces particular challenges in achieving sustainable development. Whilst
the Sustainable Development Goals provide guidelines, we aim to further the conversation about how
researchers and practitioners can work together to achieve a more resilient sustainable development
agenda in Africa.

The Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (SAPECS) in collaboration with the
GRAID (Guidance for Resilience in the Anthropocene: Investments for Development) initiative is holding
a colloquium on 8-10 May 2017 in Johannesburg on methods and practices for realizing “Resilience for
development.” We hereby invite you to submit an abstract to this innovative colloquium, which aims to
further transdisciplinary dialogue between researchers and practitioners interested in the relationship
between resilience and complexity thinking, and development in dynamic social-ecological systems.
Registration and further information available on the webpage. Download the call for abstracts here.


The colloquium will be structured around the following research themes:
1. Resilience assessment, monitoring and evaluation
2. Creating transformative spaces
3. Urban resilience and infrastructure
4. Indigenous and local knowledge for stewardship and resilience
5. Science-society partnerships for building resilience and transformation
6. Addressing inequality and human wellbeing through ecosystem services
7. Human rights in the Anthropocene
8. Achieving the SDGs in Africa


Participation is limited to 150 attendees. The colloquium is designed to maximize opportunities for dialogue
and critical discussions and building collaborations between researchers and practitioners. Much of the
colloquium will be centred on dialogue and mini-workshop sessions, interspersed with talks to maximize
communication between participants. We welcome a range of submissions for the colloquium, including:

Poster presentations: A2 posters that will be on display during the colloquium and there will be a special
poster session

Speed talks: Maximum 5 minute talks

Dialogue sessions: 1.5 hour sessions of deep conversations between a confirmed panel and the audience

Mini Workshops (either 1.5 hours or two sessions of 1.5 hours each): We welcome innovative suggestions
for workshops around the colloquium themes


There is a registration fee of R500, which includes attendance, teas and lunches for all three days as well
as a conference dinner. Attendees are required to cover their own transport and accommodation costs,
and make their own travel arrangements. Limited funds for travel and/or registration support are available.
Registration and applications for travel support to be submitted online.

Closing date for applications is 28th February 2017.
Please submit your application at

SAPECS is a transdisciplinary, international
research program that aims to advance
stewardship of social-ecological systems and
ecosystem services in southern Africa. It is linked
to the international Program on Ecosystem
Change and Society (,
a 10-year research initiative within the ICSU
global change programs. SAPECS consists of a
network of Southern African researchers and
case studies at several scales, working within a
shared conceptual framework on a common set
of core themes.

GRAID @ Stockholm Resilience Centre
The GRAID program aims to support the Global
Resilience Partnership (GRP) as a knowledge
partner. GRAID is a partnership between the
Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Centre for
Complex Systems in Transition at Stellenbosch
University and CSIR’s Biodiversity and Ecosystem
Services group in South Africa; as well as
partners in Australia and Canada. GRAID serves
as a knowledge platform to streamline insights
and the latest knowledge on resilience thinking
and methods for assessing and understanding