On 11 March 2016, the Global Resilience Collaborative hosted another event as part of its Reimagining Resilience initiative. The event was supported by a number of collaborating partners, including the Queensland State Government which assisted in funding for the event.
The session started with an acknowledgment that “women are disproportionately affected by disasters and disruption”. That statement, shared by the session’s moderator Leonie Sanderson, provided a backdrop for what followed over the next two hours. We heard many insightful things about resilience from a group of women who shared their professional experiences, interlaced with personal anecdotes. As always the power of personal narrative combined with specific professional input made for very engaging dialogue. Such was the latest session of Reimagining Resilience.
We are pleased to share the audio recording here, courtesy of PopUp Radio Australia. We encourage people to listen to the session in full and share it with colleagues.
Why Reimagining Resilience
The Global Resilience Collaborative (GRC) firmly believes in the power of conversation; particularly the kind of conversation where every participant is a valued contributor. Lived experience, knowledge, ideas, information, relationships all matter. The initiative is designed to create conditions for trans-disciplinary dialogue, learning and innovation that will lead to new ways of thinking about resilience. Our hope is that new ideas will lead to new solutions and projects and programs that will make resilience a genuine value.
Disruptions are not new. But in our hyper-connected world, disruptions have acquired a new relevance; they’re now a key feature of our lives. Some disruptions immediately trigger a recovery process. Others trigger more adaptive processes.
Natural disasters generate a special kind of disruption. The disruption associated with a natural disaster lasts longer. Recovery can take more than 10 years. There may be several disasters that ‘roll over’, one on top of the other, as seen recently in Nepal when a second damaging earthquake was experienced only days after the first.
Natural disasters increasingly tend to have a knock-on effect that reaches far beyond the area of immediate impact. The damage to nuclear power plants from the Fukushima tsunami in March 2013 resulted in an impact far beyond the tsunami itself. This type of disruption renders traditional notions of disaster management almost irrelevant. In a world where there are on average 2-3 disasters per day, this is particularly important.
Disruption is the new normal. Cultivating our resilience will give towns, cities, countries, businesses, indeed all of us, the edge to survive and more importantly prosper in a world dominated by the unknown and the improbable. Now is the time to extend our discourse on disasters beyond Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery, to Resilience. Resilience has increasingly proven to be the best possible answer to the relentless level of disruption brought on by natural disasters.