Blog | Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI)
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Resilient Communities are the Foundations of a Resilient America.

We were young then | November 12, 2018

by John Plodinec

We were young then When we heard the trumpet’s call. We were young then ‘Fore the war to end all wars.   We were young then Embraced by war’s camaraderie. We were young then But saw …

Put a Little Chaos in Your Community | October 9, 2018

by John Plodinec

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an inveterate reader (Motto:  no cereal box is safe from me).  One of the things I like to do is apply ideas I’ve read about from one field to another completely …

Innovation, implementation and community resilience | September 5, 2018

by John Plodinec

Innovation is: production or adoption, assimilation, and exploitation of a value-added novelty in economic and social spheres; renewal and enlargement of products, services, and markets; development of new methods of production; and establishment of new management systems. It is both a process and …

Homelessness and community resilience | August 21, 2018

by John Plodinec

I recently visited Boston and was struck by the number of homeless people sleeping in doorways, on park benches or in improvised shelters.  I saw something similar in Portland, OR, when I was there two years …

Affordable housing and community resilience | August 2, 2018

by John Plodinec

Affordable housing is one of the most important – and often the most contentious – issues facing our communities, especially our urban areas.  The issue is usually framed as providing housing for those without sufficient income …

Communities and violence | May 28, 2018

by John Plodinec

Another school shooting and another round of “Ban all guns” vs “Save the Second Amendment.”  I don’t know about you but I think that both sides are a bubble off – I don’t really care about …

Cognitive bias and community resilience | May 6, 2018

by John Plodinec

Have you ever tried to convince your boss, your spouse, or someone else about something?  And found your blood pressure rising as you thought to yourself “Why can’t he / she keep an open mind?”  You …

Reframing resilience | April 5, 2018

by John Plodinec

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – Margaret J. Wheatley Jim Kelley was my first boss when I came to South Carolina.  Always certain, but with a …

Community impacts of the “Great Jobs Collision” – March 21, 2018

by John Plodinec

I am a regular reader of John Mauldin’s Thoughts from the Frontline.  He makes me look at things I wouldn’t normally see, even – especially – when I disagree with him.  In a recent column, he …

Five Aphorisms, and an Afterword | March 1, 2018

by John Plodinec

Five years after Hurricane Katrina, I gave a talk with this title at a meeting in New Orleans hosted by FedEx and the Salvation Army.  I recently stumbled across my slides (no snide remarks about my …

Allies or Enemies | February 16, 2018

by John Plodinec

I had some interesting feedback on my last post.  To one commenter I was a sort of closet Trump-er angling for Administration support (perhaps hadn’t read my take on the 2016 election).  Another called for a …

Constructing a Community Narrative | January 10, 2018

by John Plodinec

Community resilience requires action.  And in communities “action is at the speed of trust” (Sherri Moore of the USACE).  As I’ve pointed out before, trust must be based on shared experiences, shared successes, a shared vision.  …

The Business Case(s) for Resilience | December 29, 2017

by John Plodinec

Recently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology stood down its Community Resilience Panel.  The Social and Economic Committee of the Panel had identified developing the business case for resilience as perhaps the most important gap …

An Unconventional Look at Equity | November 8, 2017

by John Plodinec

Truth is not beauty, but hard work.  – The Economist Earlier this week I had the opportunity to interact with Kate Knuth, Minneapolis’ Chief Resilience Officer. She identified “equity” as one of the things she’s targeting.  …

Ratcheting up America’s resilience | October 4, 2017

by John Plodinec

My good friend Bill Hooke (if you can call anyone you’ve met face-to-face three times a good friend, but I do admire the heck out of him) has a marvelous set of posts at his Living …

ANCR’ing resilience

by John Plodinec

It’s impossible to map out a route to your destination if you don’t know where you’re starting from. — Suze Orman Communities across America – around the world – are being told that they need to …

Defining moments

by John Plodinec

When a defining moment comes along, you define the moment, or the moment defines you. – Kevin Costner The past two+ weeks have witnessed – yet again – the extraordinary efforts of ordinary Americans to help …

Resilience and history

by John Plodinec

“As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those …

Things to Make You Go Hmmm – About Community Resilience

by John Plodinec

With continuing apologies to – and appreciation of – Grant Williams.  If you’re not reading him, you should be! Resilience is the science and technology of dealing with change, especially surprises. Someone observed that climate change …

Climate change

by John Plodinec

Climate change:  Any systematic change in the long-term statistics of climate elements (such as temperature, pressure, or winds) sustained over several decades or longer.— American Meteorological Society I don’t know about you, but I wish the zealots at either end of the climate …

E Pluribus Unum revisited

by John Plodinec

What gave Western civilization its dynamism for so long was its creative tension and balance between the material and the spiritual…This is why the failure to teach Western civilization as a fundamental part of education…is so …

Deep Diving into Community Data

by John Plodinec

In a post just about a year ago, I admitted to being a data geek (well, actually, I sort of gloried in it).  For data geeks interested in “Whole Community” resilience, these are glorious times.  Sites …

Helping Our Future Remember Its Past

by John Plodinec

As we look to rebuild our infrastructure better and adapt to the challenges of rising seas, one challenge we’re not talking about is helping our future remember its past.  Buildings we’re erecting now may last a …

Practitioners’ Model of Community Resilience: Implications and Applications

by John Plodinec

…clad his philosophy in mail and mask by means of mathematical hocus pocus. – Nietzsche Functionality = Initial Functionality + Direct Impacts + Indirect Impacts + Competence • Resources, for each part of the community. In …

Practitioner’s Model of Community Resilience: From Identity to Model

by John Plodinec

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Greensburg, KS, tornado. Its population was almost instantly halved by the tornado, and apparently continues to slowly dwindle.  The town made a desperate bet that it could reinvent itself …

Practitioner’s Model of Community Resilience: Bases

by John Plodinec

Trigger Warning! The arithmophobic may experience palpitations, panic attacks, or even pass out. I will try to be as gentle as I can! As I threatened promised in my last post, in the next few posts …

Shocks and crises – “And stresses?” – Oh, my!

by John Plodinec

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for?  — Robert Browning I have been fortunate in my careers to be able to learn from some very bright people.  Most recently, they include …

Who leaves, who comes back?

by John Plodinec

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” — Kris Kristofferson When a community endures catastrophic damage, residents must evacuate.  One of the hallmarks of a resilient community is that most of the residents come …

Economic Gardening

by John Plodinec

A community’s economy is an important part of its resilience.  Globally, we’re still trying to claw back from the Great Recession.  While the US economy is doing better than most, many local communities have still not …

The Power of Yes!

by John Plodinec

How many times have you been in a meeting trying to figure out how to accomplish something really important and one yahoo takes all of the oxygen out of the room spouting reasons why any path …

The Resilience of Congress

by John Plodinec

My colleague, Robin White, received an email the other day that she forwarded to me (It’s a little like the old commercial – “Give it to Mikey, he’ll eat anything,” only in this case it’s “send …

The “community” in community resilience

by John Plodinec

“Resilience” has become a primary paradigm across many domains – emergency management, business continuity, health care… “Community” is often tagged onto it as something of an afterthought, as if its meaning were obvious.  For example, in …

The Election

by John Plodinec

Thank goodness, it’s over!  No more asinine commercials, no more infantile insults, no more clueless politicians…Oh, wait a minute – only 1450 days until the next one and the political positioning and punditry have already started. …

6th Building Resilience Conference

by John Plodinec

I had the pleasure of participating in the 6th Building Resilience Conference in Auckland last month (and the even greater pleasure of spending another 2+ weeks tooling around NZ – what a gem!).  This is the …

Reflection in an Aged Mirror: Community Decision-Making

by John Plodinec

There is a special magic in the reflections from an old mirror.  When we look at a reflected image in a new mirror we see every detail; we can be overwhelmed by light and color and …

Local government and disaster resilience

by John Plodinec

I am a tremendous admirer of Claire Rubin and her Recovery Diva blog.  There are mornings – days – when I rely on her to get my juices flowing.  The other morning was no exception.  She …

Fear, Terror and a Letter from a Young Friend

by John Plodinec

          Fear is the Mother of Foresight – Thomas Hardy I recently received a note from a young lady whom I think quite highly of.  Her questions are on many of our minds now, and …

Global Hints About Local Resilience

by John Plodinec

I am an unrepentant data geek.  One facet of my geek-ness is that I am autodidactic (I actually had a Professor call me that – I had to look it up) – I seldom accept others’ …

“Trump”-ing Resilience

by John Plodinec

While it seems that everyone has an opinion about “The Donald,” this post is not really about him.  But I do want to riff on “group-ism” and resilience, and his outrageous outbursts make a convenient tagline.  …

Local government and resilience

by John Plodinec

I follow the Recovery Diva blog by Claire Rubin religiously.  One of the main reasons is Claire’s uncanny ability to find papers and articles that I don’t stumble across on my own.  A few weeks ago, …

Retirement and resilience

by John Plodinec

Recently I had one of those “milestone” birthdays.  You know, the ones that end in “0” and remind you that you’re closer to mortality than birth.  The ones that remind you that your body’s not as …

Youth sports and community resilience

by John Plodinec

Got a another letter from my son.  In his spare time, he is the Director of Referees for the Virginia Youth Soccer Association and coaches as well.  I really like what he has to say about …

Brussels – March, 2016

by John Plodinec

Another day we awake to scenes of unspeakable violence.   The camera’s eye is magnetically drawn to the dust, debris, destruction and death.  And we wonder:  “How could this happen yet again?” We instinctively realize that we …

Investing in Community Resilience

by John Plodinec

Last month someone asked me “How much should a community spend on resilience?”  I answered with some somewhat disjointed thoughts based on CARRI’s work with communities. Let me stress that these are based on my own …

Crisis of the Middle Class – Solutions

by John Plodinec

In my previous post, I talked about the danger inherent in the crisis of the Middle Class:  that we create a permanent under-class, without hope, without resources, and non-resilient.  In this post, I want to take …

Crisis of the Middle Class: The Danger

by John Plodinec

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are …

Minsky Moments

by John Plodinec

As Dan Alesch has pointed out, we designate disasters by their triggering events, but we recognize them by their impacts.  Thus, we know Katrina and Sandy by the devastation they created; had they exhausted their energies …

Resilience thinking – key to transformation

by John Plodinec

“We haven’t yet exceeded our capacity for imagining what we’re going to become.” – Tom Greene, President, Vermont College of Fine Arts  In our changing world, we are seemingly bombarded with messages that we need to …

A Tale of Two Towns – Redux

by John Plodinec

Five years ago, I wrote the following, titled A Tale of Two Towns:  Sometimes Resilience Just Isn’t Enough.  I thought it would be interesting to look at the two towns five years on. One is a …

5th International Conference on Building Resilience

by John Plodinec

I had the good fortune to participate in this meeting last month (hosted by Australia’s University of Newcastle).  The meeting brought together practitioners and researchers who illuminated virtually every facet of community resilience.  It is an …