RES/CON Organizers Announce Speakers, Programming For 2017 Conference

NEW ORLEANS – Organizers for RES/CON – The Global Resilience Summit – announced the 2017 speaker and programming lineup, including representatives from the United Nations, Twitter, City of Los Angeles, HR&A Advisors, AirBnB, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, G&H International Services, Perkins+Will, U.S. Geological Survey, Zurich Insurance, Shell Exploration & Production Company, among many global leading professionals in the field.

         Based in New Orleans, a globally recognized hub of resilience, disaster management and innovation, RES/CON is the premier international conference on the practice of successful resilience building and disaster management in an evolving global environment.

         Taking place March 7 -9 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, Zurich North America, Shell Global, the Walton Family Foundation, AECOM, Walmart and several additional sponsors, RES/CON attracts disaster-management and resilience-building practitioners and experts from around the globe and across the public, private and NGO sectors. RES/CON is produced in partnership between Greater New Orleans, Inc. and the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

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         Registration is now open and there is an early registration discount for the private sector offered through Jan. 23. Additionally, hotel blocks for the conference will expire on Feb. 2.

         RES/CON 2017’s three days of programming is organized around four themes, each impacting communities and economies worldwide. These themes are:

 Leadership + Strategy: While the growing number of shocks and stresses around the world has focused attention on the need to build resilience, there remains a deficiency in preparedness, capacity and expertise across sectors to address crises before they emerge and respond once they do. These sessions will illustrate how leadership and effective management can be used to engage an array of stakeholders – from emergency managers and first responders to non-profit organizations and local government to local and global businesses– in order to promote long-term, cohesive planning.

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• Technology + Innovation – In a world with an app for everything, understanding how technology and innovation can be used to build resilience in communities to prepare for and respond to shocks and stresses is essential. These sessions will highlight best practices, examine avenues for innovating in the field of resilience and contemplate the current and future role of technology in the sector.

• Economy + Risk – The financial impact of disasters can bring communities to a standstill, making response slow and inefficient all while prolonging the impact on the local economy. These sessions will explore how communities can finance their resilience building, including an assessment of their risks and potential challenges, the development of strategies to handle these prior to an occurrence, all in an effort to speed up the recovery process and limit the economic interruption.

• Community + Social Cohesion – From shocks, like hurricanes to terrorism, to stresses, like violence or food shortages, there are a host of factors which can have an effect on a community. These sessions will explore how communities, neighborhood organizations, workplaces, families and local leaders can build resilience in order to mitigate the impacts of these events and rebound more quickly.

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         “RES/CON provides an unmatched platform at the New Orleans Convention Center for international experts to share new ideas, demonstrate best practices, collaborate on new projects, and educate each other on how to build stronger communities,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “As a region where we see resilience building in planning, practice and action on a daily basis, we are proud to be able to bring together such an esteemed group of professionals from a variety of sectors for the conversations we know will have a long term impact on the economic, social, and environmental well being of our communities.” 

         “This annual gathering brings together leaders across every field to confront some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century and ensure disruptions today don’t become crises tomorrow,” said Sam Carter, managing director of The Rockefeller Foundation. “As is often the case, building resilience is achieved when voices are heard from across all sectors, collaboration is encouraged, and strategic partnerships are formed to deliver innovative solutions.  I look forward to hearing experts and being inspired  to find new ways to work together, all in   a city that itself is a hub and model of resilience-building innovation.” 

         “Shell is proud to be a part of RES/CON. Energy and resilience go hand in hand – both in our daily lives and when recovering from disruptive events,” said Phil Smith, manager, Americas Emergency Management, Shell. “We are excited to join global experts to improve our collective ability to recover from disruptions by sharing new ideas and best practices around emergency preparedness and response.”

         “When it comes to the coast, we believe restoration works. It creates good jobs and a healthy environment, it strengthens our coasts against damaging storms, it restores habitat that sustains the region’s special way of life,” said Kristin Tracz, program officer for the Walton Family Foundation.  “By employing a science-driven approach, Louisiana has demonstrated tremendous leadership in not only to addressing these existential challenges but in creating a world-class example of how communities and businesses adapt to rising seas.  RES/CON’s success reflects the expertise cultivated here in Louisiana to serve as a global leader on these challenging issues that many coastal communities are facing or soon will.  We are proud to support RES/CON and honored to be a part of this learning.”

         Plenary sessions, workshops, policy debates, best-practice reviews, thought leadership and peer networking events will serve to engage global and local thought leaders and promote participation from all who attend.

         Some highlights include ––


Plenary Sessions:

• How to Build A Resilient City, which will offer insight into how leaders can use a resilience framework to strategize, prioritize and implement policies and align their funding streams to build the resilience of their city

• Impact-Driven Technologies in Times of Disasters, an in-depth look at how household names in technology are working together to aid our communities and citizenry in times of crisis

• The Role of the CEO, a take on the role of the CEO, from partnerships with communities to the bully pulpit, in building resilience at the local, national and international levels, with representation from CEOs of major global companies


Concurrent Sessions, such as:

• Accra, Ghana: A case Study of Business Continuity to Build Resilience

• Everything's Local: Neighborhoods as Change Agents

• Leveraging the Expertise of the Private Sector

• Building Reinforcements for the Most Vulnerable

• Strategies for Post-Disaster Rural Economic Sustainability

• Harnessing the Data Revolution

• Beyond Lines on a Map: Opportunities for Collaboration for Resilience Financing


Thought Leadership Forum

         For communities impacted by disasters and crises, collective action is essential to assessing, building and implementing resilience strategies in order to achieve tangible outcomes. This exclusive thought leadership program will center on the necessary role of the private sector in disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery at the national, regional and global levels. This session will profile leading practice and provide a forum for interactive dialogue between the private sector, Government, civil society and the international community. The facilitated discussion will focus on areas where innovative approaches to private sector engagement have proven to be successful models for strengthening resilience.


Idea Exchange

         For attendees wanting to dive into key resilience issues on a deeper level, with speakers, experts and fellow participants, join the Idea Exchanges on Tuesday, March 7 (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.), Wednesday, March 8 (8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.) and Thursday, March 9 (10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.). The facilitated-dialogue format of the Idea Exchange will utilize case studies as anchors for smaller group discussions in order for attendees to share their own resilience building experiences, learn from peers, and engage in conversations outside of the traditional session format.

         Programming will also include best practices and lessons learned from disasters and community building along with detailed sessions on financing and policy issues faced by global communities, focused talks from technology and innovation experts in disaster management and response, as well as training and group-learning opportunities.

         New to RES/CON this year are the RES/CON Impact Awards, recognizing disaster and resilience practitioners who have exhibited exemplary leadership contributing to building resilient communities. These will be announced in the coming weeks and presented during the conference.

         On Monday, March 6, organizers will also be hosting an opportunity for conference goers to participate in the NOLA Learning Laboratory, an in-depth examination of resilience building taking place across the conference’s host city.

         For more information



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