Facilitate Infrastructure Resilience

Facilitate Infrastructure Functionality, Continuity, & Resilience

The subject of facilitating infrastructure functionality, continuity, and resilience is as complex as that of increasing economic resilience, and obviously further complicated as all things are by the massive, overwhelming, ubiquitous catastrophe that is a worldwide pandemic.

This page is a discussion rather than a tutorial.  On a subject so complex, it's the best way to get to a few of the key points relevant to our overall work on this site - to helping us find our way through this pandemic, and to transform our country as we make our way through.

Intro To How Bad A Pandemic Can Be

As the founder here, I will start with a personal perspective.  It reads more like a blog post, but hey.  We're informal here; if not deadly serious.

The first time I did pandemic planning was sometime in the fall/winter/spring of 2005-2006.  We were in a post-Katrina world, and I was brand-new to the US Department of Homeland Security, having transferred over from another federal department after the hurricane to the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection (OIP).  Our office was responsible for coordinating critical infrastructure protection and resilience for the entire US, through a framework of partnerships, policy, interagency coordination, coalition- and relationship-building, and public private partnerships.

In the federeal paradigm, there are 16 critical infrastructure sectors.  They cover things like energy, health and medical, emergency services, agriculture and food, postal and shipping, commercial facilities, and so on.

We did pandemic planning work in the dusty, nasty, crowded, too-loud SCIF we were all crammed into for our daily work as DHS stood up in a very freshly post-9/11 world.  For reference, a SCIF is a classified environment with certain security protocols to protect some of the most highly classified information.  Since space was at a premium, the place was tight.  The brand-new not-so-shiny DHS headquarters had moved into a turn-of-the-century-before Navy facility, and the facilities were not up to par for our power and security needs.  In a SCIF like ours, each workstation ran 3 computers, so we had a gigantic supplemental HVAC blower in the middle of every space and meeting room that made it very hard to hear.  Every group meeting was cramped, and seemed to involve a lot of yelling.  Unlike on the sexy TV shows where federal employees can discuss classified information openly in friendly open spaces with great window views and random walk-ins, this environment featured dark olive window coverings over heavy brown window blinds, and cockroaches that came out during the day.

All of which was maybe a fitting introduction to How Bad A Pandemic Could Be.  That wasn't the official name of our pandemic planning process, but that was the point.

My takeaway from that work was that there was no way the US government or the private sector would ever do all of the things that could help make a pandemic less bad, but that there were some steps we could take to keep everything from going completely to hell.

One of the zones for that is in infrastructure.  We can help make a pandemic less bad by facilitating infrastructure functionality, continuity, and resilience. 

There's no simple 1-2-3-step process for how to do that.  In reality, it's a whole realm, discipline, and set of policies.  It's not some secret squirrel thing run by the federal government either, although there are a few classified aspects.  It's more like a highly complicated patchwork of publicly and privately owned infrastructure in every town, county, tribal area, city, and state in this country.

Shifting Funding & Resources to Facilitate Infrastructure Continuity

There is critical infrastructure where you are, or maybe you work in it.  Your city no doubt runs some of it, but quite a bit is run by the private sector.  Each and every thing that is critical infrastructure should have continuity and pandemic planning as part of its operations.  Every aspect of those plans and procedures should be funded as one of the highest priorities for that organization. 

Businesses whose sole purpose is infrastructure have different motivations than municipalities, however, their resources are not unlimited just because they can charge for their services.  As a pandemic persists, some will have less income as people simply fail to pay - but the government may require the infrastructure to remain on for the duration of the emergency.  Which is a nice idea, but unlikely to last if, say, a power company goes bankrupt and there is no backup plan.  The federal government has so far bailed out certain non-critical (to pandemic response) infrastructure industries... will they need to bail out power and gas companies in a few months?

Here's a municipal question.  If you live in a city with a municipal electric plant, for example, hopefully your city has started cross-training employees, and shifting funds around to make sure that infrastructure is staffed and funded for the foreseeable future, even given the city's anticipated tax revenue loss to economic impacts.  If your city is still funding non-critical services like mowing parks, you might have city leadership that is not paying attention to reality.  Designate certain city park spaces as community gardens, and shift employees to learning to operate critical infrastructure or to producing critical supplies or equipment.

On the subject of materiel, infrastructure owners and operators in either the public or private sectors need access to PPE and testing capacity for continuity purposes.  In this current pandemic, the US government continues to not facilitate production of PPE, tests, and other medical supplies and equipment.  That will not just affect first responders and health professionals. 

PPE and testing shortages will also affect the continuity and functionality of critical infrastructure.  Infrastructure interruptions and failures lead to cascading effects.

Interdependencies & Cascading Effects

One of the most important concepts that came out of that early pandemic planning work for me is 1) every one of our systems and almost all of our infrastructure have interdependencies, and 2) when there is a failure or interruption in any critical infrastructure system or point, there will likely be cascading effects. 

This happens every disaster, but usually on a small or moderate scale.  In a ubiquitous disaster like a pandemic that touches absolutely everything, those cascading effects are going to be myrid.  And they're going to be spectacular.  Those cascading effects will cause more cascading effects.  It's systems theory.  There will be feedback loops.  Some crazy stuff is likely.  Add in the infectious disease itself that follows exponential growth models and you've got a real mess.  Add in human nature, science denial, irresponsible counterproductive public health non-actions, dysfunction, corruption, ill-intent, and politics, and we've got some serious bad stuff coming.  But I digress.

Interdependencies & Cascading Effects:  An Example

Here's an example of interdependencies and cascading effects.  Let's say you have a hypothetical water plant in a mid-sized city, and the infection gets to workers somewhere in the middle of the pandemic. 

By this point, cities are already running tight on cash, because tax revenue is down due to closures.  Water plant staff not hospitalized or quarantined do a local plant-based lockdown to limit risk; bringing in cots and staying on-site.  However, the virus is already in the group, and continues to spread.  Municipal water systems have a good mutual aid system, so mutual aid is requested.  The requesting city is tight on funds and other cities know it, so they are reluctant to send their critical water plant employees to a known-infected facility, especially when they may not get reimbursed by the requesting city.

The federal government has not yet (in the real world) sent funds to local government agencies for these kinds of situations, and so the hypothetical local government in this example may not be able to get help to run this critical piece of infrastructure. 

If the water plant fails, then what?  Well, for starters, hospitals will have more limited water, as will fire departments - both critical infrastructure sectors.  Grocery stores and other food distributors are designated as critical infrastructure in a pandemic, and they too will not be able to remain open with no running water.  And then there is the GLARING PROBLEM OF EVERYONE IN TOWN NEEDING RUNNING WATER BECAUSE OF THE INFECTIOUS DISEASE.  After all, one of the major number one public health recommendations in this current pandemic is to wash your hands.

^^  That scenario above is imaginary.  Less so now, because it's actually quite possible that exactly that that scenario could unfold in a city near any one of us in the next few months - especially as most states are "reopening" despite rising spread rates. 

We talk a lot during the current real-world pandemic about staying home and minimizing spread to protect our healthcare workers and first responders and also to not overload hospital capacity - but we would be super wise to also minimize spread to help keep critical infrastructure functioning.

Infrastructure Functionality

Most of this page so far has address infrastructure continuity and a bit on resilience - especially as it relates to this pandemic.  As has been noted - everything on this subject is complex and broad, and too tricky to summmarize into a nice website page.

Infrastructure functionality is worth mentioning here separately.  It's not the same as continuity.  Continuity is keeping it running.  Functionality is having it in the first place, and for the foreseeable future.  It's having infrastructure that isn't crumbling; that wasn't built a century ago.  It's having infrastructure that serves an evolving society, too, like how the internet has suddenly become so much more vital - yet it's not infrastructure that everyone has access to.

There's a lot of big talk here early in the pandemic about how "recovery" plans should be all about infrastructure investment.  That sounds great, but given the congressional track record for strategy for, say, the last 20-30 years, it's hard to see them coming up with strategic investments to facilitiate the kind of infrastructure functionality that we, the citizens, want and need.

How do we get to that?

We can start by talking about what we want to see in our infrastructure, and also looking at priorities and access to it - as well as assessing where our vulnerabilities are now.  It's all systems stuff - so it's about creating, building, and evolving resilient systems, too.  How much would shorter supply chains impact different infrastructure sectors?  If we transform sectors like agriculture to facilitate increased domestic food resilience or sustainability, how will the needs of other sectors like transportation change?

Ways Forward

The lists could go on and on.  The point here is to plant some ideas, because again, as we navigate this massive disruption, we will be transforming, too.  We're going to be iterating, problem-solving, and evolving this whole time.  Might as well put some long-term strategy and intenton into it, too.

Awareness and exploration of possibilities can help us make better decisions when opportunities for making big pivots arise.

Here's an example. 

This may be the best example I've seen yet of how we could transform energy use in this country to mitigate climate change.  It's well beyond the provisions of the "Green New Deal" supported generally across the Democratic party.  It's more aggressive, but it's also a paradigm shift.  It's structured to bring the kind of change that car loans and mortgages brought to the twentieth century - essentially creating the middle class.  This is a very different thing, but with similarly large-scale or perhaps evern more ubiquitous transformational implications.  There's something to this:

One of the ways we can get to the kind of vision from Dr. Griffith in the "Electrify Everything" piece is political action and advocacy.  Civic engagement can help, too.

Closing

Part of getting through this crisis is going to be holding the line; keeping institutions functional and intact.

Another critical part of getting through this is going to be keeping the infrastructure functional, intact, runnning, and resilient. 

Neither is a small feat; nor will be evolving and iterating institutions and infrastructure as we can and as we need to during this crisis. 

We've got a long way to go.  The information on this page is intended to help with your own decision-making, action, problem-solving, and resilience.  We're all in this together.

For more on infrastructure functionality, continuity, and resilience, check out the blog posts and resources below, or check out more inspirational material like this on the Focus Area page.

infrastructure
Why
1776

"1776 is a global incubator and seed fund helping startups transform industries that impact millions of lives every day - education, energy & sustainability, health, transportation and cities."

Appropriate Collusion: Organizing the Other Side

A Seth's Blog post about partnership, collusion, and "organizing the weaker side." Written for the example of Amazon's search for a new city for a second HQ, with interesting perspective for economic development and visions we want for our communities.  Also helpful for the #opposition and #resistance.

BOOK: A New Species of Trouble, by Kai Erikson

"A New Species of Trouble:  Explorations in Disaster, Trauma, and Community," by Kai Erikson.  From the book jacket:  "In the stories and feelings of the victims of these disasters, the author finds striking similarities.  Fear, self-doubt, the erosion of a sense of security - the author finds these too among people who have suffered prolonged homeless-ness.  These human experiences, the author says, add up to a form of trauma extending not just to individuals but to whole communities... The author shows how risks to indiviuals and the social fabric have heightened in the modern age.  The seven gripping accounts in this book are his impassioned pleas that we recognize this new species of troube and do more to protect people from it."

BOOK: Beyond the Storms, by Dane S. Egli

"Beyond the Storms," Strengthening Homeland Security and Disaster Management to Achieve Resilience," by Dane S. Egli.  Also see this USA Today article.

BOOK: Citizen You, by Jonathan Tisch

"Citizen You:  Doing Your Part to Change the World," by Jonathan M. Tisch.  The author's introduction to the book is in this article, and a one-page PDF interview is available here.

BOOK: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

"Collapse:  How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," by Jared Diamond.  A TED talk is available here, and posted to videos.

BOOK: Depletion and Abundance, by Sharon Astyk

"Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Homefront - or, One Woman's Solutions to Finding Abundance for Your Family while Coming to Terms with Peak Oil, Climate Change, and Hard Times," by Sharon Astyk.  A Sharon Astyk blog is here.  Check out this book review from homestead.org.nnHere is an excerpt from another review at The Blogging Bookworm, "Astyk's book is a reminder of the power of individuals to make a difference in the world during times of crisis. In New Orleans in 2005, it was Hurricane Katrina. Now we face... climate chaos, war, and energy depletion... People are struggling to hold on to their homes, to pay for their groceries, to know what to do next...  If you are like me, this book will make you rethink your assumptions about population, about the separation of public and private, about the global impact of creating local economies. As Green Bean said in her recent review, Depletion and Abundance is both troubling and reassuring. It will make you have moments of panic and it will also make you commit to creating a just and meaningful life."  The Blogging Bookworm review author says "I finished the book with a feeling not only of hope, but also with a feeling of radical responsibility."

BOOK: Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

Get a FREE PDF of this book at the link above.  More about the report and initiative at this site: Disaster Resilience in America: Launching A National Conversation.

BOOK: Everybody Matters, by Mary Robinson

"Everybody Matters:  My Life Giving Voice," by Mary Robinson.  Also see the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice website.

BOOK: Stress-Free Sustainability, by Adam Hammes

"Stress-Free Sustainability:  Leverage Your Emotions, Avoid Burnout, and Influence Anyone," by Adam Hammes, an Iowa author based in Des Moines.  Interview here.

BOOK: The 9/11 Commission Report

"The 9/11 Commission Report:  Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States."

BOOK: The Big Pivot, by Andrew S. Winston

"The Big Pivot:  Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World," by Andrew S. Winston.  See video also at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxYKO7oICiw.

BOOK: The Edge of Disaster, by Stephen Flynn

"The Edge of Disaster:  Rebuilding a Resilient Nation," by Stephen Flynn.  A cornerstone book to resilience thinking in the United States.  Review by Paul Stockton from Homeland Security affairs.  Reference to the book from the Council on Foreign Relations.

BOOK: The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding

"The Great Disruption:  Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World," by Paul Gilding.  This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint.  From the author's website:  "It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding.  We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable.  This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps.  It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints.  We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources.  The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message.  The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer:  compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability."

BOOK: The Power of Resilience, by Yossi Sheffi

"The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected," by Dr. Yossi Sheffi of MIT.  An excerpt from the website summary:  "The interconnectedness of the global economy today means that unexpected events in one corner of the globe can ripple through the world’s supply chain and affect customers everywhere.  In this book, Yossi Sheffi shows why modern vulnerabilities call for innovative processes and tools for creating and embedding corporate resilience and risk management.  Sheffi offers fascinating case studies that illustrate how companies have prepared for, coped with, and come out stronger following disruption."

BOOK: The Primes (+ videos, website)

From author Chris McGoff in Part 1 of the book:  "How do some people, organizations, and coalitions thrive in uncertain times?  What enables them to appear so certain and take decisive action amid ambiguity about the future?"  The PRIMES website says "The PRIMES are universal patterns of group behavior that outfit you to work with any group to solve any problem - especially the big ones."  The PRIMES book notes "... Here's the deal.  Almost all the tame problems have been solved.  We get to solve the wicked problems.  Wicked problems affect a lot of peple and it takes a lot of people, all with their own agendas, to collaborate and solve them. ... The people who, amid uncertainty, successfully lead large problem-solving groups share these characteristics.  First, they are clear about what they are up to and how they spend their precious time.  Second, they are intentional and willing to go first.  Finally, they have mastered the art of enrolling others to join them."  The PRIMES website also has short videos and info about each of The PRIMES.  Another core counterfear resource is Chris McGoff's TEDx Rock Creek talk on "Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk."  The author's company The Clearing has done significant work on wicked problems in many counterfear focus areas.

BOOK: The Resilient Enterprise, by Yossi Sheffi

"The Resilient Enterprise:  Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage," by Yossi Sheffi.  Also check out this video.

BOOK: The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein

"The Shock Doctrine:  The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," by Naomi Klein.

CARRI - Community & Regional Resilience Institute

The Community & Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI) "strengthens our national resilience by assisting communities in understanding their vulnerability, taking positive collective actions to limit the impact of disruptive crisis, and recovering rapidly from disaster of all kinds."  CARRi is now part of a non-profit based in Washington, DC, and was originally funded by the US Department of Homeland Security and housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Cybersecurity in Your Neighborhood: Partnerships

"Cybersecurity in Your Neighborhood: Why Public-Private Partnerships Matter."  Event transcript available here.

Disaster Resilience in America (NAS)

Disaster Resilience in America:  Launching a National Conversation.  A National Academy of Sciences Initiative.

Disaster Resistant Communities Group

"The Disaster Resistant Communities Group was established to provide a host of disaster planning and preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation services to local, regional, state and national agencies and departments as well as community and faith based organizations."  Excellent resource, including for free training and exercises.

FIT: Field Innovation Team

"FIT empowers humans to create cutting-edge disaster solutions... FIT uses a three-step design process to help communities understand the core issues and needs that are not being addressed in a given crisis. Communities are then self-empowered to tackle issues related to disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response, recovery, climate change, and sustainable resiliency... FIT practices co-creation and open source solution sharing to increase community resilience and change the world, one neighborhood at a time."

FS-ISAC: Financial Serv. Info Sharing/Analysis Ctr

Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC):  "The only industry forum for collaboration on critical security threats facing the global financial services sector.  When attacks occur, early warning and expert advice can mean the difference between business continuity and widespread business catastrophe.  Members of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) worldwide receive timely notification and authoritative information specifically designed to help protect critical systems and assets from physical and cyber security threats."

ISACs: Information Sharing & Analysis Centers

"Sector-based Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) collaborate and coordinate with each other via the National Council of ISACs (NCI). Formed in 2003, the NCI today comprises 24 organizations designated by their sectors as their information sharing and operational arms. The NCI is a true cross-sector partnership, providing a forum for sharing cyber and physical threats and mitigation strategies among ISACs and with government and private sector partners during both steady-state conditions and incidents requiring cross-sector response. ...Council members are present on the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) watch floor, and NCI representatives can embed with National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC) during significant national incidents."

MOVIE: The Lego Movie

I was not expecting this to be probably the most profound movie I've ever seen - well beyond something like Star Wars (all eight) meets The Matrix (the first one).  Also hilarious.  Awesome #Team stuff.  Here's a link to the official trailer for this movie.

This is an anchorpoint for the time that is now.  This story follows the classic Hero's Journey.  No spoilers, but this is the key to what we need. 

Myth is a powerful tool, and this movies serves as an incredibly powerful myth, parable, inspiration, and model for our time.  It is unexpectedly good, and powerful on many levels... the family elements, parenting, the spiritual, life itself, the power of teamwork, leveraging creativity, vision, dreaming, realizing, and the challenge and way forward for effective problem-solving, at scale.  And of course, "Everything is Awesome."

If there was one movie that represents where we can go and who we can be in this amazing time of challenge - this is it.  This is how we navigate disruption, find a way forward, and counterfear.  Who would have thought?

MUSIC: Everything is Awesome - from The Lego Movie

Theme song from The Lego Movie.  Intro lyrics from Google Play:  "Everything is awesome / Everything is cool when you're part of a team / Everything is awesome when we're living our dream / Everything is better when we stick together / Side by side, you and I gonna win forever, let's party forever / We're the same, I'm like you, you're like me, we're all working in harmony..."

Professor Yossi Sheffi's Blog at MIT

According to his MIT bio, Dr. Yossi Sheffi is "an expert in systems optimization, risk analysis, and supply chain management, which are the subjects he teaches and researches at MIT."  He has published two excellent books on resilience:  The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected, and The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage.

Resilience Circles - Small Groups for Tough Times

From the website: "Small groups of 8-15 people can form Resilience Circles for learning, mutual aid and social action. Circles are a great way to form community, build resilience, and have fun." 

Resilience.org

Fantastic go-to spot for resilience resources, news, and organizations.

Resource Generation

Mission:  "Resource Generation organizes young people with wealth and class privilege in the U.S. to become transformative leaders working towards the equitable distribution of wealth, land and power."  This organization looks like an amplifier and a change agent.

Spontaneous Volunteer Leads At Hurricane Shelter

"An Unlikely Hurricane Hero Takes Over Chaotic Texas Storm Shelter."  News story about a man with no background or training who spontaneously led operations at a shelter during Hurricane Harvey in Texas.  Excellent example of real-life Heroic Improv.  As a fire chief friend says, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."  Anyone can lead.

Synergos

"Synergos is a global nonprofit organization that brings people together to solve complex problems of poverty.  We work on issues such as health, nutrition, agriculture, and youth employment - creating opportunities for individuals and communities to thrive.  Systemic change requires collaboration. Solutions to poverty are often built in silos - and therefore fail. Governments, civil society, nongovernmental organizations, corporations, marginalized communities, and other participants in systemic change must work together - not in silos - to achieve long-term solutions to poverty around the world.  Synergos creates, promotes, and sustains collaborations among business, government, civil society, and marginalized communities around the world.  We foster successful collaborations by building trust, designing and implementing change processes, and enhancing the effectiveness of bridging leaders and institutions.  Our advantage is an approach that builds trust among partners so they can create solutions together, rather than imposing top-down solutions."

The Dream Corps

"The Dream Corps was founded by Van Jones in 2014 to help cutting-edge initiatives grow big enough to impact millions of lives.  Our slogan is '21st-century jobs, not jails.'  We support economic, environmental and criminal justice innovators - all under one roof.  Our shared platform helps leaders create synergies, leapfrog obstacles and maximize impact.  Every day, we are reshaping 'what’s possible' in the field of social justice.  The Dream Corps finds aspiring leaders who have the courage and determination to tackle America’s toughest challenges.  Then we connect them to world-class partners, smart digital tools and national media platforms to help them succeed.  We back initiatives that close prison doors and open doors of opportunity."  Current work is on three programs, described on the "About" page.

VIDEO: Realm of Your Highest Impact & Risk - TEDx

"Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk:" Chris McGoff at TEDxRockCreekPark.  This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint, because it is a rare, short look at what we need to do to solve wicked problems.  Also check out Chris McGoff's website and book "The PRIMES," another posted Counterfear resource.  The website has videos and a summary of each of the PRIMES.

VIDEO: TED Talks

TED Talks are a great source for video inspiration, and many have gone viral.  Check out TED.com or a smaller, local TEDx near you for more.  From the site:  "TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).  TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics - from science to business to global issues."

VIDEO: The Big Pivot, based on book by same name

Video on "The Big Pivot - Whiteboard Animation," 3:12 min.  Based on book by the same name, by Andrew Winston:  http://www.andrewwinston.com/books/.

VIDEO: The Edge of Disaster, with Stephen Flynn

Excellent video summary of the book, posted 3/2011: "Author and leading security expert Stephen Flynn discusses The Edge of Disaster Rebuilding a Resilient Nation with Patricia Gras on a HoustonPBS the Connection Special. Are we vulnerable to disaster, terrorism or acts of God? Is America living on borrowed time? His book is a wake up call demanding that we shake off our denial and sense of helplessness and start preparing immediately for a safer future."  See Counterfear Toolbox book resource link for book reviews.

VIDEO: The Resilient Enterprise, with Yossi Sheffi

"The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage," with Yossi Sheffi, recorded 11/2005.  Sound is a little wonky partway through but improves through end.  See Yossi Sheffi blog at MIT here.  From the video post summary:  "Yossi Sheffi fires a shot across the bow of business owners who, even after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, still have not assessed their organizations’ vulnerability to catastrophe. Sheffi piles on examples of organizations that simply did not have the appropriate mechanisms in place when disaster struck or evolved undetected."  Also see book by the same name.

VIDEO: Why Societies Collapse - Jared Diamond

From the TED blurb:  "Why do societies fail? With lessons from the Norse of Iron Age Greenland, deforested Easter Island and present-day Montana, Jared Diamond talks about the signs that collapse is near, and how - if we see it in time - we can prevent it."