Living & Leading with Deep Resilience

POLIS supports global summit to deepen individual and collective resilience and foster healing

Published On: June 3rd, 2024

The POLIS Project on Ecological Governance and the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies were pleased to co-sponsor the four-day Living and Leading with Deep Resilience online summit in May, which brought together and connected almost 1,200 participants from all corners of the globe.

The summit was organized through the Institute for Zen Leadership (IZL) and co-designed and co-hosted by Dr. Ginny Whitelaw, who is the CEO of IZL, and POLIS co-director Dr. Kelly Bannister, who is an IZL leadership instructor and special advisor on IZL program development.

The goals of the summit were successfully realized, which included connecting leaders and changemakers of all backgrounds, ages, and stages with insights, practices, and communities for deepening their resilience. Sessions were led by 20 diverse resilience experts from around the world, including Indigenous Elders, resilience researchers, physicians, community leaders, collapse-aware facilitators, trauma healers, and Zen masters.

The experts shared ways to deepen individual and collective resilience and foster healing through heart-mind-body connection, embodied practices, cultivating more-than-human relations, and building awareness across psycho-social-ecological systems. Water was a unifying theme that emerged in many of the sessions as a medium of connection, relationship, and ceremony.

Graduate students Ella Martindale and Angel Kennedy, both previous speakers in POLIS’ Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar series, led an innovative participatory session on “Resilience Shaped by Intergenerational Knowledge and Deepened by Relational Connections.” They engaged from their local watersheds and explored “water as our relation, teacher, and connector of past, present, and future” to discuss how resilience is deepened by our relational connections across watersheds and generations.

POLIS Strategic Faculty Advisor Dr. Michele-Lee Moore joined Dr. Kelly Bannister and leadership coach Dr. Maria Kukhareva (UK) to guide a participatory inquiry on what resilience can mean across disciplines and scales, and what kind of resilience we each need to embrace the complexity of these times. They explored relationships between resilience, transformation, and nature using lenses of human, socio-ecological, and biocultural resilience within complex systems and crises related to (un)sustainability, (in)equity, and (in)justice.

Additional Resources

Visit the Living and Leading with Deep Resilience event site

Purchase the Resilience Navigation Guide, which includes video recordings of all summit sessions plus bonus resources