Grain | Human needs and sustainability

Objective : To understand the concepts of human needs and sustainability and reflect on the links.

Definition :

“Strong sustainability: Among two main models of sustainability (weak and strong), strong sustainability captures the essence of irreversible, dynamic and hierarchical relationships between environment, society and economy while weak sustainability model creates a bias towards economy creating a detriment for environment and society. Therefore, businesses should strategize towards innovation with a strong sustainability approach and circumstances at institutional level should be created to support this.

  • System thinking: Sustainability is a system property and not a property of individual system elements. Therefore, products, services, technologies and organizations cannot be regarded as sustainable on their own right but they may be elements of sustainable socio-technical systems. Therefore, design and innovation for sustainability should adopt a systems thinking approach as a reference to evaluate product / service concepts within which the system they will be produced / consumed.

Grain | Ecology

Objective : To have an overview of possible interactions in an ecosystem.

What is ecology ?

  • The term « ecology » was created by Heackel in 1866 to designate the science of habitat (from the Greek oikos = house, dwelling); it was a question of studying living beings no longer in breeding or laboratory but in their natural habitat. Nowadays, the definition tends to be more « systemic »: it is said today that ecology is the study of the interactions between living organisms and the environment in which they live, and of living organisms among themselves, under natural or modified conditions. 
  • Ecology is interested in the biosphere, and the biosphere is all the living beings on the planet, and all the environments they inhabit. The term ecosystem is used to characterize a sustainable interaction between organisms and an environment.
  • Ecology is also interested in biodiversity, which refers to the variety of life forms on Earth. This term is composed of the prefix bio (from the Greek βίος « life ») and the word « diversity ». It is assessed by considering the diversity of ecosystems, species and genes in space and time, as well as the interactions within and between these levels of organization.
  • Ecology can only be understood through evolution. It is based on observations on very varied time scales.

Veuillez trouver les supports web et diaporama contenant le grain dans le module correspondant.

Grain | History and Epistemology of Anthropocene Sciences

Objectives :

  1. To understand the process of accumulating human knowledge about the Earth system .

  2. To highlight the importance of the key concepts of the Earth system being proposed and discovered in the process of accumulating knowledge .

  3. To realize the importance of looking at the Earth system as a whole, from a multidisciplinary perspective, in order to achieve sustainable development for people and nature today.

Grain | Abiotic ressources

Objective : Understanding the different stakes of abiotic resources.

Définition « Abiotic ressources »

  • Firstly, biotic resources refers to ressources coming from living things, or more precisely, organic matter. Ex: animals, plants.
  • Consequently, abiotic resources refers to all ressources but biotic ones. So, it encompasses minerals, but also air, water, sunlight, etc.
  • Fossil fuels can be classified either as biotic or abiotic resources, depending on the timescale considered. Indeed they’re coming from living things, resulting of bio-geochemical cycles, but were definitvely formed milllion years ago. In EV14, we’ll consider them as abiotic.

Module | Modelling of Human Technical Systems – Nature interactions

Les trois objectifs pédagogiques du module :

  1.  Comprendre le fonctionnement des écosystèmes et les questions associées
  2.  Comprendre les organisations humaines et les enjeux associés
  3.  Être capable de modéliser les interactions Homme – Système – Nature
Why are we studying HSN interactions ?

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