• 04.10.10

Designing 4 Resilience


Today I am attending a conference at workspace collective
in Berkeley that addresses resilience in a shifting landscape. For further
information on the timely topic of design resilience visit:
livestreaming and
for support content. One of the drivers of the conference, Neal
Gorenflo, promotes design for resilience via shared living for
resilience through 



Interesting attendees included several sponsors such as IDEAHIVE.COM (for more on Idea Hive see below)

Design4Resilience Intro:

“It’s all about Social Change, Social Innovation, Social Ambition
Activation in challenging times...”


We are currently understanding:

-1 degree can create mass extinction

-2 people in a garage can change the world

-Collapse or construct conversations going on reveal the ‘Many
Headed Hydra’ of our situation

Design For Resiliance (D4R) – emerged through personal conversations being taken to the
public… to evolve and shape it through cross contribution. Welcome.

Presented: 3 short
framing talks on resilience.

1. Harold Katzmair PhD
and CEO of research


-Thriving where cyclical destruction rules

-Generative disruption and creative destruction

-Capacities to adapt to and shape the changes that are out

-Operate under and respond to those conditions

-Strategies that capitalize through thinking, and action
empowerment/capacity building

• Resilience as Capacity Building

-Uncertain about the future? Let’s be prepared for a range
of futures


-Build resilient networks as strategy to hedge uncertainties

-Don’t know the future but can prepare for the range of

-Redistribute the power to participate in the problem
solving process

-Capacity as resource access and building: Power, money, support and story

• Sciences of Resilience

-Positive Psychology

-Systems Ecology


-Material and Engineering Sciences

-Complexity Theory

-Network Theory

• Capacity to re-invent yourself includes:

-Cycles of change: growth, maturity, back loop collapse, conservation,
new explorations, reorganizations, and releases.

• Features of Complex Adaptive Systems




-And more…. But not the focus here today.

• What blocks resiliency is more important in focus today.

-Lack of resources, willingness and understanding

-Lack of Willingness.

Example of addressing lack of willingness:

Project: Ministry of Agriculture in Jordan. Water


-Began a stakeholder dialogue with farmers. Taking into
account the disempowering centralize hierarchy.

-Dominating mindset of King, Allah or Americans must solve
it, not us, abdicating powers to engage and influence

-Water is not regarded as a commons, nobody then owns the
problem = no participation.

-Centralization (Jordan as symbol of everyplace) as ‘Fallacy
of Power’ that is failing us.

• Design thinking becomes important then.

Stakeholder mapping:

-Evidence based mapping of the situation


-Interjection and collection/connection of influencers

• Types of Influencers to Create A Network of Resilience

-Cross boundary ethnic groups

-Cross scale links, different levels of time and space from
village to government

-Cross-functional roles and types of knowledge links:
innovators, networks, leaders, facilitators, sense makers, investors,
incubators, bureaucrats, and entrepreneurs

• Adaptive Co-Management Cycle

Observation of Resource Issue


Explanations of why this is happening to all

-Policy Alternatives and Ideating Strategies

-Evidence, funding of pilot studies in

-Did it work? Sharing the knowledge.

• Design Thinking Cycle by George Kembel







• 10 Principles of Adaptive Management

-Create frame and story to envision common future

-Create open model…

Harold K Summary


Resilience design is a movement encapsulating a thinking
style. Where is it going?

-In 4 weeks a conference in Vienna is occurring to continue promotion
of bringing resiliency forward.

-Jordan-Model has been applied

-Yemen-Next assignment upcoming


Reliance is not a tech problem but rather requires social
innovation to hedge the risks of not knowing what the future will look like.
Weave cross scaling and cross boundary networks in order to build knowledge and
social memory. Know how stakeholders can be assisted, involved and engaged in
fold networkers… map out the key influencers embedded in structural fold
networks and them be inspired  with
strategies for building up adaptive capacity to learn from tools and work
styles established in design and engineering. Observing, framing, ideating,
prototyping, testing, robust decision-making.

2. Stephanie Smith, Architect and creator of Cul-de-sac
Commune concepts and upcoming book.


Start: MSNBC article today: 1.2 Million Families Lose Their
Homes – think of the lives and families destroyed. And yet people are leaning
on their families and friends and coming up with unique solutions and the
article discusses this…. Contrast this with The New York Times opinion response,  “Relax, We’ll Be Fine”. The Millennials
will move into the suburbs, into a post-industrial village recreation.

Stephanie Smith, has thoughts on that. As an architect she
thinks there is too much architecture in the world. I love that she says that,
an honest statement about her profession that is taking away the starchitecture
approach… She is about using what is there, reinvention and evolution design
that is useful to the user. There is potential in the suburbs because there is
so much space unused so much need, so much to work with.

As a social entrepreneur and architect she has been working

-From Cube to Commune – How to create community in cube land

-Cul-de-sac Commune – Creating and teaching about creating community
in the American suburb which is about Design Resilience and shared futures. She
is taking this year to write the book about these ideas and ideas she has
worked on these many years. See her interview last year on NPR:

“Transformation will happen right where we are. Using what
we have, working with whom we have.

Reintroduction of commune concepts into modern life?
Clearing up the past concepts of commune  needed, commune is simply a sharing of resources according to

What if we removed the cult (ideology of rock, free love
lifestyle) and used this as a typology, simply of sharing what we do and what
needs doing. How do we get there?”

A year ago she started 3 projects along these lines in Los
Angeles. Got neighbors together… Topanga, Hollywood, Rustic Canyon. It was
initially therapy really to resolve the petty issues of so many things we get
irritated about in communities that do not communicate… your dog was mean to my
dog. Hour upon hour. And eventually they took to it. Communal pizza oven? That
sounds get!!! Excitement, movement, engagement and then they each come to a
point: “Is there an iPhone ap for this? I am not up for spending 4 afternoons a
week over and over again with my neighbors… “

Cul-de-sac Commune Project was on NPR as mentioned, it
inspired many across the country to engage. And now she is taking this year to
write the book and to work on technology for this, an ap for this! At last the
iPad is out! She is doing an iPad version with tools all in one place. A year

Since day is also about design thinking, there are four
things she learned along the way around Resilience and Optimism:

1.A Need To Be Contained
and Densified
– For instance suburb is difficult because you want space and
yet ultimately it is too airy, not defined, demarcated. For resilience there is
a need for boundary and more density to continue on successfully.

2. Online and offline
– IN ALL WE DO, both are very important. Instance communication (virtual and
actual bulletin board), mapping (location, GPS), networking (micro-communities
connected) approached so it adds to the real versus take away from it.

3. Productive and
 Not a rock star,
singular design generation coming up. Rather, bottom up design, female not male
is the future model. Wired cover was all about local tech that allows local
success. Gandhi’s village model from ‘Small is Beautiful: Economics as if
People Mattered.’ Her bible from the 70s.

4. Note: Credit was introduced less than 50 years ago.
Stephanie proposes a 3rd
, shared and resource-based economy. Current financial constructs are
victimizing… resource-sharing removes the intermediary creating less victimization.
Stephanie’s role is providing tools to integrate this economy into our daily
lives immediately to get this sharing going.

Presentation End.

Great questions/comments after:

• Individual responsibility and passion keeps us from
collapsing as well. Being responsible within the community as well as the
community responsibility is important.

• Different Drummer idea of Community from Jerry Michalski

False community ideas (left handers, we are a
team…. untrue)

Crisis triggers and shows u this is not true.
Crisis is necessary in order for us to form community

-Crisis Triggers and the Initial Chaos: Two
primary and immediate ways out. Leave or lead us out of this.

-The productive way to create community is crisis
is an emptying out and then beginning which is about entering true community.

The rest of the day includes small gatherings of thinking in open contribution.

Sponsorship, Partnership and Contribution Included Many, Here is Information About

I conversed with Idea Hive member David Hodgson ( on his inspiration regarding sponsorship and purpose:

a majority of organizations are locked into patterns of execution and
are making money via singular execution. To date there has been a great
deal of positive reinforcement for this behavior. As meta shifts occur
and are occurring, what is required is to ‘step back’ to look at the
multiplicity and rich range of future directions to consider what will
be beneficial and what will not.

do you maximize human well being in a time of discontinuous change? We
are interested in exposing those experiencing stress by nurturing their
capacity for resilient adaptation in these times.”

Also member of:

About the author

A dynamic social researcher, cultural narrator, future trendhunter and strategic designer, Jody Turner works and speaks globally via her west coast company and the London group Client engagements have included Apple, BMW, StyleVision France, Adidas, Starbucks, The Gap, Unilever Istanbul and multiple others.