Ideas and programs about resilience have grown substantially over the past decade. There are lessons to be learned about resilient communities from models developed by a variety of organizations, most from outside the United States. Many of these look at resilience through the lenses of ecosystems, disaster preparedness, and localizing communities. The resources below offer information and ideas we will use as background while we work through the core questions and ideas of resilience ourselves, using the additional lenses of creative resistance and celebration.
These resources are by no means comprehensive -- if you think an important organization, publication, or other resource is missing, please let us know.
To get started, check out this short video about Buzz Holling, the “father of resilience theory.” His work developed the scientific basis for resilience and has been influential in initiating ideas and program about how resiliency can impact socio-economic systems.
Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World
Brian Walker and David Salt (Island Press, 2006)
“… An essential guidebook to a powerful new way of understanding our world—and of living resiliently within it—developed in recent decades by an international team of ecologists.”
Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems
Lance Gunderson & C. S. Holling, (Island Press, 2002)
“The fundamental question this book asks is whether or not it is possible to get beyond seeing environment as a sub-component of social systems, and society as a sub-component of ecological systems, that is, to understand human-environment interactions as their own unique system.”
Getting to Maybe—How the World Has Changed
Westley, Zimmerman, & Patton (Vintage Canada, 2007)
“Getting to Maybe applies the insights of complexity theory and harvests the experiences of a wide range of people and organizations… to lay out a brand new way of thinking about making change in communities, in business, and in the world.”
Local Dollars, Local Sense—How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity—A Community Resilience Guide
Michael Shuman (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012)
“Local economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors, including the nearly 99% who are unaccredited, how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies-and profit in the process.”
Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It
Amy Cortese (John Wiley, 2011)
"…Learn about dozens of highly profitable community investment opportunities."
The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy
Michael Lewis and Patrick Conaty (New Society Publishers, 2012)
“How can we get our economy back on track while simultaneously making it more socially, environmentally and financially sustainable?” Lewis and Conaty “advocate for the U.S. moving away from a large economy reliant on fossil fuels to small, local economies.”
The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times
Rob Hopkins (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2011)
“We’re coming to a powerful crunch time for our civilization, and if you read this you’ll be well ahead of the curve in understanding how to prepare your community. There’s much beauty here, and hope.”
Resilience and Sustainable Development: Building Adaptive Capacity in a World of Transformations
A Report for the Swedish Environmental Advisory Council, 2002
(Limited copies available from the Island Institute)
Rethinking Social Contracts: Building Resilience in a Changing Climate
Karen O’Brien, Bronwyn Hayward, Fikret Berkes
Ecology and Society, Volume 14, No. 2 (www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art12/)
Resilient Nation (www.demos.co.uk/publications/resilientnation)— “instead of structures or centralized services, it argues that citizens and communities are the true source of resilience for our society…Resilience is an everyday, community activity.”
Organizations / Websites
Resilience Alliance — A research organization comprised of scientists and practitioners from many disciplines who collaborate to explore the dynamics of social-ecological systems, encompassing key concepts of resilience, adaptability and transformability.
Post Carbon Institute — Provides resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated economic, energy, environmental and equity crises that define the 21st century. They envision a world of resilient communities and re-localized economies that thrive within ecological bounds.
Resilience.org — Building a World of Resilient Communities (a website of the Post Carbon Institute)
Stockholm Resilience Centre — an international centre that advances transdisciplinary research for governance of social-ecological systems with a special emphasis on resilience.
Slow Money — National network organized around new ways of thinking about the relationship between food, money, and soil and the belief that putting money to work in local food enterprises makes tremendous sense.
On the Commons — Commons movement strategy center developing and nurturing commons work of egalitarian and reciprocal relationships.
Transition Network and Transition US — non-profits aiming to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as they self-organize around the transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.
Local 20/20 — Port Townsend, Washington's efforts to build a resilient and sustainable community.
Fiery Spirits Community of Practice — Carnegie UK program aimed at accelerating learning by activists, professionals and policy makers who are building resilient and sustainable rural communities by enabling practitioners to connect, challenge and learn from each other. Publication: Exploring Community Resilience
Bay Localize — California non-profit supporting residents in building equitable, resilient communities by equipping local leaders with flexible tools, models, and policies that strengthen their communities. Publication: Community Resilience Toolkit