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Beyond Resilience

Authors: Michelle F. Fox, Dr. Marcus Moench, Rachel Norton

In Beyond Resilience, we seek to clarify what resilience is, and what it is not. In this publication we have share an at-a-glance introduction to the concept of resilience and the factors that it results from. Our first goal is to generate a discussion that explores both the common meanings of resilience and the manner in which resilience terms can contribute to a much more profound understanding of complex system dynamics. Our second but equally important goal is to prevent resilience from becoming a buzzword lemming that unwittingly follows sustainability (and a host of other terms) off the proverbial cliff into an abyss of meaninglessness.

The means by which resilience is achieved within the context of a city or community can be examined through different lenses, including characteristics of resilience, interconnectivity, spatial scales, temporal scales, systems-of-systems, and complexity and emergent behavior. We explore each of these lenses through narrative writing and informaiton graphics. 

We believe that an understanding of resilience will empower us with the tools and understanding necessary to catalyze meaningful change in our world today. However, this is just one approach to seeing and understanding the complex dynamics that control our world. And it is up to society as a whole to decide what values and ethics we want to protect and manifest in our future. 


Citation: Fox, M., Moench, M., Norton, R. (2015). Beyond Resilience. Boulder, Colorado: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International.

Funded by: The Rockefeller Foundation