This 200-level, topic-driven course takes as a point of departure a research question of regional and international relevance from the Dutch Science Agenda (NWA). For the fall 2016 course, we will take on questions relating to the nature of resilient societies (i.e. societies able to withstand or recover quickly from disruptive events). We will do by conducting practical experiments to observe and test how resilience works, under which conditions it can emerge and evolve, and what potential threats are. Through community fieldwork will study the relation between resilience, freedom, and responsibility. Thus, in a six-week video project and a (overlapping) nine-week action-research project you will develop hands-on understanding of resilient societies.

The phenomenon of resilience calls to mind images of elasticity, and self-organisation. Which cultural notions are at the root of these images? What is the relation between imagination and resilience? In which conditions is a society resilient, and how can it foster its ability to adapt to disruptive events? What can we learn from past cases of resilient cultures in this respect? Is resilience something you can train? How does the natural world adapt and address changing living conditions and what can humans learn from this? Can the world of computer science help us understand the workings of resilience? Resilience and sustainability are core priorities of the Dutch Science Agenda (NWA). In a globalised and networked world, self-reflection, organisational renewal and institutional flexibility greatly determine a society’s evolutionary abilities. The Institute of Open Societies, Utrecht University, for example explores how institutions can help foster cultural resilience. The Hogeschool Zeeland (HZ) monitors and researches how a regional delta can be ecologically and economically resilient1. The European Horizon 2020 Agenda addresses the need for inclusive, innovative, and reflective societies2. How do these theoretical notions play out and interact, on the ground? Welcome to messy reality!

Components and build up of final grade:

Class input and readings


Rick Joosten - spinning workshop.pdf

Adela Hankus - spinning workshop.pdf