ESEM Principles Allenby, B. (2005).

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ESEM Principles Allenby, B. (2005).

Reconstructing Earth: Technology and Environment in the Age of Humans. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. Theoretical Principles 1. Intervene only when necessary, and then only to the extent required (p. 185). 2. ESEM projects and programs are highly scientific and technical in nature—but they also have powerful economic, political, cultural, ethical, and religious dimensions as well. All of these facets should be explicitly integrated into ESEM approaches (p. 185). 3. ESEM projects often combine technical scientific and engineering issues and efforts to change behavior (social engineering). This is not necessarily inappropriate, but every effort should be made to differentiate between the two: the discourses, political contexts, and degrees of complexity involved are quite different (p. 185). 4. ESEM requires a systems-based approach, with analysis and boundaries reflecting real-world behavior and characteristics rather than disciplinary or ideological simplicity (p. 185). 5. the way problems are stated defines the systems involved. Accordingly, ideology will often be implicit in the way problems are defined, rather than explicit. [Boundaries drawn in this way result in oversimplification and do not] reflect real-world couplings and linkages through time (p. 185). Governance Principles 6. …need for consensus and transparency, which can be met only by governance processes that are open, democratic, transparent and accountable (p. 186). 7. flexible and able to respond quickly and effectively to changes in a system’s state and dynamics; this will require including the policy maker as part of an evolving ESEM system, rather than as an agent outside the system guiding or defining it (p. 186). 8. it is particularly important to ensure that continual learning at the personal and institutional level is built into ESEM processes (p. 186). 9. ensure that adequate resources, over time, are available for support of both the project and the associated science and technology research and development (p. 187). 10. Major shifts in technologies and technological systems should, to the extent possible, be explored before, rather than after, implementation of policies and initiatives designed to encourage them (p. 187). Design and Engineering 11. emergent characteristics, high levels of system organization. evaluations of scale, scale-up should allow for the inevitable (especially in complex systems) discontinuities and emergent characteristics (p. 187). 12. establish quantitative metrics by which progress can be tracked. (for negative systems behavior as well) (p. 188). 13. policy, design and engineering initiatives in ESEM systems should be incremental and reversible, rather than fundamental and irreversible: “lock-in” of inappropriate or untested design choices should be avoided whenever possible (p. 188). 14. ESEM should attempt to foster resilience, not just redundancy (p. 188).

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