Inside the Resilience Lab @ COP 26

The Resilience Lab at COP 26 was one of the most popular pavilions in Glasgow.

With a variety of interactive and creative sessions, and a host of diverse and amazing speakers, it was an extremely vibrant space throughout the event.

Shifting mindsets, shaping the future was the theme of the Lab, which opened the programme on 2 Nov 2021, with an introduction by Youssef Nassef, Director, Adaptation, UNFCCC and founder of Resilience Frontiers, where he explained the unique vision of Resilience Frontiers.

One day was devoted to each pathway, with visitors to the pavilion taking part in activities led by experts from all walks of life.

The sessions focussed on inspiring people to see the future through a transformational lens, and to imagine ways the eight pathways could move us towards a desirable world of permanent resilience and regenerative prosperity.

For a flavour of the Lab held in Glasgow, and to inspire you to engage with Resilience Frontiers as we build up to our pavilion at COP27, here are some highlights from the sessions held in Glasgow by pathway.

Pathway 1: During a session on transforming humanity’s relationship with nature, people were asked to go on a meditative journey, starting from a resilient 2050 and working back to the present day. Jyoti Mathur-Filipp, UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat, who moderated the session, encouraged everyone to picture a future in which nature thrives and biodiversity sits at the heart of human life and activities.

Pathway 2: In a workshop session led by Kirsten Dunlop, CEO, Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate- KIC) and Barna Barath, Supervisory Director, Climate-KIC, the focus was on each individual’s critical role as an environmental steward. They guided a group activity that showed participants that regardless of
how disconnected someone feels from a group their actions are intrinsically linked to its wellbeing.

Pathway 3: Jen Ballie, Research Manager at Scotland’s V&A Dundee design museum, asked everyone inside the lab to use the moonshot method to build a picture in their mind of a thriving world. The exercise elicited visions of a future where empathy and mindfulness became guiding principles, allowing frontier technologies and citizen data initiatives to support the interests of communities.

Pathway 4: Songs and poems performed by Liv Torc and Chris Redmond, the Hot Poets, explored the importance of cooperation, and touched on concepts of self-sovereignty and the ways resilience can be achieved, even in the toughest moments.

Pathway 5: An interactive, youth-led event moderated by Gail Sant, United Nations Association Climate and Ocean Youth Ambassador, used storytelling to show how invisible borders destroy lives. Then the debate turned to the practical ways the world could co-exist to create a culture of collaboration at regional, national, and international levels.

Pathway 6: Sean Bradley, Clever Cities Programme Manager at Groundwork London, moderated a session that looked into ways ecosystem-based approaches can be applied to urban design. The panel session identified different ecosystem connections that could inspire nature-based urban planning, and explored the ways they could be scaled up to have a global impact.

Pathway 7: In a panel session moderated by Sheila Ochugboju, Lead Consultant at the Network for African Women Environmentalists, indigenous food systems were showcased as game changers for resilient food production.

Pathway 8: In a session chaired by Robert Filipp, Founder and President of Innovative Finance Foundation, there was consensus on the need for a seismic shift to take place within economic systems, with debate turning to the development of systems that promote long-term collaboration instead of competition, and mobilise capital in the best interests of people and the planet.

You can find more details of the Resilience Lab here.