This interesting and useful piece from Ensia on resilience looks not at what’s changing about the world around us, but how we survive and thrive in it together. It’s important to remember that experiences and understandings of change and how to adapt will vary across different communities.
The term ‘resilience‘ is everywhere. And everywhere, it seems, it means something a little different.
Resilience has been used to describe people and systems that bounce back from negative experiences and disturbances. It has also been used to refer to systems that survive being jostled around — whether or not they go back to where they were before, or to any stable state, for that matter.
While some have argued resilience is an empty concept, the widespread use of the idea of resilience across disciplines, sectors and professions suggests it is a necessary concept. Resilience is related to change. And given the rapid change happening in the environment, technology and society, such extensive use of the term reflects this need.
It does, however, lead to some questions. Where did the idea of resilience come from, and how has it developed? More importantly, how can the concept be used in ways that help us navigate a rapidly changing planet?