Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. That word is suddenly in everyone’s vocabulary. Whether it is individual or organizational, resilience helps us withstand adversity and bounce back. The pandemic can be credited for our heightened awareness, but it was just a matter of time before we all got here. The factors described in my Post yesterday describe why: complexity, pace, volatility, unpredictability, and the unexpected. These factors have always been there, but during specific transformative eras throughout human history, they combined in ways that challenged the existing order.
In an example of this wide-ranging discussion on resilience, Ryan Hobert — the managing director for Climate and Environment at the United Nations Foundation — describes the need to enhance the Resilience of our Food systems. A quote from the article captures it well:
Transformative R&D in the agri-food sector can be a crucial vehicle for tackling climate change. Sustainable farming practices can help farmers build resilience against future environmental and economic shocks — and many of them also offer significant climate mitigation opportunities.
Ryan Hobert — Tackling climate challenge through food and agricultural innovation
Many organizations will indeed look for innovation to build resilience. Fortunately, there are several innovations (as identified in my innovation wheel) that hold a lot of promise. Mr. Hobert describes the many benefits to be gained by agri-food sector innovation. Tackling climate change, building resilience, reduction of food loss and waste, higher yields that ease pressure to cut down more forests, reduction in food prices, and growing more food on less land. There are considerable economic and social benefits to be realized as well. The author cites a recent publication finding that every dollar invested in international agricultural R&D yields a $10 return.
The agri-food space is a good example of the Broad Changes that lie ahead. In a world that is complex, fast moving, volatile, unpredictable, and filled with the unexpected, resilience through innovation will only grow in importance.