Judith Rodin’s warning for the world: ‘Crisis is becoming the new normal’

Perhaps the most prominent advocate of resilience in the world Dr Judith Rodin, the CEO of Rockefeller Foundation recently penned the highly acclaimed The Resilience Dividend book focusing on ‘”managing disruption, avoiding disasters and growing stronger in an unpredictable world”.  The book and the effort are worth sharing with the broader audience.  Global Resilience Collaborative strongly urges our readers and colleagues to learn more.  For now we are happy to share the bellow article recently published by The Guardian.


Judith Rodin explains the resilience dividend.

Judith Rodin explains the resilience dividend.

Judith Rodin’s new book, The Resilience Dividend, begins with her surveying the destruction wrought by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. “There were the low-lying neighbourhoods of Staten Island exposed to sea rise, flooding and storm surge, where people had died in the storm. I saw damaged dunes and other soft, natural infrastructure that had been washed away, leaving neighbourhoods completely unprotected … I saw homes destroyed, neighbourhoods disrupted, people’s lives destroyed.”…READ ON

7 Habits Of Highly Resilient People

personal resilienceWe found this article by Harvey Deutschendorf (internationally published author of THE OTHER KIND OF SMART) on FAST COMPANY website.  It is worth sharing and taking into account when any resilience strategy is being formulated because ultimately in most cases it boils down to individuals.

Success is seldom a straight road; it almost always involves many detours and dead ends. It takes tenacity and determination to keep going, but those that do will eventually reach their destination. Most of us have heard before that Thomas Edison failed more than 1,000 times but continued on despite being ridiculed by the media and those around him. And plenty more people refuse to quit long after most would have given up. What is it about these people that makes them different? There are a number of attributes that consistently stand out amongst those who tenaciously follow their own path in life. Here are seven things highly resilient things have in common:..READ ON


What Resilience Means, and Why It Matters

This article by Andrea Ovans, the senior editor at Harvard Business Review is a must read.  Ms Ovans draws on a range of recent research which makes the slam dunk case for making resilience critical part of any business.  


A small but intriguing new survey by a pair of British consultants confirms the importance of resilience to business success. Resilience was defined by most as the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity. But when Sarah Bond and Gillian Shapiro asked 835 employees from public, private, and nonprofit firms in Britain what was happening in their own lives that required them to draw on those reserves, they didn’t point to tragedies like the London Tube bombings, appalling business mistakes, the need to keep up with the inexorably accelerating pace of change, or the challenges of the still-difficult economy — they pointed to their co-workers…READ ON

Disaster Resilience: an emerging class issue?

One evening six years ago I went to meet a small group of locals in a north Brisbane suburb who were affected by an unusual storm. Many remember the event as The Gap storms and I think they are officially known as the Brisbane North storms.

Residents of the area I visited had organised a small gathering, in fact so small I hesitate to use the word ‘gathering’. Nevertheless, the residents had welcomed me to present a small donation to me as the head of a not for profit organisation I had started to assist in disaster response. We were one of a number of organisations that helped people affected by the storm. So far there’s nothing really special about this story. But the twist, for me at least, was some insight I gained during that quiet evening. You see my hosts had preferred to give the donation to someone else. I, or should I say our organisation, was the ‘last cab off the rank’ and these good people had hoped to give the donation to any one of several larger or better known charities who had assisted in this disaster stricken area. I know this because they were honest and explained it to me. They did not mean any disrespect to me or our organisation. It was just the simple fact of their intentions. I was, and still am, comfortable with that. Especially since we put the donation to good use to further develop a service that helps people following disasters.

Now, the main thing about my insight was not the above mentioned circumstance, but another slightly uncomfortable fact they shared with me while we drank coffee in a circle with no table to divide us. They felt forgotten, abandoned and ignored. Their street was not in The Gap, the suburb that was well covered by the mainstream media. They said it themselves; because their street was in a less affluent postcode the silence was deafening. So maybe their donation was an attempt to get their voice heard. They were also affected but it seemed that help was not as forthcoming to them as to their better-off neighbours.

That episode never left me. Over the years I have mentioned it in meetings, discussions and conversations which were all part of the larger narrative of disaster resilience building. I can recall every time that the response was something along the lines of ‘oh well, that’s how it is’. Ever since I have been bothered by one question: are we developing disaster resilience for the whole of society? I have detected a similar undercurrent of what may be benign negligence (discrimination may be a more apt term but I am not willing to admit to it yet) in other parts of the country. I saw signs of it in Central Queensland (Australia) with aboriginal people. I saw similar things in North Queensland in relation to one of the local CALD groups. In all cases the events were different and significant.

Over the years as my work in the area of disaster recovery matured, and even more so in disaster resilience building in a variety of capacities, I noted a semblance of a pattern emerging; a pattern that reflects a genuine lack of understanding as to what resilience really is about. It simply does not work if inclusiveness is not the guiding principle. It does not work because the sense of injustice that a lack of inclusiveness brings can cost the entire enterprise dearly. Resilience needs ‘whole-of-system’ support, be it ecological, social, technological, political or economic. The system and process has to be all encompassing and based on genuine and multifaceted collaboration.

I am convinced that I am not alone in my observations. There must be more people who realise that the past decade has shown that natural disasters tend to impact the disadvantaged slightly more than others who have the means to bear the disruption with more grit and recover to the point where they can continue to grow, flourish and face the future (including future disruptions) with more courage and confidence. The capacity to live in such a way alone has to be the centrepiece of any political or economic platform that is ingrained into the policy and practice of disaster resilience building. Anything short of that is a populist excuse designed to ignore the dangers of social divisions that threaten every society, regardless of their material riches.

About the author:

Self 2Jelenko Dragisic is a resilience planner and collaboration strategist.  Jelenko is currently writing a book on disaster resilience. 

10 natural disasters that shook the world in 2014

Afghan mudslides

Afghan mudslides

The year 2014 saw several natural disasters around the world, which renewed worries about global warming and related incidents threatening life on our planet. An Oxfam report in November also showed how Asia is highly vulnerable to increasingly severe and frequent weather extremes and woefully underprepared to manage growing crises. Here’s a look back at 10 natural disasters around the world this year…


New cities study offer insight into resilience and competitiveness

TC Ruby in action

TC Ruby in action

A new report by WWF and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation says that integrating climate vulnerability, socio-economic sensitivity and adaptive capacity into urban planning can help cities become more resilient and businesses more competitive. The Phillippines may have bore the brunt of several extreme weather events such as typhoons and floods in recent years, but this is not an excuse for businesses to stay away from investing in the archipalego. To help policymakers and private sector leaders understand business risks and opportunities in the country “through the climate lens”, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation have launched a new study that offers a look into the future of 16 major cities. The report titled “Business Risk Assessment and the Management of Climate Impacts”, launched at an event held last month at the Ayala Museum in Makati, is based on existing climate science studies, city-specific socio-economic data and from experiences of local stakeholders. The study is the final installment of a series of reports launched in phases in 2012 and last January…READ ON