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Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Zolli , Ann Marie Healy
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $10.46
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Book Description

IN THIS TIME OF TURBULENCE, scientists, economists, social innovators, corporate and civic leaders, and citizens alike are asking the same basic questions: What causes one system to break down and another to rebound? Are we merely subject to the whim of forces beyond our control? Or, in the face of constant disruption, can we build better shock absorbers—for ourselves, our communities, our economies, and for the planet as a whole?

The answers to these vital questions are shaping a new field of inquiry, and a new agenda, focused on resilience: the ability of people, communities, and systems to maintain their core purpose and integrity amid unforeseen shocks and surprises. By encouraging adaptation, agility, and cooperation, this new approach can not only help us weather disruptions, but also bring us to a different way of being in and engaging with the world.

Reporting firsthand from the coral reefs of Palau to the back streets of Palestine, Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy relate breakthrough scientific discoveries, pioneering social and ecological innovations, and important new approaches to constructing a more resilient world. Along the way, they share insights to bolster our own psychological resilience, foster greater stability within our communities, and establish leadership imperatives for more resilient organizations. Zolli and Healy show how this new concept of resilience is a powerful lens through which we can assess major issues afresh: from business planning to social development, from urban planning to national energy security—circumstances that affect us all.

Provocative, optimistic, and eye-opening, Resilience sheds light on why some systems, people, and communities fall apart in the face of disruption and, ultimately, how they can learn to bounce back.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“In an increasingly complex world, we can't avoid shocks--we can only build better shock absorbers. This is a brilliant exploration of how best to do that, told with compelling examples and stories.” —Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, bestselling author of The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More and Free: The Future of a Radical Price

“From biological systems to communities to businesses, Resilience teaches us that being strong is not about doing one thing very well. Instead, it is about utilizing flexibility, redundancy, and variety. In this important and useful book, Zolli and Healy help us all understand the importance of planning for the future, even when it means giving up some short-term gains.” —Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Duke University, and author of Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty

“Smart and sophisticated, this is a landmark work in a new field. If you are part of a system that wants to avoid collapse, read this book.” —David Eagleman, neuroscientist, author of Incognito and Why the Net Matters

“Resilience is mandatory reading for people of all disciplines that will transform how you approach daily global events. Part complexity theory, part psychology, it is a pivotal book for today and a necessity to strategically plan for tomorrow." —David Agus, MD, Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California, and author of The End of Illness



"A whirlwind tour through an idea whose time has come. I suspect that the concepts in this book will define the next decade." —Jad Abumrad, host and creator of Radiolab and 2011 MacArthur Fellow

Resilience is the most compelling book I’ve read in years about how to navigate the accelerating pace of change that characterizes our lives today. More than anything else it maps new territory for leaders whether they seek to impact business, science, national security, or social transformation. Making deeply original thinking both accessible and captivating, Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy have produced a rare and necessary book. The minute I put it down I began rethinking everything I thought I knew about how to make a lasting difference in the world.” —Bill Shore, founder and CEO of the antihunger organization Share Our Strength

"When the next disruption strikes, some will fall—and some, following the lessons of this book, will rise." Juan Enriquez, author of As The Future Catches You and Homo Evolutis and managing director of Excel Venture Management



“Spending time with Andrew Zolli’s mind—that is what you will experience when reading Resilience—provides an understanding of the deep structures that will govern success in the coming century.” Bruce Mau, cofounder and director of Massive Change Network

“Resilience is the most important key to healing a planet that faces the most dangerous of times. More important and far more essential that either sustainability or corporate responsibility. Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy’s new book has arrived at a time when we need their insight and wisdom most. Understanding resilience is imperative for our very health and survival.” —Jeffrey Hollender, cofounder of Seventh Generation and founder of Jeffrey Hollender Partners

Resilience is, quite simply, a terrific book—an important sequel to Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody. The property of resilience is the key to health, well-being, and opportunity in networked, inter-connected, self-organized systems. Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy provide a roadmap to a more resilient world.” —Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, Former Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State

About the Author

Andrew Zolli directs the global innovation network PopTech and has served as a fellow of the National Geographic Society. His work and ideas have appeared in a wide array of media outlets, including PBS, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Vanity Fair, Fast Company, and many others. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Ann Marie Healy is a playwright, screenwriter, and journalist. Her work has been produced in the United States as well as internationally, and her plays, essays, and stories have been published through Smith & Kraus, Samuel French, and The Kenyon Review. She lives in the Hudson River Valley.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag July 26, 2012
Format:Hardcover
There are certainly things to like about this book. I really enjoyed the 1st half. Here you find the main ideas of the book and some fascinating case studies and examples. The second half starts dragging though and quite frankly I would find myself bored. I think here the authors began to stretch their thesis beyond its usefulness. There is a long description of a specific program in Chicago to reduce violence. Apparently it has been very successful but this is supposed to be an example of a resilient community. Instead it is a very specific program aimed at a very specific problem. Way too many details and I fail to see how that describes a resilient community.

I hate to give this book only three stars. However, in the end I was just wishing I would finish it. After a promising start, it ended up less than compelling. Further this is not at all about how an individual becomes resilient. If that's what you are looking for you only need to read a small fraction of the book.

It's OK. Just didn't suit me in the end.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Two stars, one each for readability and for marginally bringing a useful notion to people new to it. Three stars off for inconsistency, conclusions not in evidence and the vague prescription.

The value of this book depends more upon the reader than the writers. If this is your first exposure to any kind of "systems" view of the world, then there's a high probability you will find Resilience to be intriguing and frustrating. This is a book of anecdotes that are supposed to demonstrate resilience and offer lessons; sometimes the conclusions/lessons make sense though they're all offered ipso facto, occasionally though the anecdote may be intriguing, you have to wonder how the story even fits within the resilience topic. The frustrating part is there's nothing actionable. Resilience is certainly a useful notion and there are a lot of "systems" professionals in every field from biology to banking who practice it, some more successfully than others.

Even if you're new to the topic, a better start is Gerald Weinberg's much shorter classic, "An Introduction to General Systems Thinking." And although it may not seem relevant, Peter Senge first pushed his "Fifth Discipline" systems thinking in 1990, revised in 2006; Senge's context is `the learning organization' but he could have called it `the resilient organization' as well.

Resilience is defined as "the capacity of a system, enterprise, or a person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances." The "system" term appears frequently (504 times) and is a fundamental part of resilience but gets no real attention.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written introduction December 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Zolli & Healy bring a tremendous amount of research & erudition to the idea of resilience.

This work is coherently sequenced exploring, for a start, the nature of our tightly coupled world &, while this may be an efficiency maximizer, how this may compromise the construct of resilience. They go on to define what resilience is & then how it may manifest in our systems & closer still, in our lives. Having described then the various aspects of resilience, the final chapter tries to put it all together - a great summary, in my mind.

I'd say the chapters on systemic resilience are rather easier to comprehend - in a comparative sense
- than the chapters on human resilience. But the chapters on aspects of human resilience are much more fascinating. The great quality of this book is bringing together some truly interesting stories that exemplify an aspect of resilient humans or societies. And because of the research, & in spite of the great story-telling, data & information underscore lucidly the achievements of such resilient constructs making the tales more credible.

My sense is that ultimately the idea of resilience, though beautifully described here, cannot be divorced from its context in some sort of a deterministic way. The determinism is limited to the qualities of the resilient system but what the resilient system is depends on the context. I think that such ambiguity isn't necessarily a bad thing, though some of us might expect a more prescriptive dossier.

The authors, I felt, might have lightened up a little along the way. But this remains one of the more interesting & engaging books I've read this year.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep but hopeful in a crisis-laden world August 2, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After reading a bunch of books about the political and economic issues facing the U.S., I wanted to read something that focused on more than just a tick list of discrete symptoms & solutions that might get us back on track. While the term 'resilience' is not exactly a common concept compared to others like 'sustainment,' this book promised to look at how components and people function within systems. Zolli and Healey describe how seemingly innocent decisions made early in varied ecosystems (e.g., fishing coral reefs, sinking wells to find clean water in Bangladesh) have led to eventual disasters and that solutions typically need to interact in unexpected ways to bounce back (or ahead) to a future state that might get individual people, groups, countries, organizations, or our planet functioning again. "Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back" absolutely addresses those issues, but you have to "work for it" to follow the authors' logic and observations that will help to address the disruptions that increasingly confront us.

Given that resilience is not generally discussed, the Introduction goes through a challenging baseline discussion to position the concept. By listing some sample disruptions -- Katrina, Haiti, BP, Fukushima, the Crash, the Great Recession, the London Mob, the Arab Spring -- they help to set the stakes. As they point out near the end of the book, some of these ecological or socioeconomic time bombs may be difficult for Americans to understand because we've been fortunate enough to be largely insulated from fragilities and disruptions that others in the world have had to deal with. "In a world temporarily devoid of consequences, the slow erosion and increasing inelasticity of our political, financial, socioeconomic and ecological systems scarcely seemed to matter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read but a lot to gain.
The content is very heavy and long. Hard to read but a lot to gain.
Published 2 months ago by Chulwoo Aidan Han
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book if you are new to resilience
Good book to understand the implications of resilience in complex systems. Interesting set of examples to explain key concepts. Easy to read.
Published 3 months ago by Rodrigo
4.0 out of 5 stars A sincere attempt to provide a holistic view on resilence, yet so...
On page 4, the author wrote, "We tell such stories to encourage humility in the face of the incomprehensible complexity, interconnectivity, and volatility of the modern world - one... Read more
Published 3 months ago by ServantofGod
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok read
Lots of examples and case studies but I was hoping for something that was a little more technical and had more theory
Published 4 months ago by Cheng Yi Chiao
2.0 out of 5 stars Interested in the tittle and backcover. Kicked out by language and...
Hi. I am very busy. But I have had this in my head and here I am spitting it out. I bought this book in a train station in Germany, instead of wikinomics. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Cesar Malacon
5.0 out of 5 stars if you're a teacher...read this book!
As an educator it's important to know how Resiliency works...if you don't, you aren't reaching all of your students. Pick this book, for he good of your students!
Published 16 months ago by C Muck
4.0 out of 5 stars Good not great
Well written, very good concepts- however the stories are selected to make the point not because they reflect true evidence, since there may be stories to the contrary that aren't... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jeff Cohn
4.0 out of 5 stars Okay read
I did not complete the entire book, but what I read was okay. I thing once you have read one book about resiliency, you've read them all.
Published 16 months ago by Tiney
4.0 out of 5 stars Resilience
This book's fundamental question is: What makes some individuals, groups, organizations, or governments resilient to the ever-changing and frequently disruptive environment we live... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Stan Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book for everyone!
This book is fascinating. It looks at the issue of resilience in the natural world, financial markets, rescue operations, in human minds, in communities and much more. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ruah Swennerfelt
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More About the Author

Andrew Zolli is the Executive Director and Curator of PopTech, a community of innovators from many different fields who come together to share ideas and collaborate on new approaches to the world's toughest challenges.

Under his leadership, PopTech has identified and trained dozens of the world's leading social innovators and scientists; incubated breakthrough collaborative innovations in mobile healthcare, education, sustainability and a number of related fields, and its annual thought-leadership conferences have become one of the most recognized in the United States.

Andrew has served as a Fellow of the National Geographic Society, and his work and ideas regularly appear in dozens of leading publications and media outlets.

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