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Resilience
Cover of Resilience
Resilience
Why Things Bounce Back

Katrina. Haiti. BP. Fukushima. The Great Recession. Those are just a few of the catastrophic disruptions the world has endured in recent years. As we try to respond to such crises, key questions arise: What causes one system to break under great stress and another to rebound? How much change can a complex system absorb while still retaining its purpose and function? What characteristics make it adaptive to change?

Through original reporting ranging across disciplines including finance, neuroscience, oceanography, and social psychology, the authors explore how in answering these questions, the new science of resilience can help our institutions become more sustainable, enduring, and humane in the face of cataclysmic events. Provocative and eye-opening, Resilience sheds light on the multifaceted nature of change and gives readers access to cutting-edge tools—developed by the leading thinkers of our time—to help us adapt to an ever-evolving world rather than fall prey to its unpredictability.

Katrina. Haiti. BP. Fukushima. The Great Recession. Those are just a few of the catastrophic disruptions the world has endured in recent years. As we try to respond to such crises, key questions arise: What causes one system to break under great stress and another to rebound? How much change can a complex system absorb while still retaining its purpose and function? What characteristics make it adaptive to change?

Through original reporting ranging across disciplines including finance, neuroscience, oceanography, and social psychology, the authors explore how in answering these questions, the new science of resilience can help our institutions become more sustainable, enduring, and humane in the face of cataclysmic events. Provocative and eye-opening, Resilience sheds light on the multifaceted nature of change and gives readers access to cutting-edge tools—developed by the leading thinkers of our time—to help us adapt to an ever-evolving world rather than fall prey to its unpredictability.

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About the Author-
  • Sean Runnette, a multiple AudioFile Earphones Award winner, has also produced several Audie Award-winning audiobooks. His film and television appearances include Two If by Sea, Copland, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Third Watch, and lots and lots of commercials.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 7, 2012
    This intriguing, wide-ranging probe ponders the underlying principles behind whether complex systems of every sort—government, business, social, natural—function or fail. Zolli, director of the global innovation network PopTech, and financial and technology journalist Healy ask: since “olatility of all sorts has become the new normal,” is it even possible to isolate causal factors in an ever more complex world? Their findings emphasize the importance of examining the importance of elemental interconnectedness in contrast to isolating and addressing features individually. To demonstrate deep linkages between apparently unrelated events, they cite the role Hurricane Katrina played leading up to the 2007 Mexican food riots. This is followed by analyses of international terrorism, the 2008 financial crisis, and the ad hoc international effort to assist Haiti following its catastrophic 2010 earthquakes. Indeed, the term “adhocracy,” coined by 1970s futurist Alvin Toffler, is invoked to describe the spontaneous coalition of forces that the digital age makes possible. Throughout, Zolli and Healy commendably avoid simplistic nostrums and note a potential problem: that increased systemic complexity can itself be a source of fragility. And while the measurement and feedback that illuminate a system’s health are vital, even they occasionally bite back. The authors emphasize “there are no finish lines here and no silver bullets,” though their vision is optimistic and should engage anyone contemplating our shared future. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency.

  • Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of Wired, bestselling author of The Long Tail "In an increasingly complex world, we can't avoid shocks—we can only build better shock absorbers. This is a brilliant exploration of how best to do that, told with compelling examples and stories."
  • Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, author of Predictably Irrational "[Helps] us all understand the importance of planning for the future, even when it means giving up some short-term gains."
  • David Eagleman, Neuroscientist, author of Incognito and Why the Net Matters "Smart and sophisticated, this is a landmark work in a new field. If you are part of a system that wants to avoid collapse, read this book."
  • David Agus, MD, Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California, Author of The End of Illness "Mandatory. . . . Part complexity theory, part psychology, it is a pivotal book for today and a necessity to strategically plan for tomorrow."
  • Jad Abumrad, Host and Creator of RadioLab, and 2011 MacArthur Fellow "A whirlwind tour through an idea whose time has come. I suspect that the concepts in this book will define the next decade."
  • Bill Shore, founder and CEO of the anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength "Maps new territory for leaders whether they seek to impact business, science, national security or social transformation. . . . A rare and necessary book."
  • Bruce Mau, Co-founder and Director, Massive Change Network "Provides an understanding of the deep structures that will govern success in the coming century."
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Resilience
Resilience
Why Things Bounce Back
Anne Marie Healy
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