Ep. 146: Toby Kent - Reflections from Australia's First Chief Resilience Officer

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As we’ve either learned or have been reminded in 2020, the world is filled with uncertainty. Wouldn’t it be a good idea if more of us, and more of our institutions and ways of living embedded more resilience - ways to withstand and even thrive in the midst of stressors and shocks? Has any of this been done before?

Well, here’s some good news – it has, at least in a few places. One of those places is Melbourne, Australia, one of the world’s most liveable cities and a city that has received positive press coverage for the way it has handled the Covid-19 pandemic. Our guest today has had something to do with that. He has been described as “the man helping to future-proof Melbourne”. Meet Toby Kent.

Toby was Melbourne’s Chief Resilience Officer, a position appointed under the Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Resilient Cities Initiative. In this role, Toby created and delivered Australia’s first urban resilience strategy, Resilient Melbourne, a collection of Melbourne’s 32 councils, State, private and non-profit organisations, And, as part of that strategy, Toby warned – back in 2015 – that a pandemic was among the 20 things that could threaten Melbourne.

So, we obviously get into that and talk about some of the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic. We also get into a number of broader areas as well including the environment, climate change, mental health, anti-fragility, and community resilience. Toby has an extensive background in sustainability and resilience and I am sure that you will enjoy this conversation.

Show notes:

Toby’s website

Toby on Twitter

Toby on LinkedIn

Resilient Melbourne

Meet the Man Helping to Future-proof Melbourne” – article in The Age

Jane Jacobs

The Rockefeller Foundation

Deepwater Horizon

Social Capital and Disaster Recovery by Daniel Aldrich

Antifragile by Nassim Taleb

City Limits, the Grattan Institute

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