In a world fraught with disruptions, what causes some systems, organizations, communities and people to break down and others to bounce back? For those that rebound, what do they tell us about how to build a secure future, and sturdier selves to inhabit it?
To explore these pressing questions, in June 2012 PopTech convened its first international conference outside its homebase in Camden, Maine. Over 200 researchers, practitioners and thought leaders—working in fields such as international development, global business, climate adaptation, social psychology, economics, systems ecology, public health, emerging technology, disaster relief and community activism—gathered in the world-reknowned Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik for a dialogue about the emerging field of "resilience".
Presenters sought to define resilience through the lens of systems, communities, organizations, governments and individuals, presenting concrete examples and theoretical concepts about how things bounce back after encountering disruptions.
Having just co-authored a book exploring this core concept (Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back Harper 2012), PopTech’s Executive Director Andrew Zolli kicked off the conference by providing a resillience framework associated with pattern, structure, time, and memory rather than a simpler, literal articulation.
Andrew and his co-author, Ann Marie Healy, hold an expanded definition of resilience (as embodied by the country of Iceland) seeing this trait as "the ability of people, communities, and systems to maintain their core purpose and integrity amid unforeseen shocks and surprises".
The presenters at the PopTech event were invited because their work and their personal stories exemplify this principle.
Zolli emphases that these practitioners of resilience are important bellweathers and by encouraging adaptation, agility, and cooperation, this new approach can not only help us weather disruptions, but also bring us to a different way of being in and engaging with the world.
- Toward Resilience: Andrew Zolli / Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson / Judith Rodin / Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurðsson
- Risk and Change: Alyson Warhurst / Didier Sornette / Steve Lansing
- The Human Dimension: John Thackara / George A. Bonanno / Loree Sutton / Laurie Leitch / Jason Hackenwerth
- Regime Shifts: Astier M. Almedom / Mohammed Rezwan / Geoffrey West / Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson & Alexi Murdoch
- Learning and Adapting: Nancy Kete / Tim Harford / Eben Upton / Joy Reidenberg / Alexi Murdoch
- Emerging Paradigms: Yossi Sheffi / Scott Williams / Simonetta Carbonaro
- Iceland Responds I: Andri Magnason / Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir / Sigtryggur Baldursson / Eiríkur Hrafnsson
- Iceland Responds II: Margrét Pála / Kári Stefánsson / amiina
Day Two: Learning and Adapting
Iceland Responds I
Iceland Responds II