Collaborative Innovation Builds Global Social Resilience for Climate Change
Can you recall a time when the need for global social resilience against environmental challenges has been greater? Where global communities are more challenged to harness their talent, creativity and passion to preserve and protect what is most dear in nature? Climate change is forcing communities to assess their readiness for confronting the increasingly frequent environmental disruptions that transform sea coasts, consume forests and take human life.
Remarkably, a dozen years have passed since An Inconvenient Truth was published and there are many global communities that still lack the leadership, process or infrastructure to successfully combat these imminent environmental catastrophes. Global climate change headlines have been generated from places as far-reaching as Cape Town’s drought to Venice’s sea-level rise to the lethal forest fire in Paradise, California. Once-a-century events, seemingly, occur multiple times a year.
Why is this? For many communities, it is, simply put, a lack of visionary leadership. Many elected politicians and administrators are too distracted by today’s “To Do” list to recognize that sea level rise is about to permanently change their coastline and, in the process, make their roads, hospitals, transportation hubs and commercial businesses inaccessible. Or, a nearby forest has produced a looming swath of combustible kindling – ready to explode. And, in California today, millions of people go without power because of the threat of a spark producing the next record-breaking forest fire. (Can a power black-out for millions really be our best defense against this type of environmental disaster?)
What’s a community to do? One proven approach is for the community to tap into the unleashed potential of the community for collaborative innovation. Communities in the US and abroad have had great success with processes that facilitate and foster collaborative innovation. These processes tap into a community’s latent potential for positive change by harnessing the creativity of individuals to envision breakthrough solutions for the future while spawning fresh solutions for the present. Using this approach, the community produces a portfolio of climate change innovations, ranging from incremental to breakthrough.