About Us

Welcome to the Social, Economic and Institutional dimensions of adaptation (SEI) network homepage. The SEI-network is a large, inclusive and diverse community of researchers, practitioners and decision makers from universities, government, the private sector and civil society. The SEI-network is hosted by the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast and in partnership with Swinburne University of Technology, University of Canberra, University of Adelaide, Murdoch University and Girringun Aboriginal Corporation.

Climate change poses risks to a wide array of things that are important to people, including for example their health, jobs, homes and communities. Who is at risk, and how social groups respond to climate change will depend on their needs, values, cultures, capacities, institutional forms, and the environmental characteristics of the places they live.

Making good decisions about adaptation involves understanding the diverse goals of individuals, communities, and institutions, and the degree to which these are in conflict, and can be aligned. Decisions must be made under conditions of complex uncertainty. Successful implementation of adaptation strategies requires understanding how actors and institutions at each level and in each sector will enable or constrain responses.

Thus, regardless of the risks, places, and groups involved, adaptation is at its core a social issue. This NCCARF theme is therefore concerned with the following dimensions of climate adaptation:

  • social dimensions the relationships between different people and groups, and patterns of behaviours, attitudes, and understanding reflected in (and transmitted by) culture that determine the goals of adaptation, the capacity to adapt, and the effectiveness of outcomes
  • economic dimensions the economic activities embedded in society, primarily related to the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services through markets
  • institutional dimensions the formal and informal rules as well as organisational arrangements governing human interactions, including social and economic activities

The SEI-network is driving thinking across sectors and disciplines in the complex social, economic and institutional dimensions of climate adaptation. An understanding of these dimensions will allow decision makers to develop more effective adaptation measures.

If you would like to join the SEI-network, it is completely free, all interested stakeholders are invited and involves a subscription to a free monthly newsletter. We will also have other opportunities to get involved including four Peer Learning events for each of our Themes and an Early Career workshop all planned for 2016. Please visit our Opportunities page for further information and we will also inform our members via our newsletter.