Exploring Community Resilience
This handbook was published by Carnegie UK Trust in 2011 – and subsequently downloaded around 50 thousand times from people all around the world – often from places that had recently experienced a shock like flooding, fires or to the local economy.
In 2013, the European Union picked up the work and invested in creating an online version of the ‘compass’ tool to enable people in communities to use it as a catalyst to local reflection and action: http://www.tess-transition.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Information-Sheet-Resilience-Compass-English.pdf
That year I also included the book within my PhD thesis – as an original example of social media enabled collaborative action research (around 50 50 people active in community resilience initiatives across the UK and Republic of Ireland were involved in co-producing it – all of whom were participating within a Community of Practice Carnegie sponsored called ‘Fiery Spirits’). I also wrote a chapter for a textbook published by Ashgate called ‘Radical Human Ecology’ – download it here: RadicalHumanEcology and note the chapter begins page 113 – the file contains chapters produced with colleagues from the Centre for Human Ecology (www.che.ac.uk).
The press release at the launch said:
“The Fiery Spirits Community of Practice has launched a new handbook packed with inspiring stories about how communities are preparing for and coping through difficult times. Beginning with Cumbria’s experience from the floods of November 2009, the book takes the reader on a journey from remote Scottish communities to inner city London, and from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to Ireland after the credit crunch.
The book Exploring Community Resilience is produced by a network of community activists, professionals and policy makers which is supported by Carnegie UK Trust. At its heart is a new framework for understanding community resilience, presented as a ‘compass’ to navigate the topic, while challenging communities to examine whether they have covered all the points they need to on the compass.
The book was written through an actively collaboration of contributors with real-world experience of weathering storms who came together through workshops and online. It sets out to introduce and translates for a lay audience some of the most useful academic insights into resilience, weaving in current and recent media stories to open a discussion about the bigger policy implications of resilience thinking.
Exploring Community Resilience mixes strong design with illustrated case studies and web links to live projects while also offering materials for a workshop that people can use to make sense of ‘community resilience’ in their own context.
About the Book
Exploring Community Resilience
•is packed with and based on the real-life experience of community resilience pioneers – who actively collaborated in the writing of the document through workshops and online
•introduces and translates for a lay audience some of the most useful academic insights into resilience available
•weaves in current and recent media stories to open a discussion about the bigger policy implications of resilience thinking, and
•is beautifully designed and presented, with illustrations, pictures, ‘live’ web links and even a workshop that people in communities can use to make sense of ‘community resilience’ in their own context
Reviewers have said
•Lively, easy to understand and packed with useful metaphors and practical tools for applying resilience thinking Community activist (Scotland)
•The compass model is very useable … really beneficial in my work supporting local community leaders Community development worker (Ireland)
•Brings home different aspects of resilience … the section on resilience and creativity is inspiring! Social entrepreneur (England)
•Inspiring stories that make the theory come alive – and a theoretical framework that makes sense of the stories Sustainability Academic (Wales)
•I love the ‘commitment to bringing people together who didn’t know they needed to meet’ – it’s the guiding principle for the handbook Foundation professional (England)