WHAT IS RESILIENCE?

The term resilience also is used in many – sometimes contradictory ways. Here are some examples: 

Resilience is …

·     The noun resilience, meaning 'the act of rebounding', was first used in the 1620s and was derived from 'resiliens', the present participle of Latin 'resilire', 'to recoil or rebound'. In the 1640s, resilient was used to mean 'springing back'.

·     The ability to emotionally recover after a personal or professional set back..

·     The ability of a forest to absorb disturbances and re‐organize under change to maintain similar functioning and structure

·     The ability a business has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people, assets and overall brand equity.

·     The ability to "provide and maintain an acceptable level of service in the face of faults and challenges to normal operation."

Defined for the law of sustainability 

These multiple ways of using the term resilience Goerner, Ulanowicz and Lietaer distilled into this precise definition:

“A system’s or network’s resilience comprises two competencies

·     First, a reserve of flexible fall back solutions to cope with shock, or novel disturbances and beyond that:

·     Second, the competency of adjusting to the novelty needed for ongoing development and evolution”

Example: Resilience of the health care system 

Corona is a shock for a country’s health care system. To be resilient against this shock it has – for instance – a sufficient number of intensive care beds available for patients with serious infections. For Germany Statista reports 33.9 such beds per 100.000 inhabitants in hospitals, while Ireland has a much lower resilience in that element with just 5 such beds.