What can the Resilience Dialogues offer to your community?

Communities of all types–towns, cities, tribal nations, regional compacts, and more–face risks from climate variability and change, including changing patterns of extreme weather events, shifting growing seasons, more river and coastal flooding, less available water, and greater exposure to wildfires. It is important to learn how to reduce these risks and build community resilience–to prepare for and recover from these stresses, minimize disruptions to daily life, and even reorganize to thrive in the face of changing conditions. A wealth of scientific information, data, and tools exists that could help manage these risks and integrate climate variability and change into a broad range of planning, engagement, and decision-making activities. However, communities are often unsure of  how to begin, what this information means for them, and where to turn for trustworthy advice.

To help meet this growing need, the Resilience Dialogues uses a professionally facilitated, online process to connect community leaders to a network of vetted national experts and helps them work together to understand risks and lay the groundwork for long-term resilience. Asynchronous participation in the dialogues allows engagement without the constraint of busy schedules or geographic differences. These online discussions can clarify local risks and opportunities, share strategies that have worked in other communities, identify the most relevant and useful data, tools, and networks, and build shared commitment to future plans and actions.

The Resilience Dialogues is flexible enough to assist:

  • Local governments assessing vulnerability in their communities while promoting economic growth
  • Community organizations seeking to engage diverse voices in resilience planning and actions
  • County managers looking for in‐depth consultation on a focused topic
  • Private sector stakeholders working to safeguard long-term infrastructure investments
  • Urban planners seeking appropriate resources to plan for resilience  
  • Public health professionals examining health risks from weather and climate extremes

Regardless of how the conversation starts, the Resilience Dialogues process ultimately aims to include the full fabric of the community.


What does it mean to participate in the Resilience Dialogues?

Dialogue structure & length

Each dialogue consists of a team of 3-5 community leaders, 3-5 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and a facilitator. Teams participate in a series of two dialogues, collectively known as a “Community Dialogue.” The first dialogue, “Framing Dialogue: Climate Variability and Vulnerability” focuses on understanding local climate impacts and identifying key climate change adaptation risks and opportunities. The second dialogue, “Connecting Dialogue: Resilience Planning Resources & Next Steps” focuses on identifying key action areas and next steps, and identifying the tools, resources, and experts that are most relevant to the community and its needs. Community Leaders choose which week to complete their Framing Dialogue and which week to complete their Connecting Dialogue. We recommend scheduling one “off week” in between the two dialogues.

Fall 2018 dialogue offerings:

  • Framing dialogue: October 1-5 or October 8-12
  • Connecting dialogue: October 15-19 or October 22-26

Your Role: Community Leader

The dialogues take place asynchronously on an online platform, functioning similarly to an online chat room or discussion board. You and two to four of your fellow community leaders will engage with Subject Matter Experts via the platform to identify local climate risks and frame localized, culturally relevant ways to think about climate change resilience and adaptation, as well as explore specific resilience questions in a local context. The Resilience Dialogues process  relies on community leaders to contribute necessary community context, as well as their own experiences and observations, to the online discussion. Individuals who are open to learning about resilience, have influence in the community, and are good at making connections among people and initiatives make particularly good Community Leaders for the dialogues. Resilience Dialogues staff can work with you to explore opportunities to engage the full fabric of the community in this conversation.

Time commitment

You should expect to spend an average of one to two hours/day engaging with the online platform while participating in a dialogue. This means that your total time commitment for the Community Dialogue (two five-day weeks) will be approximately  10-20 hours. You can engage at any time of day that is convenient, including evenings. You should expect to spend an additional two hours before the Community Dialogue begins on a team introduction call and some additional on-boarding.


Click here to request a dialogue for your community.