A resilient community is one that can withstand and recover from a shock of some sort, whether natural or manmade.
- On the natural side, think of an extreme weather event, such as a hurricane, tornado, or drought; a catastrophic earthquake, possibly with an accompanying tsunami; or a massive volcanic eruption.
- On the manmade side, think of a deep recession or depression with high unemployment; a devastating oil spill or natural gas pipeline explosion; social or political unrest or riots; or an act of terrorism or war.
- Think global climate change, with rising sea levels, shifting areas of extended droughts and floods, and consequent mass migrations of flora, fauna, and peoples.
- Think a shift from an economics of scarcity where the present is valued more highly than the future to an economics of abundance where the future is worth more than the present.
- Think the fading away of nation-states as a system (only 500 years old, after all) of political, social, and economic organization in favor of political, social, and economic structures oriented toward and founded upon civil society and local communities and direct relations between them.
Adaptivity also comes from a culture of caring and sharing, and also from a spirit of creativity, imagination, and non-attachment to structures and ways of doing things that no longer seem to be serving the common good of the community and its ability to fulfill its responsibility to the global network of communities.
Actually, experimentation is well underway. Some examples and resources:
- Transition Network (formerly Transition Towns) and Transition United States: “Transition Network supports community-led responses to climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy, building resilience and happiness.”
- GoGoVerde: “GoGoVerde helps you connect and share to build a safe, healthy, and prosperous local community.”
- Sharing Revolution: “Listed as a top trend by TIME magazine, we’re seeing evidence of a growing ‘sharing economy.’ Car shares, neighborhood tool lending libraries, fruit/vegetable exchanges, babysitting co-ops, lending clubs, vacation house swaps, ‘time banks,’ and other innovative approaches to reduce our impact on Earth, build community — and save money, too.
- Finding Higher Ground: Adaptation in the Age of Warming, by Amy Seidl
- Creating Wealth: Growing Local Economies with Local Currencies, by Gwendolyn Hallsmith and Bernard Lietaer