The University of Eastern Finland invites you to join the annual colloquium of the Finnish Society for Environmental Social Science

YHYS Colloquium 2023

with the theme

Polycrisis – eco-social linkages, responses and reconstruction 

23th – 24th of November 2023

in Joensuu, Finland

To see the full program click the menu in the top-right corner or click here

Polycrisis – eco-social linkages, responses and reconstruction 

In the era of polycrisis, societies simultaneously face climate crisis, biodiversity degradation and species extinction, pandemics and violent conflict. Polycrisis points to ever complexifying interlinkages between environment and society, between various risks and vulnerabilities, with a background of unsustainable historical trajectories. It also points to the necessity of eco-social reconstruction: the urgency to safeguard physical life-support systems and to reconstruct the infrastructure of societies – which challenges the level of our understanding the existential conditions of modern societies. 

Responses to polycrisis relate to multiple spatial scales and temporalities – especially the tension between short and long term, acute and creeping crises. This requires mobilizing knowledge of various levels of dynamic, multidimensional, and complex systems. Joined-up action and collaboration, along with technological and social innovations are needed to bring about sustainable transformation whilst taking care of eco-social resilience in the midst of chronic crises. 

Eco-social reconstruction implies changes in societal priorities, regulation and incentives, practices of living, transportation, food and energy. Such reconstruction is about both reaching safe ecological boundaries and rethinking human security and sustainable well-being. At the same time, current transformation initiatives, such as the ‘green transition’ are likely to create their own dilemmas, tradeoffs and controversies. 

The YHYS 2023 colloquium will explore what environmental social sciences have to offer in understanding the polycrisis and in developing adequate responses through eco-social reconstruction. The term can be approached from diverse angles: both as a specific concept of scientific inquiry (e.g. case studies of regions or sectors) and as a generic notion capturing specific features of this emerging era. 

While the polycrisis challenges our societies, it also challenges the categories and disciplinary divides of science, including social sciences. Do our conceptual tools and empirical methods, our research projects and university education programs meet the current crises?

We welcome researchers from all fields of social and human sciences, broadly defined, with interests regarding eco-social linkages, social, political, economic historical dynamics, and the human dimensions of the current crises and related societal responses. We also aim to support dialogue between environmental social sciences and beyond, including other societal actors. 

Welcome to the 2023 YHYS Colloquium!

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