Micro-teach session: Community Resilience

Community Resilience: Exploring how communities can thrive in these challenging times. A summary of a micro teach with Davie Philip – by Andrew Zionts

I’m interested in using video tools and media in class plans introducing teaching resilience in PDCs. I’m particularly interested in how we frame the concept of resilience and its importance, framing it as something that helps us thrive and flourish, rather than something negative or defeatist.

How do we design for resilience? Normally we focus on place, and on physical structures, I believe that it is more important to focus on building resilience in our communities. I believe that rather than focus on sustainability, it is more important to focus on our ability to cope with change. An important part of this is identifying the assets and resources that we have to approach resilience.

dave_1“Resilience is described as our ability to deal with trauma, tragedy and all kinds of threats and to be able to bounce back”. Community resilience is the existance, development, and engagement of a community to thrive in a dynamic environment characterized by change, uncertainty, unpredictability and surprise.

It is important not to show long films, but rather show short films as a departure point for further learning. The film is packed with information, and is designed to be unpacked via conversation. It can be used to pose a question, for instance: ” how is the angle on resilience? Is it positive?”

For me building resilience starts from zone 0, and expands outward towards family and community. Looking at different forms of capital; social, financial, natural, etc, is necessary to explore in order to have a broader sense of ways we can be resilient.

Basically, transcending barriers between people, and linking is a key pathway towards resilience. It is really all about building relationships, just as Permaculture is all about building beneficial relationships.

What are the questions we need to ask ourselves about resilience?

Question: “how to define community?”

One could say that our sense of individualism has killed our sense of community, that capitalism and globalism have killed community.

Comment: “perhaps we could say that our concept of being independent keeps us from seeing that ultimately we are really inter-dependent”

Conversations are the unit of transformation, and empathy is a key.

What do you think are the tools needed to build resiliency?

One answer: “mapping our assets and resources that we can build upon, as well as the shadow of that, ie, the obstacles and things lacking on our path towards resilience”

Just identiying those assets is empowering. Also identifying inputs/outputs, skillsets and needs. It is the observation/site analysis of permaculture applied to building community resilience.

Then identifying how the community can do more for itself, thus creating jobs, and thereby stacking functions. An example of this is in Ireland communities which buy back their own pub as a community center and as an asset.

What do you think our biggest barriers are in building resilience?

Answer: “mindset, as well as legal issues such as code, etc”

We prefer to shift our idea of self-sufficiency towards co-sufficiency…this requires a fundamental shift in mindset.

We work towards distributing responsibility, in order to be more resilient, and thereby look at community as an ecosystem.