It's my personal soapbox, a place for me to express thoughts and feelings, musings and rants, reflections and recollections; to have fun with words -- about things spiritual, environmental, social, political, economic, and, from time to time, personal. And of course about peace. Soapboxes are in public places (as London's legendary Hyde Park) on purpose, and so I invite conversations with you, for it is through civil discourse that we can gain some perspective on the seeming chaos of these changing times and learn together how to shape a positive future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Resilience and Adaptivity: Local Communities Globally Networked

I envision a world of local, resilient, adaptive communities who are networked in a web of interdependence with other local, resilient, adaptive communities all around the world. That global linking provides for macro-level resilience and adaptivity to complement the micro-/local-level resilience and adaptivity.

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.
An adaptive community is one that is ready, willing, and able to change and transform structures, roles, and behaviors as needed to continue to survive and thrive in the face of long-term changes in its economic, political, and ecological environment.
  • 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.
Resilience comes from, yes, preparedness and also, in large part, from a culture of caring and sharing within the community as well as, when one community or another has experienced a shock, between and among communities, with local and inter-community systems in place for the caring and sharing to be expressed effectively in practice.

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:

1 comment:

  1. The current world economics melt down may be the start of a dramatic change in the Governments of Money.