Natural Patterns of Sustainability: Group Decision Making

Natural Patterns of Sustainability: Group Decision Making (INT)
Steve Thomas, Atwell LLC

Nature's countless plants and animals live within very complex, uncontrolled and changing situations. In spite of this, they have discovered how to form remarkably stable and sustainable communities that can prosper for thousands of years. Just how do plants and animals manage to create these stable and sustainable organizations over such long periods? In comparison, our human systems (including our economies, communities, governments and cultures) seem ephemeral and often unable to give us the stable, positive results we desire. Can we look to Nature as a model for sustainable organizational patterns and thereby improve human systems? We will discuss some of Nature's patterns with a particular focus upon group decision-making among animals and what humans may be able to learn from this.

Steve Thomas, Atwell LLC
Steve Thomas works as an ecologist with a focus on wetlands, hydrology, botany and natural community succession. He is especially interested in understanding how natural communities change over short and long timeframes in response to different conditions and in trying to understand the factors that cause patterns in nature. His education includes a BS in botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MS in watershed science from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He is originally from the Chicago region and has also spent time in Idaho, Washington, Arizona and Florida.