Traineeship at SES-LINK: A true learning experience

Maja, Udita & Jineth.

By Jineth Berrío-Martínez

To explore my interest in complex adaptive systems and learn about new tools and methods, I did my traineeship within the SES-LINK group at the Stockholm Resilience Centre under the supervision of Udita Sanga and Maja Schlüter. This five-week experience was a progressive learning journey that included a lot of readings, short videos, weekly discussion sessions and some modelling exercises. I had the chance to join different online meetings, and even interact with some researchers and modelers at the SRC. This traineeship was definitely a great opportunity to learn about agent-based modelling and to experience what it is like to be part of the SES-LINK research team.

During the traineeship, I also had the opportunity to apply the social ecological action situations framework (Schlüter et al. 2019) to a real-world case study (First draft fig below). This tool helped me to identify key system components and interactions, then, it helped me to diagnose which elements were already included in the agricultural innovation model (a model-in-progress at the MuSES project) and those that could potentially be added. It was a very interesting and fruitful exercise to do and discuss with my supervisors. From this experience, I think that this framework is a powerful tool for better understanding complex social-ecological interactions from a systems perspective, and even more importantly, for facilitating interdisciplinary communication.

Overall, I got deeper insights into the process of going from an idea to a model and then developing the model. It was surprising to find out that there are just a few attempts to model social learning and human values when it comes to agricultural agent-based models. It was also interesting to learn about the limitations and challenges in social-ecological modelling. I enjoyed spending time in SES-LINK indeed. This was a really valuable experience within a very collaborative and supportive environment. Thanks Udita and Maja. Thanks Nanda and Romina. Thanks SES-LINK! And, of course, the learning journey continues. The next stop will be the OctoPINTS – another fascinating SES-LINK project!

Schlüter, M., L. Haider, S. Lade, E. Lindkvist, R. Martin, K. Orach, N. Wijermans, and C. Folke. 2019. Capturing emergent phenomena in social-ecological systems: an analytical framework. Ecology and Society 24(3).