New Vidi grant to study transformational adaptation

In November 2020, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded me a Vidi grant of 800,000 euros. This grant will enable to strengthen innovative lines of research and consolidate our research team here at SC3 over the next five years.

The name of the research proposal which eventually won us the grant is: A SOCIAL TIPPING POINT: climate-resilient futures through transformational adaptation.

The adaptation strategies that proved successful in the past face their limits today under rapidly changing climate. Given the unprecedented scale of changes, the world needs to prepare for a new transformational adaptation – radical grand changes in societal responses to hazards. These are the transformational shifts in society needed to increase socio-economic resilience to climate change.

These raise an active scientific debate, as people and social institutions evolve gradually, while transformational shifts often occur after critical, crisis situations. Yet, gaps in the theory of transformational climate change adaptation remain, impeded by our inability to follow adaptation processes across scales and over time, and to verify theory with data. Moreover, methods to integrate dynamics of individual behaviour and evolution of social institutions in climate change assessments are lagging.

The ambition of this Vidi project is to gain a fundamental understanding of social tipping points in climate change adaptation. It will develop methods and computational models that account for socio-economic dynamics in models for climate change adaptation and better inform climate adaptation policy assessments.