Resilience and sustainability

Our support systems such as food, water, energy and nature are increasingly tightly coupled, propelled by a population increasing in numbers, inequality and in wealth. Add to this the unbalances from climate change and it is clear that increased turbulence is here to stay. As a consequence, we need to balance our drive for ever increasing efficiency, with enhancing resilience to turbulence.

Resilience is a simple, yet far reaching concept: a complex system is resilient if it can absorb a disturbance, while at the same time learning and adapting to become better system. Like a grain of sand in an oyster, the disturbances not only challenge the system, but they are at the same time its education. Increasingly gaining traction as a richer and more precise concept than sustainability, resilience is both actionable and enlightening.

What are the products, services, strategies that build resilience and what are the associated new forms of collaboration?

The Resilience Garage

This is an engagement workshop to look at a city, an industry or a business risk through the lens of resilience – and define practical actions. Garage’s have been held in Amsterdam, New Delhi and Singapore. The Resilience Garage is organised in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative:

Download the Resilience Garage One Pager

The Resilience Garage is a form of peer review or Resilience Assurance Review performed by trans-disciplinary  and  cross-­sectorial  teams  of  resilience  experts  for  the  purpose  of  improving the likelihood of success of the reviewed project. Overall, the purpose of the Resilience  Garage  is  to  accelerate  the  rigorous  application  of  resilience  theory  in  practice  and the refinement of resilience theory based on practical experience and empirical evidence.

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The first Resilience Garage  was  held  in  Amsterdam  in 2014,  at  a  historic  shipyard,  at  Shell’s initiative and sponsorship in the context of a CEO-led initiative, the Resilience Action Initiative (Dow, DuPont, IBM, McKinsey and Co., Shell, Siemens, Swiss Re, Unilever and Yara). Participants  were  widely  spread  across corporate, academic, NGO and government sectors. This  Garage  reviewed  two  projects:  one  of which on the challenges of Norfolk, Virginia, put forward by the Rockefeller  Foundation  100  Resilient  Cities. See “a dispatch from Christine Morris, the Chief Resilience Officer of Norfolk.” .

A second Garage was held in New Delhi in February 2015 hosted by Veolia and 100RC and the third in Singapore in October 2015 with the Civil Service College. The most recent Mexico City Garage looked at the potential impact of the massive new airport project. The project is so large that it impacts many of the other systems of the 20 million citizen megalopolis: water, transport, health, urban design, inequality etc.. A second case looked more specifically at urban mobility, as largely unplanned growth makes moving around the city increasingly difficult.

Download the Mexico City Garage_Newsletter Article

resilience provides a fresh lens for seeing new opportunities on monday morning.