Applying Resilience Thinking to Natural Resource Management through a "Planning-By-Doing" Framework

Michael Mitchell*, Rod Griffith, Paul Ryan, Greg Walkerden, Brian Walker, Valerie A. Brown, Sandy Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Natural resource management (NRM) organizations are increasingly looking to resilience thinking to provide insights into how social and environmental systems interact and to identify points of intervention. Drawing on complex systems analysis, resilience thinking emphasizes that landscapes constantly change from social and ecological interactions, and focuses NRM planners' attention on identifying key variables, feedbacks, and thresholds that can help improve intervention strategies. More deliberative approaches are being developed to use resilience thinking in ways that engage and build human capacity for action. This article documents experiences shared with NRM agencies in rural Australia as we developed new approaches to link resilience thinking with collective learning principles. We present an emerging framework through which heuristics associated with resilience thinking is being used as part of a planning-by-doing process. The framework is being tested to assess whether and how it can enable change agents to advance their capacities for adaptation and transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-314
Number of pages16
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • adaptability
  • collective action
  • social-ecological system
  • sustainability
  • transformability
  • transition management


Dive into the research topics of 'Applying Resilience Thinking to Natural Resource Management through a "Planning-By-Doing" Framework'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this