Advancing Community Resilience (Cities on the Frontline Speaker Series #10)

Wednesday, 16 June, 2021

Advancing Community Resilience (Cities on the Frontline Speaker Series #10)

“Community resilience is an untapped opportunity for economic growth and long-term investment security.” – Lauren Sorkin, Executive Director, Resilient Cities Network.

Joined by special guest hosts, the University of Manchester, the 10th Cities on the Frontline webinar provides three unique perspectives on the importance of building, scaling, and sustaining resilient communities.

The session begins with a dialogue between Martha Herrera Gonzalez, Global Social Impact Director at CEMEX & ARISE Co-chairperson, and Lauren Sorkin. Herrera Gonzalez provides a terrific perspective on corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and investing in communities.

“Companies cannot succeed in an environment when they do not invest in local communities.” – Martha Herrera Gonzalez

She discusses actions taken by CEMEX to focus on social and environmental causes. For example, the Future in Action program prioritizes climate action and incorporates very ambitious goals for the reduction of CO2. The conversation culminates with a discussion on building strategic multisectoral alliances.

Dr. Duncan Shaw, Professor of Operational Research and Critical Systems, The University of Manchester, then joins the session to offer greater insight into how to build strategic partnerships. He presents seven steps to operationalize Local Resilience Capability. Dr. Shaw speaks about the different vulnerabilities and capabilities that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed about communities and their resilience. Finally, Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy, Director Strategic Partnerships, and Development, Senior Advisor North America, Resilient Cities Network, provides a deep-dive into community development through a finance lens. He presents a tool and guide developed by the Resilience Community Development Finance (ResCDF) Initiative.

Sarkozy-Banoczy highlights a set of resilience principles used in building the CDFI Resilience Assessment Tool. Currently in its testing stage, The Tool is being brought to communities to evaluate its effectiveness. The session concludes with a discussion on how we can best scale community resilience and ensure longevity. All three speakers underscore the importance of beginning at the grassroots level, collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, and communication across all levels of government.

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