The concept of resilience has become popular in international development circles in recent years, but it is only one of many factors in a larger, integrated, empirical understanding of systemic health and development emerging from the study of energy-flow networks. This article explores how the Energy Network Sciences (ENS) can provide a robust theoretical foundation and effective quantitative measures for resilience and other characteristics that undergird systemic health and development in socio-economic networks. Einstein once said that “theory makes measurement possible.” We believe ENS can provide a more effective theory of economic health, which will open the door to surprisingly precise measures. Our goal is to outline the basic reasoning behind both theory and measures.
Institution: Towson University
Department: Biological Sciences
Brian D. Fath is Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University (Maryland, USA) and Research Scholar within the Advanced Systems Analysis Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria). He teaches courses in ecosystem ecology, environmental biology, networks, and human ecology and sustainability. Dr. Fath has also taught courses on ecological networks and modeling in Portugal, Croatia, Italy, Denmark, China, France, Russia, and Germany. He holds visiting faculty appointments at the School of Environment, Beijing Normal University and at the State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences both in Beijing, China. He was a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at Parthenope University of Naples, Italy in spring 2012. His research is in the area of systems ecology and network analysis applied to the sustainability and resilience of socio-ecological systems. His interests range from network analysis to ecosystem theory to urban metabolism to systems thinking and environmental philosophy. He has published more than 130 research papers, reports, and book chapters. He co-authored three books: Flourishing Within the Limits to Growth: Following Nature’s Way, A New Ecology: Systems Perspective, and Ecological Modelling (4th edition) and is Associate Editor-in-Chief for Encyclopedia of Ecology. He is also Editor-in-Chief for the journal Ecological Modelling; President of the North American Chapter of International Society for Ecological Modelling; Chair of the Ecosystem Dynamics Focus Research Group in the Community Surface Modeling Dynamics System; and, member and past Chair of Baltimore County Commission on Environmental Quality.