DESIS Philosophy Talk #3.1: Cultures of Resilience

14.09.18 Banner Phil talk Cultures of Resilience18th September 2014, Cape Town.
The event is hosted by CPUT in collaboration with DESIS Network

Resilience  (i.e. system’s capacity to cope with stress and failures without collapsing and learning from the experience) is today a widely used and discussed term. Until now, this has been done considering mainly its technical, economic, functional dimensions. This kind of discussions is important, but is not enough. If resilience must be a characterizing feature of every potential future society, its cultural dimension must be considered too: which cultures are coherent with a resilient society? And, in turn, which cultures can promote a resilient and sustainable society?  In particular: how do the meanings of time and future change? And what about the one of development?

Considering the last question, we can observe that the notion of resilience clashes against the one of development, intended as a linear progress towards an “optimal model”. In fact, in the perspective of resilience we cannot indicate optimal models towards which to move. Therefore a new set of questions arises: does the same idea of development disappear? Or, vice versa, should it be radically redefined? Could this development be indicated by the improvement of natural and social ecosystems richness (i.e. their diversity, redundancy, capability to learn from experience)?

These topics will be discussed in the Philosophy Talk: “Cultures of resilience” that will be held in Cape Town, the 18 September 2014, jointly promoted by CPTU and DESIS.


12.30 Opening and welcome (Dr. Chris Nhlapo, CPUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor)
12.40 Introduction of the Philosophy Talk (Virginia Tassinari, Mad Faculty, Genk)
12.50 Design questions on resilience and development (Alettia Chisin, CPUT; Ezio Manzini, DESIS; Mugendi M’Rithaa, CPUT)

13.35 Break

14.00 Philosophical implications of the notion of resilience (Virginia Tassinari, Mad Faculty, Genk)
14.20 Resilience and Development  (Edgard Pieterse, African Center for Cities; Dr. Jamal, CPUT)
15.00 General discussio
16.50 Conclusion
17.00 Closing