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Resilience Thinking with Rob Hopkins

Resilience Thinking with Rob Hopkins

Rob Hopkins, Founder of the Transition Network, wants to move the discussion away from sustainable development and toward "resilience thinking."

Hopkins argues that without resilience, sustainability is toothless. Resilience takes the conversation beyond low- and no-carbon modes of living; Hopkins explains that "often, sustainability thinking doesn’t question the notion that higher rates of consumption lead to individual happiness; it simply focuses rather on low-carbon ways of making the same consumer goods. Yet as we enter the world of resource constraints, we will need to link satisfaction and happiness to other less tangible things like community, meaningful work, skills and friendships.

"Resilience thinking means that rather than communities meeting each other as unskilled, unproductive, dependent and vulnerable settlements, they would meet as skilled, abundantly productive, self-reliant and resilient communities. It is a very different quality of relationship, and one that could be hugely beneficial to both."

Hopkin's recommendations for resilience?

  • Grow food everywhere.
  • Ask “how would this [development, business, community] function if oil cost $200 a barrel?
  • Underpin new developments of energy, building or food, with the principle of community ownership and management.
  • Identify key local needs and how they can be met more locally
  • Involve everyone.
  • Tell a powerful story. This is a cultural process, not an environmental one.

This blog is reproduced in part from and licensed under the Creative Commons Attributon 3.0 License.

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