The Resilience Dividend: risk preparedness - cost or investment?

Rockefeller Foundation Head Judith Rodin offers a blueprint for building resilience in The Resilience Dividend, her new book. Swiss Re Global Partnerships Chairman Martyn Parker is a contributor.

"We live in a world defined by disruption," writes Judith Rodin, the Head of the Rockefeller Foundation, in her new book, The Resilience Dividend. "Not a month goes by that we don’t see some kind of disturbance to the normal flow of life: a cyber-attack, a new strain of virus, a structural failure, a violent storm, a civil disturbance, an economic blow, a natural system threatened. It goes without saying that building resilience is an urgent social and economic issue."

The goal of the book is provide a new template for thinking about resilience and describing methods for putting that framework into practice. Rodin argues that as communities, cities, companies and countries become more adept at managing disruption and skilled at resilience-building, new opportunities for growth, innovation, job creation, environmental sustainability and social cohesion will follow. She calls this "the resilience dividend". It brings benefit to people, organizations, and communities when things are going right, as well as when they go wrong, she says.

Martyn Parker, Swiss Re Chairman Global Partnerships, and one of the contributors to the book, says that the positive emphasis on the dividend approach to resilience building will help to make a difference.  "If we look at systematic risk preparedness as an investment, rather than a cost, we take pre-emptive action.  Investment in building codes to resist earthquakes, and in flood defences, reduces the cost of insuring the remaining risk. 

"I believe this approach could even trigger the next leap forward in terms of resilient innovation and harnessing technology to improve our lives.  City planning, climate smart housing, climate smart agriculture and transportation, with resilience investment will provide dividends," he added.

Parker also says that he's confident the ideas and insights in The Resilience Dividend can help move mind sets and practices in the direction of a more sustainable future.

"My own industry, re/insurance, clearly plays an important role in explaining the benefits of pre-emptive risk management as a catalyst for change and development."

Go to for more information about the book.

Published 13 November 2014

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