Proseminar on Evolution of Sustainability, University of Bern, Switzerland [video]

Video of Dr. Waring’s webinar for the University of Bern proseminar on the use of evolutionary social science for solving environmental dilemmas and evolving sustainable social-ecological systems. The Zoom recording is not of the highest quality, and it starts a little late.

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Are COVID-19 environmental improvements permanent?

During the coronavirus pandemic societies are re-thinking how they do things. Some of the changes also have environmental benefits. But will those benefits last?

I was interviewed in the Appalachian Mountain Club Outdoors Magazine on that question. Read it here.

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Pricing Nature Reduces Monetary Support for Conservation

Great work by my former student, and now assistant professor Sandra Goff shows that people will contribute LESS to conserving nature if they are told that nature has a price.

Implication: Don’t put a price tag on natural systems that need protection. Sandra is now an assistant professor at Skidmore College in New York.

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The Evolution of Co-operatives

Here is a nicely edited video of my recent MacPherson Lecture at the Canadian Centre for the Study of Cooperatives on “The Role of Cooperation in the Evolution of Co-operatives,” in which I attempt to highlight the role of cooperation in understanding organizational evolution.

Dr. Waring teaches at the University of Maine. Learn more:

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Dr. Waring to give Annual MacPherson Lecture at the University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Waring will give the Annual MacPherson Lecture at the Canadian Centre for the Study of Cooperatives at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Waring’s Lecture, entitled “The Role of Cooperation in the Evolution of Co-operatives,” will explore the science of cooperation and draw connections for how cooperatives can leverage the recent behavioral and evolutionary research on cooperation.  Co-operatives rely on cooperation, and manage it daily. However, co-operative research and management have yet to truly take advantage of the behavioral science of human cooperation and the findings of evolutionary biology and the social sciences. Dr. Waring will give a guided tour of the factors that drive cooperation and describe a research program to leverage the science of cooperation for the benefit of co-operatives anywhere.

The MacPherson Talks are annual invited lectures held at the Canadian Centre for the Study of Co-operatives in honor the late Dr. Ian MacPherson. MacPherson was a leading light of the international co-operative movement, exemplifying the relationship between Canadian co-operative academics and co-op practitioners. Learn more about the Centre:


Dr. Waring will also give a presentation on his sustainability research entitled “The Evolution of Social-Ecological Systems.” To solve the modern environmental predicament we must understand how humans created it. Beyond emitting carbon, over-populating, polluting, or over-consuming, humans have come to dominate the planet, surviving in all terrestrial environments from the tropics to the arctic. We have achieved this through a mix of cooperation and cumulative adaptation to the environment. Dr. Waring argues that the factors that make the human species special, ultrasociality and cumulative cultural adaptation, also present the best and only hope for surviving and managing modern ecological crises. This talk will explain how human culture and cooperation both evolve, and how their dynamics play out at multiple levels of social organization in different social ecological systems, with detailed examples from around the world. Finally, Dr. Waring explains how to harness the power of human cooperation and cultural adaptation to achieve environmental sustainability.

Dr. Waring holds a joint appointment in the School of Economics and the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine. Learn more about his research and teaching here:

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