Collaboration for resilience

Distant Moraines

We are all facing the same fundamental challenge: to be resilient they will need adaptive capacities to survive, reorganise, learn and improve within the complex systems in which we are embedded. Over the next decade, it is estimated that the demand for primary energy, food and water will increase by 30%; the over exploitation of natural resources will inevitably lead to climate change, biodiversity loss and freshwater or marine pollution.

These are affecting ecosystems and exacerbating environmental degradation therefore having a serious impact on human well-being, reducing availability of goods and services to local communities as well as water and food security. At the same time, the potential for business will decrease causing severe economic damages to the planet.

A change is needed that will not only reshape dynamics among the economy, societies and nations but also make us better at coping with climate change impacts, land degradation, water scarcity, food insecurity and the loss of livelihoods. Businesses, governments and civil society are just beginning to discover that there is mutual gain to be found from collaboration on resilience, especially through active innovation. We need change that will increase resilience and develop a shared vision for a sustainable future.

To build resilience, we must learn how to change the complex systems linking the economy, societies and the planet from within. It demands transformations beyond technological change to include changes in governance, management regimes and the ways social and natural capital are built (or rebuilt) alongside economic value. Clearing a pathway to a collaborative resilience agenda will now depend on the sectors coming together to work on well-defined, practical problems that they can experiment with and learn from.

It is a critical turning point and a strong collaboration, empowerment to take action and learning are key in organizational change and adaptive governance, but they are also an important means to leverage deeper change in how our societies and economies relate to Earth and the biosphere. More pragmatically, they are integral to action that reinforces the building blocks for resilience of diversity, sustainable infrastructure and technologies, distributed governance and learning.

Case Studies