Planning for Community Resilience

While resilience is often seen as a personal trait, many of the challenges we face are collective.  Significant economic, social and environmental disruptions shake up the status quo for entire populations. However, we are not simply at the mercy of these large forces! We as a community can cultivate community resilience, and heighten our collective chances to thrive in the face of change.

“Two types of choices seem to me to have been crucial in tipping the outcomes [of the various societies’ histories] towards success or failure: long-term planning and willingness to reconsider core values. On reflection we can also recognize the crucial role of these same two choices for the outcomes of our individual lives.”  ― Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

To Diamond’s first point, the more we as a community can plan in advance, such as assessing, innovating and strengthening our relationships, infrastructure, and priorities, such as making our energy, food and communications systems more resilient, the easier the ride will be. “Every $1 spend on climate adaptation now will yield between $9-$38 in avoided damages in the future.”  This is a wildly good investment!

To Diamond’s second point, to plan ahead well, we need to live the values that allow us to thrive in the future, not just have benefitted us in the past.  Strong social cohesion and trust allows a community to work together and problem solve. Equity, inclusion, civics and civility allows us to access all the creativity and resourcefulness in our community, needed to turn today’s risks into tomorrow’s vibrant opportunities.  We can wisely deploy resources in ways that create jobs, protect the environment, and cultivate community cohesion — all that create a better today as well as tomorrow. Many in our community are working towards this. Please join us!

— The Sun Valley Institute Team

Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

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