Over the past decade, resilience has gained significant traction across the nation and innovative programs are showing exciting progress in building resilient communities. For communities to be prepared for future extreme weather and climate events, as well as the chronic daily stressors, the momentum of implementing and taking action to build community resilience should continue to be fostered and expanded. The Resilient America Roundtable (Roundtable) seeks to advance and sharpen the discussion about resilience through opportunities to develop relationships and provide dialogue and community exchange on projects that build local and national resilience to disasters and other disruptions.
Building on its many efforts dedicated to increasing and enhancing resilience, the Roundtable hosted the State of Resilience Leadership Forum and Community Workshop on June 28 and 29, 2016. This activity brought together diverse decision makers, experts, practitioners, and community stakeholders, including representatives from academia, government, the private sector, foundations, and nonprofit organizations, to consider the results of years of investment, experimentation, and research in building resilience, take stock of these many initiatives and efforts, and share their experiences in building more resilient communities.
The leadership forum featured a series of conversations among noted leaders in resilience from the federal government, local government, private sector, and nonprofit organizations. National Public Radio’s Andrea
Seabrook moderated discussions that focused on resilience at the national level, asking the questions:
- What are effective means to enhance and incentivize resilience?
- What has and has not worked in building resilience across the nation and in communities?
- How will today’s actions in building resilience offer dividends in the future?
- What are the big challenges yet to come in advancing resilience?
The community workshop provided a venue for peer-to-peer sharing of actions and solutions that communities are taking to build resilience. The day was structured around a series of moderated panels and breakout sessions addressing common issues that communities face. The three panel sessions focused on engaging with diverse populations, climate adaptation and resilience, and incentivizing resilience; each panel session was followed by Q&A with the audience. The three concurrent breakout sessions focused on healthy communities, building partnerships, and measuring resilience. In each breakout session, two community members shared an example of a resilience goal, challenges they encountered in implementing that goal, and the results of the action they took; these case studies were followed by a group discussion.