Building Resilience

Our theme this issue is the ‘green’ revolution, and a few words immediately spring to mind that are associated with this – sustainable, ecological, natural. These all fit with what we know and expect from a ‘green’ movement, but a new word is starting to become used more as we face the prospect of Peak Oil, climate change and economic crisis – that word is resilience. This can be defined as the positive capacity of people (or systems) to cope with stress and catastrophe. Simply put it is the ability to bounce back to balance after a disruption, in other words being flexible, like a bamboo stick that doesn’t break under pressure. Furthermore, being resilient means being able to learn from exposure to stress so that future stress can be dealt with in a better way. Grass roots movements all over the world are starting to realise that this starts at a local level – while there will also need to be a ‘top down’ approach, big government simply has too many vested interests to be able to adapt in appropriate ways – they have too much at stake to move away from business as usual. It is up to local groups such as the Transition Towns to provide the ‘bottom up’ alternatives and real, practical solutions to work towards a truly ‘green’ revolution.


See our review of the Community Solutions’ film on Cuba for inspiration on how these solutions can be developed.

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