Navigating a Complex World

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As we work toward creating a sustainable future that is in harmony with the natural life support systems, we must acknowledge the pivotal role of education. We need to ask big questions about how to better communicate the concepts of sustainability and how to advance our preparedness for predicable climate-driven changes and unanticipated surprises through resilience planning. Effective resilience planning in this dynamic environment necessitates the development of novel ways to collect, analyze, evaluate, and integrate information from the intellectual space that has emerged between traditional academic disciplines. Resilience planning provides an opportunity to explore novel approaches to instruction that re-integrates knowledge and that transcends the traditional boundaries or approaches of any single academic discipline. This will require a shift in the way we conceptualize and think about research and teaching, particularly at the science-technology-environment-society interfaces, creating a resilience framework that would be defined by the questions asked rather than the academic disciplines it engaged to find the solutions. To be successful, a curriculum of this nature must be an interdisciplinary effort rooted in knowledge and must integrate the evolving attitudes and values of the learner and society. Education for resilience presents a new line of research and learning for most faculty; our multidisciplinary collaboration sparks creative thinking and fresh insights that lead to innovative teaching and learning of core competencies and domain knowledge needed to help address the daunting challenges ahead.