RECOGNIZING THE URGENT NEED FOR A MORE RESILIENT WORLD IN ORDER TO RESPOND TO A COMPLEX AND RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD, THE “RESILIENCE@UT” PROGRAMME HAS BECOME ONE OF THE UNIVERSITY TWENTE’S SPEARHEADS FOR RESEARCH AND CAPACITY BUILDING.
We live in an increasingly complex and interconnected world in which societal and environmental changes have an increasingly higher impact on our natural environment and human well-being. As the impacts of environmental and societal changes are increasingly difficult to anticipate, we need to strengthen our resilience to these changes.
The interfaculty Resilience@UT programme was established to respond to the challenges of rising disaster losses, a changing climate, inadequate healthcare, and societal unrest, and crime. The programme combines the expertise and interests of its academic community together with that of public and private sector partners to develop and implement a joint research agenda and consequently promote a resilient society.
What is resilience
We view resilience as the capacity of our society and the systems upon which it depends to effectively respond to sudden or gradual disruptions (e.g., earthquakes, flooding, drought, epidemics, violence or crime). This means that when subjected to a disturbance, the affected system may be:
- maintained (able to withstand or resist and is robust),
- recovered within an acceptable timeframe, and
- adapted, ending up in a different condition (which may be more or less desirable).
(Source: Helfgott, 2018, p. 853)
What we do
The university community together with stakeholders and public-private partners work together to identify synergies and promote collaboration that lead to solutions that strengthen societal and systemic resilience. The focus is on the UT’s research expertise but also education, knowledge valorisation, capacity building, demonstration projects and other initiatives. The UT works regionally, nationally and internationally with a focus by ITC on the global South. All these regions provide living labs settings for developing and experimenting with new technologies, methods and tools in real-world settings.
Three resilience themes
Fueled by the interests and expertise of our community, this UT programme is organized around three themes:
Within these three subprograms we:
- examine the needs and challenges in society and systems where a strengthening of resilience is needed as defined by scientific research, public agencies, industry and civil society.
- identify complementary activities and synergies among the disciplines and expertise at the UT, and together with the people behind them, determine how challenges can be addressed and solutions developed.
- team up with public and private sectors to carry out research, education and capacity development to address societal challenges and build resilience.