Connecting Experts & Communities for Resilience

Communities of all types – towns, cities, tribal nations, regional compacts, and more – face risks from climate variability and change, including changing patterns of extreme weather events, shifting growing seasons, more river and coastal flooding, less available water, and greater exposure to wildfires. They want and need to learn how to reduce these risks and build community resilience – to prepare for and recover from these stresses, minimize disruptions to daily life, and even reorganize to thrive in the face of changing conditions. A wealth of scientific information, data, and tools exists that could help manage these risks and integrate climate variability and change into a broad range of planning, engagement, and decision-making activities. However, many communities are often uncertain how to begin, what this information means for them, and where to turn for trustworthy advice. Smaller, isolated, or historically underserved communities especially want personalized technical assistance and to connect with experts who could help them understand their vulnerabilities and what future resilience might look like where they live.

To help meet this growing need, the Resilience Dialogues uses a professionally facilitated, online process to connect community leaders to a network of vetted national experts and helps them work together to understand risks and lay the groundwork for long-term resilience. These online discussions can clarify local risks and opportunities, share strategies that have worked in other communities, identify the most relevant and useful data, tools, and networks, and build shared commitment to future plans and actions.

The Resilience Dialogues is flexible enough to assist:

  • Local governments assessing vulnerability in their communities while promoting economic growth
  • Community organizations seeking to engage diverse voices in resilience planning
  • County managers looking for in-depth consultation on a focused topic
  • Private sector stakeholders working to safeguard long-term infrastructure investments
  • Public health professionals examining health risks from weather and climate extremes
  • Urban planners seeking appropriate resources to plan for resilience 

Regardless of how the conversation starts, the Resilience Dialogues process ultimately aims to include the full fabric of the community. 

Leveraging the Public and Private Sectors

The Resilience Dialogues is a public-private collaboration that works to build climate-resilient communities through facilitated online dialogues among scientists, practitioners, and community leaders. The American Society of Adaptation Professionals and the U.S. Global Change Research Program work in close coordination on the design, development, and implementation of this effort, along with support from the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange, the Meridian Institute, and other public and private entities.

The Resilience Dialogues is based on the idea that collaboration and co-development lead to better outcomes, whether those outcomes are community resilience or designing the tools to advance community resilience.  For that reason, we invite all Resilience Dialogues stakeholders to contribute to program design and development through twice yearly community meetings.

On a quarterly basis, the Resilience Dialogues team convenes key collaborators and thought leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors who share the goal of helping more communities make progress on resilience.  These meetings are an opportunity for individuals to connect with one another, hear about important program developments, help us think about how to best integrate program feedback, and provide their insights into trends and opportunities in the resilience landscape across sectors.

Support for the Resilience Dialogues is provided by the Kresge Foundation, network partners, and the significant in-kind contributions of dialogue participants and their organizations.