Overview

The Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University is leading a university-wide interdisciplinary effort to advance resilience-related initiatives that contribute to the security, sustainability, health and well-being of societies.

The research and educational mission of the Global Resilience Institute (GRI) is to develop and deploy practical and innovative tools, applications, and skills to facilitate social and technical changes that strengthen the capacity of individuals, communities, systems and networks to adapt to an increasingly turbulent world. Our objective is to help advance preparedness at multiple levels to effectively respond to slowly emerging disruptions and sudden disasters, both human-made and naturally-occurring.

GRI accomplishes this by facilitating new interdisciplinary research collaborations; working in close partnership with industry, government, communities, and non-governmental organizations; and engaging in external outreach to inform and empower bottom-up efforts that contribute to individual and collective resilience.

What does it mean to be resilient?

“Resilience is the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions. Resilience includes the ability to withstand and recover from deliberate attacks, accidents or naturally occurring threats or incidents.”
     -U.S. Presidential Policy Directive 21 (2013)

 

Why does GRI matter?

Safeguarding societal well-being and prosperity in the face of growing threats and turbulence depends on our individual and collective efforts to enhance resilience.

However, both experience and data suggest that we are not undertaking effective efforts to make this happen. This is due to five critical barriers:

  1. There is a very limited understanding of how to manage the risk of cascading failures associated with complex interdependent systems at multiple levels;
  2. There is a limited understanding for how to embed resilience into systems, networks, and infrastructure;
  3. There are pervasive economic disincentives for investing in resilience;
  4. There are inadequate governance frameworks and policy guidance to foster resilience; and
  5. There is a lack of adequate training and education to support the development and implementation of more comprehensive capabilities for advancing resilience.

Successfully leading efforts to concurrently surmount these five barriers requires multi- and interdisciplinary-research, close coordination and collaboration with public and private sector practitioners, and developing new experiential education programs that will help prepare our future public and private sector leaders.

GRI is organizing and leading external partnerships with the world’s top universities and research centers who share a common commitment to undertaking resilience-related research and education, as well as with national laboratories, public agencies, foundations, corporations, and non-governmental organizations.