I think I’ve made what I’m driving at a bit clearer in my own head by drawing some diagrams.
Click the image for a PDF which builds out the model.
What it comes down to is four models of change, which are:
The Resilience Model:
Normal State -> Crisis -> Resilience -> Normal State
Successful Adaptation Model:
Normal State -> Adaptation -> Improved State
The Revolutionary Model:
Normal State -> Crisis* -> Revolutionary Change -> Unthinkable Improved State
*Note that the crisis could include a failure to adapt in the Adaptation model.
Finally, the Pathological Resilience Model:
Normal State -> Failure to Adapt -> Crisis -> Resilience -> Normal State
What I’m pointing at is that there’s an executive function in response to crisis: restore things to pre-crisis conditions using resilience models, or implement revolutionary change. Right now, what I’m not seeing in the dialogues about resilience that I’ve been exposed to is a clear discourse about resilience as an *alternative* to revolutionary change. I want to see a discourse about knowing when to make systems resilient and when to prime them for revolution.
I’m calling this “visionary adaptation” for the moment, but that’s just a hook to hang a hat on.
Florida’s most vulnerable coastline and tropical storms is really the key model for me here: the more resilient those who live there become, the more they’re going to tend to choose to live in a place which is extremely crisis-prone rather than moving to safety. Revolutionary change is move to a safer place. Resilience is about gearing up to survive the storms.
We need a dialogue about where resilience fits into the spectrum of response, and how it fits into system level problems where the drivers for the crisis are not external but internal. I’m going to leave this to sit for a while now, but if you have any thoughts, ideas or feedback on the model, please let me know.