In 1985 Jean-Pierre Aubin and Georges Haddad had laid the mathematical foundations for viability theory. Theorems developed since then has explored the mathematical power and depth of this approach. The development of numerical tools helped to give it essential color and visibility. But was it enough? By browsing the path from theoretical applications to the study of concrete problems we will see how it has been possible to give relevant answers to a problem whose complexity precisely reflects a reality that is delicate to apprehend through the lens of an agro-ecological problem presented in the paper: "Agroecological transition: A viability model to assess soil restoration", co-authored by Marie-Hélène Durand, Anna Désilles, Patrick Saint-Pierre, Valérie Angeon, and Harry Ozier-Lafontaine and published in the Natural Resource Modeling journal in 2017. This paper has been awarded with the "Lamberson Medal" in 2018.
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