Sustainable Human Development Project

Collaboration with the Agirre Lehendakaria Center

In collaboration with the Agirre Lehendakaria Center for Social and Political Studies, AC4 is conducting new research into the fundamental parameters that define Sustainable Human Development (SHD).  Using a mix of empirical exploration, computaitonal modeling and case study, this collaboration will explore the essential components of sustainability, in the hopes of identify ways to achieve human development that incorporate environmental, social, and economic wellbeing.  This project builds on the work of Dr. Juan Jose Ibarretxe, former President of the Basque Country, who described the Basque trajectory to sustainable development in new theoretical research on socio-economic transformation under extreme circumstances. Building on that work, this collaboration will identify the drivers of the region’s growth, both in terms of wealth, standard of living and social cohesion in order to assess, validate, and model its dynamics. Likewise this collaboration aims to innovate and adapt concepts and values necessary to inform future SHD.

Component 1 – SHD:  Foundations, Drivers and Essential Components:

This component examines and assesses the fundamental assumptions of Dr. Ibarretxe’s model of Sustainable Human Development and other theoretical work leading to the identification and measurement of SHD drivers and system parameters.  Managed by AC4, this sub-project consists of 3 phases of research that aim to bridge disciplinary boundaries by incorporating multiple complementary initiatives led by key faculty at the Earth Institute that explore the essential components and prerequisite conditions of ‘sustainability’ from various inter/multi-disciplinary or inter/multi-sectoral perspectives.  Having granted 4 Earth Institute projects to collaborate on this phase in 2013, these initiatives will be discussed in further detail below.

Component 2 – Mapping Basque Peace Process Scenarios (BPPS):

Component 2 is a collaborative project of Columbia University, Seton Hall University and Scensei, LLC, in which models of SHD are designed and empirically validated to explore the Basque experience consolidating peace in the face of armed opposition. This project hopes to generate lessons learned for other conflict-affected regions on best practices in peacebuilding.

Component 3 – The Basque Socio-Economic Model (BSEM):  A Lonergan Perspective:

Component 3 of the project, primarily examined by Paul Hoyt-O’Connor of George Washington University, will model the Basque Socio-Economic Model through dynamical-experimental and computer simulation methods to investigate the spatio-temporal and nonlinear dynamics of the main drivers of SHD.  This approach will inform best practices and lessons learned from the Basque experience, and identify the concepts and values that must be innovated and adapted for future SHD.

For More Information, View the Latest Project Report