Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Re-posting: From Nick Wilding at Carnegie Trust

From Nick Wilding at Carnegie Trust (also Centre for Human Ecology)
Carnegie UK Trust has yesterday published a book I've written/produced with input from a great many people in the Fieryspirits Network over the past two years.  For immediate use – please pass on to your colleagues

Community Resilience – a handbook based on global experience

The Fiery Spirits Community of Practice has launched a new handbook packed with inspiring stories about how communities are preparing for and coping through difficult times. Beginning with Cumbria’s experience from the floods of November 2009, the book takes the reader on a journey from remote Scottish communities to inner city London, and from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to Ireland after the credit crunch.

The book Exploring Community Resilience is produced by a network of community activists, professionals and policy makers which is supported by Carnegie UK Trust. The network is run by its members who use the Fiery Spirits website and face-to-face events to support each other building more resilient, vibrant communities.

At its heart is a new framework for understanding community resilience, presented as a ‘compass’ to navigate the topic, while challenging communities to examine whether they have covered all the points they need to on the compass.

Carnegie UK Trust Chief Executive, Martyn Evans, says this is a practical guide to help bring the issue out of theory into practice: “Exploring Community Resilience is about inspiring communities across the UK and Ireland – and beyond – to plan for their futures. It is about seeing how people and businesses can work together to improve their chances of coping with challenges that might otherwise damage their economy, their environment and the wellbeing of their people. The handbook offers practical approaches based on real experience.”

The book was written through an actively collaboration of contributors with real-world experience of weathering storms who came together through workshops and online. It sets out to introduce and translates for a lay audience some of the most useful academic insights into resilience, weaving in current and recent media stories to open a discussion about the bigger policy implications of resilience thinking.

Exploring Community Resilience mixes strong design with illustrated case studies and web links to live projects while also offering materials for a workshop that people can use to make sense of ‘community resilience’ in their own context. It is packed with and based on the real-life experience of community resilience pioneers – who actively collaborated in the writing of the document through workshops and online. It weaves in current and recent media stories to open a discussion about the bigger policy implications of resilience thinking, and is beautifully designed and presented, with illustrations, pictures, ‘live’ web links and even a workshop that people in communities can use to make sense of ‘community resilience’ in their own context

Reviewers have said

Lively, easy to understand and packed with useful metaphors and practical tools for applying resilience thinking Community activist (Scotland)

The compass model is very useable ... really beneficial in my work supporting local community leaders Community development worker (Ireland)

Brings home different aspects of resilience ... the section on resilience and creativity is inspiring! Social entrepreneur (England)

Inspiring stories that make the theory come alive – and a theoretical framework that makes sense of the stories Sustainability Academic (Wales)

I love the ‘commitment to bringing people together who didn’t know they needed to meet’ – it’s the guiding principle for the handbook Foundation professional (England)

The book is available free of charge for online viewing at Fiery Spirits and a limited number of printed copies are available to purchase from the same link for £12.50 (inc. p&p).

Also, if there are ways you might be able to help me get the word out (twitter, blogs, e-lists etc.) I'd really appreciate it - very much relying on word of mouth for distribution. I've also a small budget to work with community organisations who may be able to co-host an event on the topic this autumn.

Many best wishes to all

For more information, contact nick@carnegieuk.org and follow updates on twitter @comresilience

For more info or to buy the printed copy (£12.50 inc p&p) please CLICK HERE.

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