The Anthropocene presents novel challenges for environmental management. This paper considers the challenges that the Anthropocene poses for social learning techniques in adaptive management. It situates these challenges with respect to how anthropogenic forcing on the Earth system affects the conditions required for: (1) The cooperative exercises of social learning; (2) The techniques used for assessing the fit of institutions to social-ecological systems; and, (3) The strategies employed for identifying management targets that are transformed by human action. In view of these challenges, the paper then examines how the practices of shadow networks may provide paths for incorporating a broader, more robust suite of social learning practices in the Anthropocene. The paper emphasizes how novel challenges in the Anthropocene demand increased attention to ethical practices, particularly those that establish center-periphery relationships between social learning communities and shadow networks.
Schmidt, J. J. (2017). Social learning in the Anthropocene: Novel challenges, shadow networks, and ethical practices. Journal of Environmental Management, 193, 373-380. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.02.043