Adaptive Capacity Labs

REdeploy Conference: Finding Sources of Resilience

In August I was honored to speak at the inaugural REdeploy conference centered on the topic of resilience.

Here is the abstract for the talk:

Abstract Sustaining the potential to adapt to unforeseen situations (resilience) is a necessary element in complex systems. One could say that all successful endeavors require this. But resilience is (in many ways) both invisible and also difficult to locate in concrete and grounded ways. Understanding complex systems cannot rely on simple approaches, by definition.

“Monitoring,” “observability,” “culture,” “management,” “organizational design” … none of these terms, concepts, or approaches can singularly help us in this area. We’ll walk through empirically-supported approaches that do.

I was looking forward to this talk for a number of reasons!

The first is that given the conference is focused on resilience, I had confidence that a majority of attendees were aware that Resilience Engineering is both a field and a community of researchers and that it is only recently that the RE world has come to look critically at the software world. This meant I would have to do less “introduction” material and get to more substantial topics.

The talk’s outline is effectively:

  1. Resilience is found in the sustained adaptive capacity expressed by people
  2. We can’t support, let alone amplify, resilience without understanding “where” it is
  3. Locating sources of resilience is quite difficult, largely because there are some tricky barriers (what I called “goggles” in the talk) to seeing them
  4. Getting good at looking at our work in this way is different than what we’re used to, a bit of a paradigm shift, and it will take some time

Here is the video of the talk: