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(1) About Resilience

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

I have first encountered the term resilience back when I started my PhD programme on urban systems’ resilience years ago. Since then, it started to appear everywhere around me.

I saw it being used in discussions about surviving natural disasters, in magazine advices for getting through divorce or sudden unemployment, I saw it in urban development academic discourse, and in the commercials for automobile tires.

Back then I recently moved to another country, with my love and financial life being hopelessly dragged to a very thin ice, and I found comfort in reflecting on resilience framework. As the ice became thinner and thinner, and eventually cracked, my will to be resilient made me more open and responsive to the new circumstances, while keeping the clarity of what my intentions actually are. Sometimes that ability was my only asset. It seems to me that it was just enough, because I did find myself after a while on the firm ground. At the same time, I started to learn about resilience in urban systems, and it sounded like a adequate ideal to steer creation of ourselves and our society.

Like any good idea, this one is simple, but it can be misused and can cause trouble if understood incorrectly.

So I wanted to understand resilience most accurately I could, and not just on a intuitive level. I craved to see the obvious and hidden connections in systems and get a clue on how to navigate them towards resilience. That came out as more complex, and more beautiful task than I could ever predict.

Over those years, it became a common thing to spend many mornings and evenings with my friend in the old viennese coffeehouse by my house.

Those encounters soon began to serve as a glue to the new world-views and knowledge I’ve been absorbing. They were the mediators between my inside and my outside, real and imaginary, between my scientific thought and my intuition.

café Z's window table became a safe place to discuss our dreams, to reflect on our thoughts, to share ideas, to compose agendas, or just to quietly sit and watch life happen.

The conversations between my friend and me were happening in 2017 - 2019, firstly in parks, terraces, and in Cafe Z. I was surprised when I saw how much notes I’ve been collecting from those encounters. Idea to make articles based on that material, whose you can see on this web page in the first eight articles, came from a wish to share the knowledge about designing a resilient system from my perspective, in a way to turn the change in a resource.

Everyday poetry can be found everywhere, one just needs to get that small kick to be able to see it, feel it, hear it and create it. “The time to love is now.”, Leo Buscaglia

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