GRI Resilience Roundup: Week of November 23

This year’s holiday season is looking and feeling different than years past. Now, more than ever, we reflect on the resiliency of individuals, families, communities and businesses and the impact this year has had on many. This week’s roundup is a curated list of stories representing just that.  

Read about the risks small businesses could face during a second COVID-19 wave, the effects of a lean thanksgiving dinner, why decision-making in post-disaster recovery needs diversity, and how we can strengthen cyber resilience while shopping for gifts online.  


This Week’s Happenings: 

  1. What does the second COVID-19 wave mean for small businesses?
    Small businesses account for nearly half of all private-sector jobs. And when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they were caught unaware, without key resilience resources required to withstand its impact. According to GRI Faculty Affiliate Nada Sanders, distinguished professor of supply chain management at Northeastern, a second wave of infections won’t be kinder. And without aid from the government, many businesses will not recover.  

    Bonus: See GRI’s COVID-19 Resilience course: A Practical Approach to Enterprise Restart & Recovery Planning 

2. #GRIWhitepaperWednesday: Food System Resilience in New England
 Yesterday was officially the beginning of the holiday season in the United States. But instead of traditionally elaborate spreads this year, celebrations were subdued and virtual. Americans are  accustomed to plentiful, diverse, convenient, and inexpensive food, enabled by a nationally centralized food system. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic strained this food system, testing its resilience to disruptions. This whitepaper, one of the 10 sector-specific special investigation reports sponsored by FEMA, was written by Christopher Bosso, GRI Faculty Affiliate and expert on food and environmental policy. Here, he reviews New England’s food system, the impact of COVID-19 on national and regional food systems and offers recommendations for the future. 

3. In the hands of a few: Disaster recovery committee networks
After a manmade or natural disaster, urban planners and rescue agencies rely on the input and guidance from voices within the affected community to build recovery strategies. In a study focusing on recovery planning committees post Japan’s devastating 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, GRI Faculty Affiliate Daniel Aldrich and his team found that residents, women and other interest groups needed to have their voices heard to build sustainable resilience. 

4. Expert Publication: Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy by Jennie C. Stephens, PhD
Professor Jennie Stephens’s, GRI’s Director of Strategic Research Collaborations latest book poses a call to action for restructuring society in response to a crisis. The book’s in-depth review on dives into the many motivations that led Stephen’s to write this book and advocate for diversity in resilience strategies within the fields of Climate and Energy. 

Bonus: See in-depth review about the book

5. Online Shopping Guidelines from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency   
Today is the day to stock up on gifts and good deals – but it’s also when hackers, and online thieves are working overtimeTherefore, to build cyber resilience during a year when our activities are exceptionally virtual, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the United States has released a comprehensive guide that makes actions like online shopping, safer.  

Bonus: Learn about The Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC)  

The CSC was established in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 to “develop a consensus on a strategic approach to defending the United States in cyberspace against cyber attacks of significant consequences.” Our Founding Director, Dr. Stephen Flynn, and Senior Research Scientist, Rob Knake, are credited as Contributing Experts to the CSC. Learn about GRI’s cyber resilience solutions here.