Sustainability with resiliency is how I think about these two important concepts working together. Which is why I started to pay more attention to those talking about resiliency and then created a new Resiliency and Communities collection on EarthSayers.tv, voices of sustainability. At first, I recognized that there is quite a bit out there on personal resiliency. Three years ago I interviewed Raz Mason, who is trained as a chaplain, on the topic of sustainability and resiliency. Although I didn’t agree with her that the term sustainability suggests a steady state, I was impressed how she talks about resiliency as it relates to the individual and family.
However, in terms of community resiliency, I was moved to action by the voice of Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, author of The Resilience Dividend, and one of the world’s leading public thinkers. She was the first voice added to the Resiliency and Communities special collection on EarthSayers.tv. I discovered that resiliency at the community level incorporates what we traditionally call emergency management yet moves us towards being better able to plan for and then recover from not only the weather, but social and economic shocks.
And exactly how do we do resiliency planning and investment, to prepare, when crisis seems to be the new normal? How do we revitalize, not just build back our communities?
Well, I recommend you give a listen to Dr. Rodin’s hour long discussion brought to us by The RSA, a London based, British organization committed to finding practical solutions to today’s social challenges. And circulate* an excerpted version (six minutes) of her talk (bit.ly/adaptandgrow) to friends and colleagues who you know are looking for fresh ideas. I let our local emergency management director, Carmen Merlo, know that I had heard Dr. Rodin and was very supportive of Ms. Merlo being Portland’s first Chief Resiliency Officer, a CRO being a recommendation from Dr. Rodin’s experience with the Rockefeller project, 100 Resilient Cities.
Our worldview influences the actions we take and so it’s possible that with crisis being the new normal we all are hearing the call to action to bring resiliency planning to our cities and towns, making it part of every sustainability plan, program, bureau and initiative. We just need help doing it and the courage.
Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, March 30, 2015, Portland, Oregon.
* Suggested tweets: Our communities and #resiliency benefits of planning explained by Dr. Judith Rodin (video), http://bit.ly/adaptandgrow and/or Advice we need to hear: How to Build Better, More #Resilient Cities with Judith Rodin (video), http://bit.ly/adaptandgrow