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Themester 2021 – Resilience

"Resilience isn’t just a muscle flexing strength, it’s also the strength to create joy under tough circumstances.” 

~ George Takei, Themester 2017 guest and keynote speaker

Looking at and beyond the current world crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus, the College will partner with the Integrated Program in the Environment (IPE), Sustain IU, and the Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) to present Themester 2021: Resilience.

Resilience is the capacity of a system—be it natural, social, cultural, economic, or technological— to return to its original state or evolve to a new functional state after being disturbed. Resilient systems are diverse and adaptable, connected yet modular, sustainable and regenerative, accessible and equitable. And, they are needed now more than ever.

Even before the current global pandemic, the extent and frequency of both stress and shock disturbance events were accelerating. Impacted by climate change, increasingly intense and more frequent natural disasters, the globalized nature of our political economy, and major shifts in social paradigms, the foundations of human and ecological communities were already vulnerable. Countering these myriad and interconnected disturbances is the capacity to maintain or enhance our collective well-being in the face of dramatic change.

As the world faces monumental challenges, a discussion of resilience has never been more relevant or consequential.