Adaptive social and economic systems

We're enabling transformational change through effective social and economic science. We examine the human dimension of sustainablity and the interface between environmental, social and economic systems to deliver a sustainable future.

The Challenge

We face complex challenges at the interface of human and natural systems

Many of our national and global challenges – and their solutions – lie at the intersection of human knowledge (what we know), values (the importance we place on things) and rules (the social and organisational governance) systems.

Resolving these challenges requires an in-depth understanding of the choices, consequences, contested areas and constraints that accompany the complex linkages between social, economic, institutional and biophysical systems.

With one of the largest teams of research-focussed social and economic scientists across the nation, we are well resourced to apply our expertise to enable effective decision-making, planning, governance and engagement processes across the government and private sectors, both nationally and internationally.

We provide the fundamental social and economic sciences needed for adaptive and transformational change, triple bottom line outcomes, resource management behaviours and solutions and social license to operate.

Our Response

Providing expertise to a broad range of partners

Our research examines the nature of social, economic and environmental systems focusing on:

  • the integrated analysis of linked social, economic and biophysical systems, and the design and assessment of governance strategies for these interdependent systems
  • improving the understanding of different governance options, patterns of resource use and economic activity
  • understanding and harnessing the motivations and drivers of human decision-making and behaviour
  • developing decision-making frameworks and tools that deal with complex problems, and to work with external parties to develop, apply and deploy these tools.

We work with research, government and private industry partners across CSIRO, Australia and internationally providing expertise in:

  • social and organisation psychology
  • environmental and institutional economics
  • sociology (economic and environmental sociology)
  • behavioural economics
  • organisational behaviour
  • applied philosophy and anthropology
  • integrated socio-economic-environmental modelling and assessment
  • human geography.

Case studies

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