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  6. Resilient Organizations and Wisdom Created in Communities

Resilient Organizations and Wisdom Created in Communities

Ryo Ueda, Senior Research Associate
May 2018

ABSTRACT

Within our present-day social system we are in interdependent relationships by which the effects in the event of a disaster spread mutually between subsystems. To solve this problem, all related parties – multi-stakeholders – must address disaster prevention. This research aims to induce necessary elements for resilient cooperation against disasters by presenting both concepts and examples.

Regional and urban resilience is the ability of multi-stakeholders to cooperate flexibly and to adapt in response to changes in the circumstances caused by disasters, but there are various conflicts affecting the coordination of disaster relief measures. These conflicts arise not only from a lack of communication and an insufficient network, but also from the difficulty to jointly draw common context from fragmented information. This is because of the weakness of our modern engineering which focuses on maintenance and restoration of individual systems. An organism intelligently adapts to its external environment by autonomously structuring the context from the data generated by individual cells and tissues to the form of consciousness and thought. Similar analogies can be considered applicable to society.

Focusing on examples of resilient organizations and wisdom created in communities, what can be seen throughout history is a virtuous cycle where the information and the knowledge are structured, the context to be adapted becomes clear, and an adaptation at a higher level is made possible, by which the collaboration between organizations is deepened and expanded. And the wisdom of a solid and autonomous disaster prevention formed by the historical community called ”Waju” – an area surrounded by an embankment to protect the settlement from flood – lives on in government efforts of the coastal industrial park of today and the common experiences of the major disaster space utilizing new interface technology. Furthermore, as in the biological repair function that maintains the homeostasis of life, resilient cooperation is undertaken unconsciously. It is theoretically considered that this biological principle can be applied to the restoration of society in order to move away from interdependence towards collaborative cooperation through interaction.

A consistent key point is a virtuous cycle where the information and the knowledge are structured, the context to be adapted becomes clear, and an adaptation at a higher level is made possible, by which the collaboration between organizations is deepened and expanded. This writer believes that both self-governing human organizations and the societal implementation of technical systems are necessary, and points out that the institutional infrastructure for self-governance of associations of companies and other entities in industrial areas for working closely with local governments, as well as collaboration among industry, government, academia and citizens to develop advanced disaster prevention and multi-stakeholder collaboration, are important.


The full version of this report is available in PDF format below. This report is only available in Japanese.
Resilient Organizations and Wisdom Created in Communities (3.05 MB )