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University of West Indies joins the Global Resilience Research Network

BOSTON, MA – October 23, 2019 – The Global Resilience Institute (“GRI”) at Northeastern University is pleased to announce that The University of West Indies (“The UWI”) has joined the growing Global Resilience Research Network (“GRRN”).

Launched at Northeastern University in April 2018 with the collaboration of the Fraunhofer Ernst-Mach-Institut in Frieberg, Germany, GRRN is a membership network of over 30 leading universities and research institutes around the world that are engaged in resilience research that informs the development of novel tools and applications that inform and advance resilience best practices worldwide.

The UWI is the premier university in the Caribbean, serving 17 anglophone countries in the region, with landed campuses in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Tobago, Barbados, and the recently established campus in Antigua and Barbuda, in addition to the Open campus, which has nearly 50 physical locations throughout the 17 countries, offering multi-mode teaching and learning services virtually and at the physical site locations.

As a partner in the GRRN, The UWI will be contributing its world-renown faculty researchers in sustainability, resilience, and disaster risk reduction. These include Dr. David Smith, Coordinator, Institute for Sustainable Development and Director, Centre for Environmental Management; Dr. Barbara Carby, Director, Disaster Risk Reduction  Centre; Dr. Lloyd Waller, Director of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC); and former Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Director and UWI Honorary Research Fellow, Jeremy Collymore.

From left to right: Ian Forrest, Programme Officer II at UWI; Dr. Stephen Flynn; Dr. Barbara Carby; Dr. David Smith; Angie Valencia, Associate Director of Operations & Chief of Staff, Global Resilience Institute.

The UWI will be a key contributor to the GRRN’s Island Resilience Initiative (“IRI”), which is bringing together institutions of higher education across the Caribbean region to support the April 2019 commitment by 18 Caribbean nations and the United States, to develop a concrete action plan as a part of the U.S.-Caribbean Resilience Partnership. This important initiative seeks to identify and implement concrete steps that can bolster resilience across the Caribbean region and inform similar efforts around the world.

Dr. Stephen Flynn, GRI’s Founding Director, met with Ambassador Dr. Richard L. Bernal, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Affairs at The University of West Indies, and Dr. Smith on October 10, 2019 at The UWI’s Regional Headquarters in Jamaica to identify next steps for their joint efforts. They were participating in the 2nd Tourism Summit for the Americas organized by the GTRCMC and the Mona Campus of The UWI on October 9 and 10, 2019.

Professor Flynn stated that he was honored to be partnering with the world-class University of West Indies on this important initiative. “Distinguished scholars at The UWI have been making invaluable contributions not only to our understanding of the challenges that animate the need for improving societal resilience, but most importantly in providing leadership in developing innovative solutions.”

Ambassador Bernal welcomed the opportunity that participating in GRRN provided for deepening collaboration amongst institutions of higher education around the global resilience imperative.  “There is an urgent need to develop solutions that respond to climate change and other disruptive risks in ways that support the goal of building more equitable and sustainable societies.  The UWI is looking forward to being an active participant in the Global Resilience Research Network and in providing the thought leadership and practical solutions to respond to that need.”

The Island Resilience Initiative takes a system-of-systems approach that recognizes the interdependencies amongst the built, natural, and social elements of communities and societies. It is animated by a recognition that proposed solutions that focus exclusively on technological and engineering innovation will prove to be insufficient if they do not also address the social structures and governance systems, tailored to local circumstances.

The UWI engages in research to support the social and economic growth of the Caribbean region and the provision of community service. The University is an established leader in research and educational programs, with research centers devoted to social and economic sciences, geography and geology, gender and development, and many other fields critical to the study and implementation of solutions for societal resilience.

GRRN is comprised of members from around the world that share similar interests in interdisciplinary and applied resilience research and mutually benefit from various collaborations and resources across the network. To learn more about GRRN, visit globalresilience.northeastern.edu/network.

About the Global Resilience Institute

Based at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, the Global Resilience Institute’s research and education mission is to develop and deploy practical and innovative tools, applications, and skills that drive social and technical changes, which strengthen the capacity of individuals, communities, systems, and networks to adapt to an increasingly turbulent world. Launched in 2017, GRI is the world’s first university-wide institute to respond to the resilience imperative. Today, GRI undertakes multi-disciplinary resilience research and education efforts that draw on the latest findings various sectors. GRI works in close partnership with industry, government, communities, and non-governmental organizations, as well as engages in external outreach to inform, empower, and scale bottom-up efforts that contribute to individual and collective resilience. To learn more about GRI, visit globalresilience.northeastern.edu.

About The University of West Indies

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport.

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit www.uwi.edu.