Blog | Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI)
 

Resilient Communities are the Foundations of a Resilient America.

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 …

E Pluribus Unum

by John Plodinec

“For there is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Shakespeare, Hamlet.  Many who fly the community resilience flag often quarter it with terms such as equity, social justice and diversity.  They have …

Leadership, Learning and Trust

by John Plodinec

If you’re at all like me (I know – horrible thought!), you cringe whenever you hear a community leader say that stopping a hurricane/flood/drought… from happening will make their community more resilient.  While I recognize that …

Becoming Resilient: Finding the Meaning

by John Plodinec

“Good Morning!” said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of …

After Superstorm Sandy: Bolstering the Resilience of Metro-New York’s Infrastructure

by Warren Edwards

Two years ago, Community and Regional Resilience Institute and Meridian Institute were pleased to cooperate with the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security at Northeastern University in an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation sponsored series …

Becoming Resilient: Scanning the Environment

by John Plodinec

One of my favorites among the myriad definitions of resilience is a generalization of ones developed by Brown, and by Adger: Resilience is positive adaptation to perceived change. I like this definition because its few words …

Breaking the Trend: the Future of the Scarred Generation

by John Plodinec

In my last post, I talked about the “Scarred Generation” – the younger generation that should be approaching its peak earnings at about the same time that the Post-World War II Baby Boomers reach their population …

Trends: The Scarred Generation

by John Plodinec

In my last post, I started outlining some of the trends that will drive change over the next decade (at least).  I started with the amazing advances in health care that will extend our lifespans.  Before …

Vectoring Community Resilience – Take a Centenarian to Lunch!

by John Plodinec

One of the keys to becoming more resilient is to anticipate change.  That we live in a kaleidoscopically changing world is obvious; the trick is to recognize the forces driving change and the directions they might …

The Lone Wolf – Understanding the Threat

by John Plodinec

An important part of resilience is recognizing the risks we face, and then taking action.  Those actions can take a variety of forms – we may try to wall ourselves away from danger, we may prepare …

Ferguson and resilience

by John Plodinec

Two weeks ago, I started to write a post about Thanksgiving.  “Thanksgiving is the holiday we celebrate our resilience – challenges met, adversities overcome – together with family and friends…”   I went on to write about …

Form Follows Function, Except …

by John Plodinec

“Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple-blossom, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, …

Resilience – What Is It, Anyway?

by John Plodinec

One of the blessings – and curses – of working in resilience is that you have to attend a lot of meetings – a LOT of meetings.  Too often, you’ll think you’re making real progress on …

The Law of Conservation of Community Momentum

by John Plodinec

”Disasters accelerate existing trends.” – Mayor Joe Riley (Charleston, SC) ”Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state …

Celebration and the Craft of Community Resilience

by John Plodinec

Whenever I give a presentation on resilience, I try to include the following cartoon. Too often as we contemplate the pain and suffering of disaster, we forget that we rebuild our lives by laying one brick …

Guest Post: Credit Score Model for Measuring Community Resilience by Brian Dabson

by John Plodinec

Continuing with the recent theme of measuring resilience, Brian Dabson of the University of Missouri’s Institute of Public Policy asks  – can the model we use for credit scoring be applied to community resilience.  A provocative …

Measuring resilience: the Tao of CARRI

by John Plodinec

As long-time readers of the blog may remember, I often try to apply the teachings of Sun Tzu in the Art of War to everyday life.  One of the important elements in this Taoist philosophy of …

A community is like a comfortable old car…

by John Plodinec

I finished with my meetings a little earlier than expected one day last week, and stopped in at my friend Dooley’s pub.  Miss Edna, Dooley’s cook and long-time FWB, cooks the best hamburger east of the …

Measuring resilience – not for wimps!

by John Plodinec

The impossible we do immediately; miracles take a little longer. There are several efforts currently underway aimed at “measuring” community resilience.  Too often, projects like these have started with great gusto – sails full and flags …

Resilience and Intolerance

by John Plodinec

Everyone sits in the prison of his own ideas; he must burst it open, and that in his youth,and so try to test his ideas on reality. – Albert Einstein That wonderful time of year when …

Of Ice Storms, Interdependencies, and Their Impacts on Running a Bar

by John Plodinec

One of the reasons I’m so proud of the work we’re doing at CARRI is that we are firmly rooted in the real world.  Focusing on the “Whole Community” will do that to you!  We have …

Investing wisely in community resilience

by John Plodinec

To invest: To devote time, energy, effort or money to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a positive result. We all know there’s no free lunch; we have to invest in our communities if they …

Resilience: the Game Changer

by John Plodinec

There is a stream of liberal western thought that is turning modern life into a game of “Nobody Can Lose.” The rules of this game dictate that no matter what happens no one has to suffer …

Poor communication – catapulting into crisis

by John Plodinec

“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” – Cool Hand Luke In my last post, I mentioned the chemical leak that left 300,000 without water in West Virginia and the massive traffic mess caused …

Recognizing Resilient Communities

by John Plodinec

This month, we’ve seen two regional disasters – the leak from Freedom Industries in West Virginia, and the snow-induced traffic tragedies around Atlanta.  In both cases, the media and those involved are still playing the Blame …

Three [More] Things I Think I Think About Resilience

by John Plodinec

(with my continuing apologies to and appreciation of the MMQB) I think I think 3-D and 4-D printing are going to have a transformative impact on our economy and its resilience.  I have long touted the …

Catalysts for Community Resilience – Institutions of Higher Education

by John Plodinec

We all want our communities to be more resilient – better able to respond to and recover from crises.  But that means “change,” and change requires investment – new money, new people, and new ideas.  In …

Homeowners and Social Media – Residential Demographics and Resilience-II

by John Plodinec

Residential Demographics and Resilience-II:  Homeowners and Social Media “At its most basic, community resilience is about people.”  I started my last post that way, but it wasn’t quite accurate.  Community resilience is about people, but people …

Residential Demographics and Resilience-I: Who Owns Homes

by John Plodinec

At its most basic, community resilience is about people.  Those of us who are focused on enhancing community resilience often make the mistake of thinking that one size fits all, whether it’s the messages we craft …