I was recently asked why I teach creative resilience and the short answer is simple: Because its possible and because I think it’s the single most important skill in the world as it we find it.
This is a world that’s changing at rather extreme pace, some argue that we are in a triple-crisis and on a personal level, many are struggling to combine their values with everyday reality.
That said, there will be no more doomsday preaching from me. I’m a designer and from a creative perspective a crisis is not singularly a bad thing. When the old has just crashed, there’s a wide open scope to do something new, thus making it a fertile breading ground for innovation. What’s more, I believe in people. I believe that if we dare to take ownership a situation, each and every one of us can do something amazing and be resilient within our selves.
But that level ownership doesn’t come natural to a lot of people. Creative Resilience is intended as a breather from the every day to gain perspective, create awareness and –possibly- take ownership.
In the words of Rockefeller President Judith Rodin “Resilience isn’t something that you are born with, it truly is a learned skill that can be developed and it can be practised”. She launched her book “The Resilience Dividend” earlier this year, a great piece of work where she sets out a framework for resilience in five steps: Awareness, redundancy and diversity, integration, self-regulation and adaptation. In that, she acknowledges that resilience is a principle that rolls out similarly whether one is aiming to create a resilient city or be resilient as a person.
Whilst Creative Resilience is divided in subject matter rather than developmental stages, namely collaboration, leadership and strategy, I have a lot of time for the approach and the societal discourse Rodin lays out. If you will humour me with one more mention of crisis, it is to what Judith Rodin says about risk and resilient preparation “it if you are ready in a resilient way, you don’t need to have predicted the precise risk”.
What I try to foster with Creative Resilience, is that one can prepare every day and learn from everything around us by being curious. Have you ever asked yourself why TED works? Why are we all eating, nay even drinking, kale now, when no one was touching the stuff five years ago? What made Ghandi succeed? Why? What? Who made this work? By simply looking at these as inspiring examples of leadership, we can learn a lot, not only about leadership in those circumstances, but about the craft of resilience – and translate it to a personal as well as a societal level.
More on Creative Resilience summer bootcamp here and Nesta has published a nifty little summary from said “The Resilience Dividend” launch, featuring the tweeting thumb and checkered trouser leg of yours truly. Enjoy!