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Bruce Goldstein

Bruce Goldstein

Bruce is Associate Professor of Environmental Design at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He examines how planners, activists, public agency managers and other stakeholders collaborate in response to social-ecological challenges, such as rapid growth in the wildlands-urban interface, biodiversity protection, common-property resource management, and climate change. Bruce recently concluded a five-year study of the U.S. Fire Learning Network., a collaborative approach to restoring disrupted fire regimes across multi-jurisdictional landscapes that was organized by the U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy. Bruce also recently edited a volume, Collaborative Resilience: Moving Through Crisis to Opportunity (MIT Press 2011). That book focuses on how crisis can offer opportunities for collaboration, consensus building, and transformative resilience. Bruce is developing a new research comparing different collaborative learning networks, with a focus on how they build capacity for adaptive and transformative resilience.

>> www.colorado.edu
>> bruce.goldstein@ucdenver.edu

Abstract

Resilience Through Collaborative Storytelling

How can communities enhance social-ecological resilience by telling stories that build on their shared experience and meaning? I describe two narratives that are at the core of efforts to reintegrate the Los Angeles River into the life of the city and the U.S. Fire Learning Network’s efforts to address the nation’s wildfire crisis. In both cases, partially-shared stories about alternative futures foster critical learning and facilitate coordination without imposing one set of interests on everyone. I suggest that narratives are a way to express the subjective and symbolic meaning of resilience, enhancing community’s ability to engage multiple voices and wrestle with the core questions of what should be made resilient and for whose benefit.

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