International Perspectives on Water Resilience

Details and presentations from this mini conference, which we held in partnership with UWE, are available here.

Some thoughts leading up to this conference from Doug Owen, Senior Research Fellow:

Resilience Thinking in Systems 

Resilience thinking looks for ways to enhance the ability of systems to succeed in a volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous world. It is the potential to optimise performance under foreseen and unforeseen changes, disturbances and opportunities. It invites us to move beyond a ‘predict and withstand’ model, to one based on adaptation and reconfiguration, whilst retaining systems’ fundamental characteristics.

The ultimate aspiration is to safeguard what matters, minimise harm to individuals, organisations and wider society, and to enhance organisational and societal wellbeing.

This potential to do this is arguably developed by underlying capabilities delivered by the people, technology and processes within a system-of-systems. In doing so, we should enable ourselves to prepare, adapt and succeed within our complex and volatile environment and ecology.

This is an aspiration brings with it many questions and tensions. Which interests should be prioritised, and when? Over what timescale? Who will resolve these conflicts to minimise harm? For whose interests? What demands will these new approaches place on the people in the system?

And most pressing of all … how?