The function of a resilient community is to provide an environment that maximises individual resilience and that perseveres through generations.

Premise 1: That we define community in this sense as 'the village that educates the child' because individual resilience is based upon childhood experiences and learning.
Definition 1: A modern village is a community which educates a child to be resilient.
As per Playcentre with expectation of stable community population.

Premise 2: That a modern village, designed to support resilience in children, will also provide safety and security (basic physical needs, advocacy), health care and education to any dependent member of the community.
Definition 2: A modern village provides all human-scale social services to its members and replaces the current institutions to a large extent for the supply of these services. Pareto principle would suggest 80% of current institutionalised services i.e. health, care and education (includes prison rehabilitation) would be community based.

Premise 3: That the integrated services provided by a modern village are more efficient and profoundly better than institutionalised care.


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Resilience is “the capacity of a system to withstand disturbance while still retaining its fundamental structure, function, and internal feedbacks.” Resilience contrasts with brittleness—the tendency to shatter and lose functionality when impacted or perturbed.

Ecologists who study resilience in natural systems have noted that ecosystems tend to progress through a series of phases: growth, consolidation and conservation, release (or “collapse”), and reorganization. Each turning of this adaptive cycle provides opportunities for individual species and whole systems to innovate in response to external and internal change (i.e., disturbance). Resilient ecosystems (in the early growth phase) are characterized by species diversity; many of the organisms within such systems are flexible generalists, and the system as a whole contains multiple redundancies. In contrast, less-resilient ecosystems tend to be more brittle, showing less diversity and greater specialization particularly in the consolidationphase.

Resilience can be applied to human systems as well. Our economic systems, in particular, often face a trade-off between resilience and efficiency. Economic efficiency implies specialization and the elimination of both inventories and redundancy (which typically guarantee greater resilience). If a product can be made most cheaply in one region or nation, manufacturing is concentrated there, reducing costs to both producers and consumers. However, if that nation were to suddenly find it impossible to make or ship the product, that product would become unavailable everywhere. Maintaining dispersed production and local inventories promotes availability under crisis conditions, though at the sacrifice of economic efficiency (and profits) in “normal” times.

From a resilience perspective one of the most vulnerable human systems today is the American transportation system. For over seventy years we’ve built trillions of dollars of transportation infrastructure that is completely dependent (i.e., “specialized”) on affordable petroleum fuels, and we’ve removed or neglected most alternative methods of transport. As petroleum fuels become less affordable, the effects reverberate throughout the system.

Resilience becomes more of a priority during periods of crisis and volatility, such as the world is experiencing today. Households, towns, and regions are better prepared to endure a natural disaster such as a flood or earthquake if they have stores of food and water on hand and if their members have a range of practical self-sufficiency skills.

While the loss of economic efficiency implies trade-offs, resilience brings incidental benefits. With increased local self-sufficiency comes a shared sense of confidence in the community’s ability to adapt and endure. For the foreseeable future, as global energy, finance, and transport systems become less reliable, the re-balancing of community priorities should generally weigh in favor of resilience.

Panarchy: Ecosystems developed in adaptive cycles of exploitation, conservation, release and reorganization which could be described in three dimensions - ecological 'wealth', connectedness and resilience. These cycles provide a framework for the opposing forces of growth and stability versus change and variety.

Resilience arises from a redundancy that has the appearance of inefficiency and a lack of critical structural dependency on specialized hierarchy, neither of which conditions are likely to be met at the peak of the growth phase of an adaptive cycle. For these to be achieved from this point at least a partial, or localized, collapse to a simpler level of organization would have to occur. There can potentially be a fine line between a retreat from rigidity to this level of resilience and a 'poverty trap', where a collapse has proceeded so far and so fast that the system has been stripped of the wealth (biological or otherwise) that it would need to rebuild. Where adaptive cycles have become synchronized, so that the likelihood of deep collapse is increased, striking a balance of resilience would be far more difficult.

  • A resilient world would promote biological, landscape, social and economic diversity. Diversity is a major source of future options and of a system's capacity to respond to change.

    • A resilient world would embrace and work with natural ecological cycles. A forest that is never allowed to burn loses its fire-resistant species and becomes very vulnerable to fire.

    • A resilient world consists of modular components. When over-connected, shocks are rapidly transmitted through the system - as a forest connected by logging roads can allow a wild fire to spread wider than it would otherwise.

    • A resilient world possesses tight feedbacks. Feedbacks allow us to detect thresholds before we cross them. Globalization is leading to delayed feedbacks that were once tighter. For example, people of the developed world receive weak feedback signals about the consequences of their consumption.

    • A resilient world promotes trust, well developed social networks and leadership. Individually, these attributes contribute to what is generally termed "social capital," but they need to act in concert to effect adaptability - the capacity to respond to change and disturbance.

    • A resilient world places an emphasis on learning, experimentation, locally developed rules, and embracing change. When rigid connections and behaviors are broken, new opportunities open up and new resources are made available for growth.

    • A resilient world has institutions that include "redundancy" in their governance structures and a mix of common and private property with overlapping access rights. Redundancy in institutions increases the diversity of responses and the flexibility of a system. Because access and property rights lie at the heart of many resource-use tragedies, overlapping rights and a mix of common and private property rights can enhance the resilience of linked social-ecological systems.

    • A resilient world would consider all nature's un-priced services – such as carbon storage, water filtration and so on - in development proposals and assessments. These services are often the ones that change in a regime shift – and are often only recognized and appreciated when they are lost. Walker, 2008

Why Resilience?

  • Resilience is the most important defense people have against stress.
  • It is important to build and foster resilience to be ready for future challenges.
  • Resilience will enable the development of a reservoir of internal resources to draw upon during stressful situations.

"In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways."

What is Resilience?

Resilience refers to the capacity of an entity or system to maintain and renew itself particularly in the presence of stressors, that is, when the existence or viability of the entity or system is challenged or threatened. Resilience can be observed as a dynamic phenomena in a variety of systems.

What is Ecological Resilience?

Ecological resilience refers to an ecosystem's capacity to withstand stressors such as climatic variations and not manifest major alteration, such as overpopulation or environmental destruction. Here are some examples of ecological resilience:
A willow tree is often the last tree left standing in high winds.
A willow tree is often the last tree left standing in high winds.

  • The Willow Tree demonstrates ecological resilience because of it adaptation to survive via its flexibility - it is often the last tree left standing in high winds or floods. This provides stability to the environment as it protects against soil erosion.
  • Pioneer plants have adapted to take advantage of disasters but also are key in establishing stable, climax forests. The seeds of pioneer plants such as gorse and broom are particularly long lasting and can remain dormant in the soil for a long period of time. When a flood or storm brings down part of a forest, these seeds germinate as they are exposed to sunlight and quickly establish themselves. These trees shade out seedlings from the forest and produce copious amounts of seed to restock the soil with dormant seeds.The forest trees become re-established as the pioneers die off - the forest seedlings need the shelter of the pioneers to survive.

Each of us comes from a long lineage of resilient human beings. If our forbearers were not collectively resilient, they wouldn't have succeeded in passing on their genes. Our ability to evolve and adapt rapidly to changing environments is due to our cultural capacity to change behaviour through memes instead of genes.
- environmental resilience measurement - planetary boundaries

What is Cultural Resilience?

Many human cultures have come and gone, others have survived; the longer surviving cultures can be said to be resilient. Cultural resilience refers to a culture's capacity to maintain and develop cultural identity and critical cultural knowledge and practices (memes). Despite challenges and difficulties, a resilient culture is capable of maintaining and developing itself. A resilient culture engages with other
The Ancient Greek civilization is gone, but many cultural artifacts remain.
The Ancient Greek civilization is gone, but many cultural artifacts remain.
challenges such as natural disasters and encounters with other cultures, and manages to adapt. For example:

  • The Jewish culture proved to be resilient to the challenges of World War II.
  • The Palestinian culture has been resilient to the challenges of Israel.

What is Psychological Resilience?

Psychological resilience refers to an individual's capacity to withstand stressors and not manifest psychology dysfunction, such as mental illness, persistent negative mood or criminal behaviour.
Psychological stressors or "risk factors" are often considered to be experiences of major acute or chronic stress such as death of someone else, chronic illness, sexual, physical or emotional abuse, fear, unemployment and community violence.

The best goal is to try to build a general resilience. Things like having strong connectivity, but also some modularity in the system so it’s not all highly connected everywhere. And lots of diversity.”
Resilience, then, embraces change as the natural state of being on earth. It values adaptation over stasis, diffuse systems over centralized ones, loosely interconnected webs over strict hierarchies.

Stability is a measure of persistence in the face of disturbance. Two components of stability are resistance and resilience. Resistance describes the ability of the community to avoid displacement when a given type, frequency or magnitude of disturbance occurs (Begon et al. 1986). Resilience describes the speed with which a community returns to its former state after it has been displaced from that state. We know little of these attributes. How much stress can a particular community endure before significant changes in structure and function occur? Once disturbed, will the community return to its previous state? If so, what factors affect the rate of recovery? The concepts of resistance and resilience presume the existence of disturbance and transition thresholds. If thresholds exist, the magnitude of stress a system can absorb before changing to a less desirable configuration must be determined. Plant and population attributes which may forecast impending changes must also be quantified so that management can be adjusted to avert undesirable shifts.
The notion of resilience emphasizes the importance of maintaining community structure by maintaining diversity and variability.

Individual resilience

The Human Unit


Domestic economy

Rural revival

A Resilient organisation is one which realises its own potential through nurturing the the ability of those working within it to:
  1. Bounce back from adversity
  2. Thrive on challenge
  3. Explore and reach their own full potential
  4. Have a positive impact on others