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Title: Mindfulness engineering : a theory of resilience for the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world
Author: Beigi, Shima
ISNI:       0000 0004 5921 7677
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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Following various disasters across the world, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers issued a comprehensive report on resilience and disaster management [15]. The report called for the development of an integrating framework for resilience that incorporates the societal dimension as an integral part of engineering. This research attempts to provide a philosophical and theoretical framework to support the solution to this grand challenge by proposing the theory of Mindfulness Engineering. Mindfulness Engineering puts people at the centre of the solution. It asserts that physical (e.g. the built environment) and social (e.g. political, economic and legal) infrastructure systems are created to meet the needs and wants of people and communities. These infrastructure systems need to be in harmony with the environmental and ecological systems within which they exist, with which they interact, and from which they draw energies and resources. Such harmony will in turn promote harmony of individual's and communities' behaviours and interactions with the environmental and ecological systems. Mindfulness Engineering attempts to explain and frame the complexity and interdependency between infrastructures, ecosystems and societies. It puts its emphasis on the role of humans, and their adaptation styles and methods, in shaping the overall system's resilient properties and capabilities, such as thriving in the face of adversity. Mindfulness Engineering provides an interdisciplinary unit of analysis of resilience, called the Resilient Agent (RA), which spans across various domains and disciplines and links the concept of resilience to the future of urbanisation. With the increasing rate of urbanisation across the world [26], and enhanced utilisation of the internet and data, the building of Resilient Living Spaces (RLS) and Resilient Interfaces (RJ) must be an integral part of the future of engineering. Mindfulness Engineering defines mindfulness as being in the present moment and being conscious of everything from a variety of perspectives (including history and future) across the environmental, ecological, social and technological domains, when creating new concepts and distinctions in the process of satisfying human needs and wants. It explicitly seeks to avoid automatic, "mindless" thought processes. In other words, it emphasises clear, purposeful, cognitive functioning and learning. Mindfulness Engineering emphasises the role of biology in the ability of societies to interpret and effect change. It sees the surrounding environment as a vehicle for purposeful neurobiological rewiring of the cognitive functions and resulting behaviours of social agents living in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. By emphasising the centrality of neurobiological and cognitive development, Mindfulness Engineering significantly elaborates and extends 'systems thinking'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available