Future Earth Coasts

FEC Cyber-Coast Working Group Holds Successful Internal Meeting

The FEC Cyber-Coast working group successfully held its internal meeting on December 4th. The meeting addressed specific issues such as establishment of the ‘Emergent Engineering’ Sub-Group, potential funding opportunities and milestone workplan for 2024, reaffirming its commitment to fostering collaboration, innovation, and sustainability in coastal cybernetics.

At the start of the meeting, Dr. Jim van Belzen presented an overview of his ideas on “Emergent Engineering” for climate resilience, emphasizing the need to rethink conventional approaches. He highlighted the complexity and adaptability of natural ecosystems, citing examples from wetlands and salt marshes. Jim proposed a shift from the typical engineering mindset, focusing on causality, collectivity, and simplicity, to an emergent engineering approach that embraces randomness, decentralization, and adaptive learning. He suggested experimenting with diverse restoration structures and studying their effects on system functioning. Jim concluded by expressing interest in forming a working group to delve deeper into these ideas and explore innovative solutions for climate challenges.

The working group engaged in a thorough discussion and exploration of these ideas following the presentation and reached agreements: firstly, there is a shared recognition within the group about the crucial importance of understanding and applying ecological principles in the field of engineering practices; secondly, there is a need for a hybrid approach, combining conventional engineering with emergent engineering principles.

During the discussion of the workplan and target products, participants actively shared perspectives and collaboratively generated ideas for milestones and key products crucial to the working group’s objectives. These included the creation of review papers and the development of a webinar series aimed at disseminating knowledge and fostering engagement with a broader audience. The meeting concluded with a strong commitment to sustained collaboration, solidified by the establishment of the specialized ‘Emergent Engineering’ sub-group.

The FEC Cyber-Coast Working Group looks forward to advancing its mission and extends a warm invitation to interested individuals to join forthcoming initiatives. If you are keen on joining the working group, please don’t hesitate to reach out by contacting us at [email protected].

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