Resilience has become a buzzword in many different areas of research, but it is often defined differently depending on the discipline or approach being used. We therefore want to start a discussion about what exactly is meant by resilience, particularly when it is used to refer to communities. This could be in a broad sense, from communities at risk of specific natural hazards, to communities of practice or groups of individuals within a wider institution.

We aim to bring early career researchers together to discuss the concept of community resilience, and broaden our understanding in addressing questions such as:

  • What are the characteristics that make a community resilient?
  • How can those characteristics be developed or built by individuals within those communities or by the community as a whole?
  • Is it possible to facilitate resilience building as an external actor, in the shape of an NGO, institution, or government?
  • Is resilience always a good thing? Why or why not?

This initiative aims to bring together a community of scholars that have a common interest in resilience but are dispersed across schools, to discuss the concept of resilience in the context of community development. Consisting of an initial series of informal discussions, we aim to introduce the concept of community resilience, begin to operationalise it through a systems approach, and lay out a plan for future development of research activities within the group.

Event programme

Our initial programme will consist of six discussion sessions, taking place in U006 (Brockington Extension) on the following dates:

  • 16.00 Thurs 10th Nov Community Resilience Introduction
  • 16.00 Thurs 17th Nov What does resilience mean to you?
  • 16.00 Thurs 24th Nov What does community mean to you?
  • 16.00 Thurs 1st Dec How do you facilitate and evaluate community resilience?
  • 16.00 Thurs 8th Dec Is resilience always a good thing?
  • 16.00 Thurs 15th Dec Concluding review and next steps

You do not have to attend all sessions (though you are more than welcome to!), but we hope to capture the discussions in each session, with a view to working towards a project output that can be used to demonstrate what we mean by the term “community resilience”. This may take the form of a paper, blog post, short video, or other format that can be decided on by those interested in supporting its development. If you would like to support the output, please do let us know, and we can develop a plan for dissemination throughout the sessions.

Following the initial run of discussion group sessions we aim to promote our finalised output with a dissemination session at both the Loughborough and London campuses, where other students can give further input.

Further information

If you would like any further information on the community resilience discussion groups, please contact George Foden or Chukwudi Ogunna.