Title: Agency, Agents, and Flows at the Rural-Urban Interface in Changing Amazonia: A Grounded Complex System Perspective
Abstract: During the past 50 years, the Amazon has experienced the co-evolution of central development planning, conservation agendas, global market forces, as well as local social movements, demographic changes, local innovations, and changing expectations of rural and urban populations. Building upon longitudinal research carried out in the region during the past several decades, I propose an interpretation of regional transformation from a ‘grounded complex system perspective’.
The interplay of regional-level changes and the transformation created by local agents is discussed, on the one hand, from the perspective of changing regional infrastructure, governance arrangements, and climate and environment, and on the other hand, from the ground-up, i.e., focusing on the responses and contributions of households and communities to shape the direction of change and the future of the region as a whole. I will pay particular attention to the mechanisms connecting household decisions in rural and urban areas, to changing infrastructure, commodity markets, and forms of mobility. I will then reflect briefly on the challenges of governance and sustainability posed by these changes.
Bio: Dr. Brondizio is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for the Analysis of Social-Ecological Landscapes at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. He is also Co-Chair, Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (2016-2019).