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The answers to these vital questions are shaping a new field of inquiry, and a new agenda, focused on "resilience" the ability of people, communities, and systems to maintain their core purpose and integrity amid unforeseen shocks and surprises. By encouraging adaptation, agility, and cooperation, this new approach can not only help us weather disruptions, but also bring us to a different way of being in and engaging with the world.
Reporting firsthand from the coral reefs of Palau to the back streets of Palestine, Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy relate breakthrough scientific discoveries, pioneering social and ecological innovations, and important new approaches to constructing a more resilient world. Along the way, they share insights to bolster our own psychological resilience, foster greater stability within our communities, and establish leadership imperatives for more resilient organizations. Zolli and Healy show how this new concept of resilience is a powerful lens through which we can assess major issues afresh: from business planning to social development, from urban planning to national energy security--circumstances that affect us all.
Provocative, optimistic, and eye-opening, "Resilience "sheds light on why some systems, people, and communities fall apart in the face of disruption and, ultimately, how they can learn to bounce back.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-05-07
- Reviewer: Staff
This intriguing, wide-ranging probe ponders the underlying principles behind whether complex systems of every sort—government, business, social, natural—function or fail. Zolli, director of the global innovation network PopTech, and financial and technology journalist Healy ask: since “olatility of all sorts has become the new normal,” is it even possible to isolate causal factors in an ever more complex world? Their findings emphasize the importance of examining the importance of elemental interconnectedness in contrast to isolating and addressing features individually. To demonstrate deep linkages between apparently unrelated events, they cite the role Hurricane Katrina played leading up to the 2007 Mexican food riots. This is followed by analyses of international terrorism, the 2008 financial crisis, and the ad hoc international effort to assist Haiti following its catastrophic 2010 earthquakes. Indeed, the term “adhocracy,” coined by 1970s futurist Alvin Toffler, is invoked to describe the spontaneous coalition of forces that the digital age makes possible. Throughout, Zolli and Healy commendably avoid simplistic nostrums and note a potential problem: that increased systemic complexity can itself be a source of fragility. And while the measurement and feedback that illuminate a system’s health are vital, even they occasionally bite back. The authors emphasize “there are no finish lines here and no silver bullets,” though their vision is optimistic and should engage anyone contemplating our shared future. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (July)