One thing I miss about working in a council is being able to call the helpdesk whenever anything goes wrong with my computer. So when my Internet failed recently it took me a while to move from frustration to calm consideration of how I could apply resilience concepts to the situation.
I had been talking with a friend abut resilience just a few days beforehand. She gives presentations on this topic and one of her recommendations is to change your perspective.
“Learn to try the ‘180 game’. If you catch yourself labelling something as a ‘problem’, try to swing 180 degrees in the other direction and instead call it a ‘solution’, then really live from that solution perspective for a couple of days.”
Another friend talks about resilience as seeing the opportunities in constraints.
So, the Internet was down, and it was uncomfortable because this is an essential part of how I connect with my clients and the outside world generally. It felt quite isolating, even apart from worrying how I was going to email work to a client the next day.
The opportunity in this constraint turned out to be having absolutely no distractions from the work at hand. By the time I had a new modem, my urgent work was finished.
The Government’s NPS on Resilience (for managing significant risks from natural hazards) is due out at the end of next year. Here’s a link to the initial scoping report prepared by Tonkin + Taylor.
In the meantime, infrastructure strategies are being developed around the country and resilience to climate change and natural hazards is sure to be a key theme in almost all of them.
There’s a lot at stake when considering the future resilience of infrastructure assets, including public health, economic functioning of communities, environmental impacts, and the financial investment in existing assets. This makes it much harder to identify realistic opportunities to respond to future constraints associated with climate change and natural hazards.
However, infrastructure strategies are a great opportunity to play the ‘180 game’ and to seriously explore potential alternatives to the status quo.