The report describes how communities can approach the full scope of the 21st century’ s challenges equitably and sustainably. It is a resource for local leaders and activists, and a contribution to the larger public conversation about resilience in human communities. It also provides a conceptual starting point for community resilience that we will build on in future products focused on practical actions and tools.
The report draws on some of the most compelling recent thinking about resilience from academia, sustainability advocacy, and grassroots activism, as well as Post Carbon Institute’ s prior work.
The first half of the report presents the challenges communities are facing, the relevant insights of resilience science, and the case for building resilience at the community level. The second half presents the six foundations that are necessary for building effective community resilience:
- People. The power to envision the future of the community and build its resilience resides with community members.
- Systems thinking. Systems thinking is essential for understanding the complex, interrelated crises now unfolding and what they mean for our similarly complex communities.
- Adaptability. A community that adapts to change is resilient. But because communities and the challenges we face are dynamic, adaptation is an ongoing process.
- Transformability. Some challenges are so big that it’ s not possible for the community to simply adapt; fundamental, transformative changes may be necessary.
- Sustainability. Community resilience is not sustainable if it serves only us, and only now; it needs to work for other communities, future generations, and the ecosystems on which we all depend.
- Courage. As individuals and as a community, we need courage to confront challenging issues and take responsibility for our collective future.