Initial Research Around Resilience

Definition of Resilience

  1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
  2. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity

Resilience is involved in almost all systems: ecosystem, agriculture, supply chains, manufacturing, energy, human brain,  electricity infrastructure system, economic system  …  it is the ability of any given the system to function after disturbance.

Origin of the study of “resilience” 

Resilience first originated in Material Study.  It is defined as the ability of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically and release that energy upon unloading.

For example, A steel bar is resistant to stress and is capable of maintaining its form while bearing large loads. But steel is susceptible to shearing and completely breaking. A rubber brick, on the other hand, will bend easily under even small loads, but it’s extremely difficult to snap or break. Moreover, once the load is removed from the rubber, its flexibility returns it to its original form.

Resilience in Different systems

1. System of Electricity Infrastructure:  The ability for an electricity system to recover after weather events such as hurricanes, flood, earthquakes.

Regulators desire a more resilient grid to hedge against increasingly intense weather events, among other issues.

Electric Reliability and Power System Resilience

What ‘Resilience’ Means in a Clean Energy Future

Resilience of the U.S. Electricity System: A Multi-Hazard Perspective

3. Expanding the system — System of economy and community depended on continuous electricity supply. 

community resilience

4.  Ecology system: the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to a perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering quickly.

fires, flooding, windstorms, insect population explosions

deforestation, fracking of the ground for oil extraction, pesticide sprayed in soil, and the introduction of exotic plant or animal species

5. System of Cellular, Biology, and Neuropathology 

“Cellular resilience describes the ability of a cell to cope with environmental changes such as toxicant exposure”

Cellular Resilience 

“Brain has a remarkable self-structured fitness to handle its abilities for modulating cognitive and motor skills after acute insults, during insidious neurodegenerative processes, psychological stress or even along the aging course. ”

Brain Resillience

Resilience in terms human psychology is a type of response to intense stress

Human Resillience

Map the Systems 

It appears that the idea of resilience is relevant to almost all systems. Therefore, as I  tried to map systems, I struggled on where I wanted to focus and how to set boundaries. In Addition, almost all the exiting top around “resilience in energy system” is about resilience in the system of electrical infrastructure, which I do not find myself interested in.

So after spending a lot of time broadly researching resilience in different systems, I decided to take on a different a perspective. Rather than see resilience as a characteristic of a given system, I see resilience itself as a form of energy.   It is an energy that a material absorbs within elastic limits and that is ready to be released.

A good example of this is bow and arrow: When we pulled a bow, we applied intermolecular forces to it and when we release, the energy converts to kinetic energy.


1 thought on “Initial Research Around Resilience”

  1. Excellent. resilience in communities require a kind of elasticity – the capability and resources to “bounce back.”
    Can resilience in communities with regard to environment or other variables also allow them to “bounce forward?”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s