• Bibtex: @walker2023
  • Bibliography: Walker, B., Crépin, A.-S., Nyström, M., Anderies, J. M., Andersson, E., Elmqvist, T., Queiroz, C., Barrett, S., Bennett, E., Cardenas, J. C., Carpenter, S. R., Chapin, F. S., de Zeeuw, A., Fischer, J., Folke, C., Levin, S., Nyborg, K., Polasky, S., Segerson, K., … Vincent, J. R. (2023). Response diversity as a sustainability strategy. Nature Sustainability, 6(6), Article 6. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-022-01048-7

Example citation

My notes

  • The example in the start is Ever Given stranding in the Suez canal.
  • Response diversity is also desirable in a human, when dealing with personal setbacks
  • A system can have both spatial and temporal response diversity
  • Maintaining response diversity is challenging because you need to balance current and future needs. Should you use resources in the best way right now or invest in handling unexpected changes in the future?
  • You can invest in redundancy (back-up systems) and modularity (to prevent spread)

Response diversity is a system’s variety of responses to disruptions of all kinds. While this term originates from ecology, we argue that it is critical to improving the resilience of any complex system. It suggests keeping options open for un


Financial advisers recommend a diverse portfolio to respond to market fluctuations across sectors. Similarly, nature has evolved a diverse portfolio of species to maintain ecosystem function amid environmental fluctuations. In urban planning, public health, transport and communications, food production, and other domains, however, this feature often seems ignored. As we enter an era of unprecedented turbulence at the planetary level, we argue that ample responses to this new reality — that is, response diversity — can no longer be taken for granted and must be actively designed and managed. We describe here what response diversity is, how it is expressed and how it can be enhanced and lost. PDF: walker_2023_response_diversity_as_a_sustainability_strategy.pdf