On June 29, 2016, CLARION hosted a pioneering event at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel. A key collaborator, the Institute of Public Administration Canada (IPAC), had offered convention space for a CLARION workshop on the final afternoon of its national conference. CLARION used the opportunity to engage multi-sectoral stakeholders in new thinking around local community response to natural disasters in the form of a game called Resilientville.

Resilientville asked participants to take off their professional hats and behave like community stakeholders. The result was a diverse roomful of people who came to understand that community resilience in the face of acute stress is most dependent on a willingness to work together, an understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and good connections to external supports. Most importantly, all players recognized that knowledge and relationships need to be cultivated before disaster strikes.

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Environment Hamilton, in partnership with Faith & the Common Good and CLARION hosted a day-long workshop. Environment Hamilton's agenda was to discuss how Hamilton, Ontario can enhance neighbourhood-level resiliency to climate-induced, extreme weather impacts, with a particular focus on protecting its most vulnerable residents. 

The workshop generated a plan for a Hamilton pilot project that will serve as the basis of a funding application for future efforts that are scalable to other municipalities if successful, and will be a catalyst to attract national funders/program partners to join the movement.

This meeting is supported by The BMW Foundation. The BMW Foundation brings together leaders from across communities, cultures, and countries to drive Social Innovation, facilitate Global Dialogue, and promote Responsible Leadership.

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It didn’t just rain at the Toronto Annex Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) on Wednesday March 8, it poured!  Floodwaters rose—and this was inside the building where about 90 people had gathered to play Resilientville Canada. Fortunately the rain was brightly coloured confetti and the floods were round blue mats. But the work was very real: the day’s objective was to demonstrate through role playing the importance of neighbourhood level response to natural disasters. With that happily achieved, participants turned their attention to innovative thinking around local disaster risk response and the job opportunities for youth that future weather risks will deliver. Because extreme weather events are coming with rapidly increasing severity and frequency.

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