GRI Resilience Roundup Week of December 7, 2020

This time last year, a cluster of unknown pneumonia was identified in Wuhan, China, subsequently progressing into a global pandemic known as COVID-19. Since then, we’ve seen governments across the world scramble to mitigate its devastating impact on life and economy, exposing crucial gaps in crisis management, and overall resilience.

This week’s roundup sees GRI experts from diverse industries share key findings from their resilience research during the pandemic. Their crucial recommendations carry strong policy implications for governments and citizenry, offering efficient and sustainable solutions for post-pandemic recovery.

This week’s happenings:

  1. Bowling Alone or Masking Together? The Role of Social Capital in Excess Death Rates from COVID19
    As we inch closer to a year since the pandemic began, patterns and connections are emerging. This paper, co-authored by GRI Faculty Affiliate Daniel Aldrich, finds substantial evidence between COVID-19 outcomes and social ties. The publication draws on a growing body of work whose findings indicate why some US counties have seen higher (or lower) excess deaths during the pandemic than others.
  1. Power is both necessary and sacred – so what exactly does it mean to “diversify” power?
    GRI’s Director for Strategic Research Collaborations, Jennie Stephens, recently spoke with GRI Distinguished Senior Fellow, Dr. Atiya Martin, Founder of All Aces, Inc., to discuss pathways to create equitable and sustainable systems, organizations, and cultures. All Aces, Inc., is a Racial Equity Applied Learning [REAL] Partner for organizations with a mission to activate consciousness, catalyze critical thinking, and transform capabilities that advance racial equity and build resilience.
  2. GRI Whitepaper Wednesday:
    Developing local business recovery and resilience is essential to ensure holistic economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this week’s #GRIWhitepaperWednesday we highlight the special investigation report, co-authored by GRI Faculty AffiliatesLuis Dau and Elizabeth Moore. In this report, their research sought to understand strategies that could develop recovery and resilience in the New England region. They employed a mixed method technique by conducting interviews in 18 communities across all 6 New England states with stakeholders from the public and private sectors. This report is one of two recently written by Dau and Moore as part of GRI’s Whitepaper Series. Click here to view their second whitepaper, A Global Disruption Requires a Global Response: Policies for building international resilience for this and future pandemics. 

    Bonus: COVID-19: A Practical Approach to Enterprise Restart & Recovery Planning

    In a collaboration between the Global Resilience Institute and D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern University, small to mid-size local businesses and organizations can access at no-cost, a new digital learning course that provides helpful guidance for planning reopening and recovery. The course also identifies special considerations businesses they should evaluate to make their enterprise more resilient in the face of future disruptions.

  1. Addressing power and scale in resilience programming: A call to engage across funding, delivery and evaluation
    In 2020, resilience and resilience research took centerstage. Almost every strategy or agenda included the importance of resilience, seeking out opportunities, and pathways to strengthen the future. GRI Faculty Affiliate Laura Kuhl’s latest co-authored publication in The Geographical Journal by The Royal Geographical Society with IBG, says the rise of resilience provides renewed opportunities for geographers to critically engage with the policy sphere and shape ongoing discourse over the nature of resilience programming. Using three facets, the paper highlights key practical and ethical considerations worthy of further geographic enquiry – focusing on issues of power and scale as concepts at the heart of geography.
  2. What will criminal justice look like in a post-pandemic world?
    Last week saw the final session of the Myra Kraft Open Classroom Fall series. Mirroring the pandemic’s effect on all aspects of life, through presentations and dialogue the series covered diverse topics focused on igniting ideas and building resilience from multiple perspectives. In a recap of one of these classes, GRI Faculty Affiliate and Criminology and Criminal Justice Director at Northeastern, Amy Farrell discussed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic along with the complex issues of the justice system, questions of legitimacy, and racial equality.
  3. Lessons in Uncertainty, Anxiety, and Resilience
    The Anxious Achiever podcast by the Harvard Business Review, rethinks mental health and work with candid stories from leaders who’ve been there. On this episode, listen to journalist Aarti Shahani’s story, where she shares the overwhelming anxiety of a 14-year battle against her father’s deportation, how that fueled her drive for success, and built an unshakable resilience.


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