resilience starts with information
What would disaster look like in your city? ‘Deep Empathy’ uses A.I. to show you
It’s a common observation: some terrible tragedy, inflicted by either humans or nature, takes place close to home and suddenly it’s all that anyone talks about. Newspapers are full of stories, 24/7 news channels dissect every last detail, and all your friends switch up their profile picture on Facebook in a unified show of solidarity. If something bad happens on the other side of the world, however, that’s not necessarily the case. The disaster might be every bit as horrible, or even more so, but the amount of coverage it receives is significantly less.
There are plenty of possible explanations for why this might be the case, but a big one could simply be that it’s easier to relate to events which take place closer to home than ones that happen thousands of miles away. If an incident happens on your street, or in your neighborhood, or in your city, country, or a neighboring country, there’s a higher likelihood that you’ll have some personal connection to it. You might know someone who lives there or has…
Homeland Security wants its employees to learn mindfulness, but is that the best way to build resilience?
The US Department of Homeland Security is the latest organization turning to mindfulness training to help its employees. According to public documents from earlier this year, the department is seeking a contractor to teach a variety of courses, from two-hour introductions to eight-week classes, to help “enhance psychological health and resilience,” as well as develop compassion and leadership skills.
Mindfulness training has swept the workplace in the past few years, and it certainly has its uses — but its focus is far too narrow and it places too much burden on the individual, experts say. To truly build resilience, look to improve the systems that employees are working in, instead of hoping that 20 minutes of loving-kindness meditation a day will do the trick…
What would an earthquake-proof city look like?
Between 1994 and 2013, nearly half a million people around the world died due to earthquakes, with another 118.3 million affected. A further 250,000 deaths resulted from subsequent tsunamis – chiefly in 2004 in the Indian Ocean – and more than 700 from ash fall.
Earthquakes affect every continent, though certain areas – the Pacific border of South America, the western coast of North America and Mexico, Alaska, south-eastern Europe, New Zealand and much of Asia – are especially prone. Though rarer than floods, they can cause devastating damage and large numbers of casualties very quickly. The Haitian earthquake in January 2010 killed an estimated 230,000 people, injured 300,000 and displaced 1.5 million from their homes. It also caused around $8bn of destruction, and its impacts are still being felt today.
These figures may get worse. According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), more people worldwide are moving…