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Uncertainty and Resilience

Ecotrust has launched People and Place, a webzine looking at the relationship between humankind and its environment. P&P's inauguratory issue features an article on resilience by Brian Walker of the Resilience Alliance, Resilience Thinking. The editor at P&P asked me to write a companion essay -- Uncertainty and Resilience -- and it's now available on the site.

In my work as a futurist, focusing on the intersection of environment, technology and culture, the concept of resilience has come to play a fundamental role. We face a present and a future of extraordinary change, and whether that change manifests as threat or opportunity depends on our capacity to adapt and remake ourselves and our civilization -- that is, depends upon our resilience.

My piece looks at how defaulting to least harm (or graceful failure, as I've called it elsewhere) and foresight are useful additions to the model of resilience that Walker proposes.

Resilience seems to be my theme of the moment. It's appropriate for the times, I suppose. When things seem to be falling apart, it's helpful to remind ourselves that we have ways to endure.


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