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The Bier Baron Tavern and Comedy Loft
1523 22nd St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20037
Profs and Pints presents: «Dealing with Disaster,» with Joseph Fiksel, emeritus professor of integrated systems engineering and co-founder of the Sustainable and Resilient Economy program at The Ohio State University, author of Resilient by Design.
What have Americans learned from a 20-year string of disasters, including hurricanes, forest fires, tsunamis, oil spills, bridge collapses, gas explosions, and deliberate acts of terrorism and sabotage? Are we adequately prepared for the next crisis even though we cannot predict what it will be?
When a catastrophe does occur, we declare an emergency and rush to aid the victims, but the memory fades quickly and we return to business as usual, distracted by more immediate financial or political pressures. How can we do better?
There is a growing realization in both government and industry that we need to strengthen the resilience of our economic systems and urban communities, as well as the infrastructures that support them. In a complex, tightly-connected and volatile world, it is impossible to protect against all possible disruptions. Technological systems such as machines, buildings, and industrial supply chains are especially vulnerable to unexpected events. One promising route is to borrow from nature’s designs, which are inherently resilient and adapt to changing conditions. For example, we can develop «distributed systems,» which eschew centralized operations in favor of smaller-scale, independent units.
Start your new year by looking ahead with an expert who has worked with dozens of organizations to develop and implement strategies for resilience and sustainability. You will come away with a new appreciation of how critical systems can be made resilient in the face of economic turbulence, governmental dysfunction, global conflict, and climate change. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors:$15, save $2 with a student ID.)