» Is Resilience the Big Idea of our times? Its current buzzword status suggests both an affirmative and negative response in equal measure.  For different reasons entirely. Buzzwords are not always a confirmation of so-called big ideas. The fact is that the idea of resilience has grown slowly over centuries. Although the term itself inspires rich and expanding metaphors, it has survived a lot on its way to the present time without major semantic change. On the contrary, it has become stronger, like an old oak tree. And that is precisely what might make it the next Big Idea.

A question to ponder: could resilience become an ‘even bigger’ idea?  The question is intended to stimulate conversation that has been enduring for centuries. To add to this, here’s another question; will the world become more complex? Complexity is still in its infancy as far as the discipline’s narrative goes when compared to, say, physics or philosophy or medicine, although progress was made even before Stephen Hawking famously declared the 21 Century to be ‘the century of complexity’ back in 2000.

If we assume that complexity is not going anywhere any time soon, then the answer to questions about the future of resilience is that it will become even more important. The relationship between the two is not entirely clear, but it is suggestive of an entangled pair.  When in May 2003, Psychology Today’s Editor at Large, Hara Estroff Marano said that ‘resilience may be an art, the ultimate art of living’ the story didn’t make the news at the time.  Instead, it was eclipsed by the ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech by then President George Bush declaring that major combat operations in Iraq had ended.  Nonetheless the resilience message by Marano has today grown in significance and acquired a degree of political importance along the way.  

SINTEZO is a journey in how ideas evolve, change, appear, disappear, reappear and morph.  SINTEZO is intended to be a more defined space for conversation; an attempt to curate a broad conversation that can be informative and evocative.  A place where science and art become collaborating, informing forces.  The starting point for SINTEZO was the realisation of the many barriers that exist between different disciplines, preventing them from talking to each other about resilience.  Each discipline has its own culture, own vocabulary, own codes of behaviour and so on.  Each discipline has its own personality so to speak.  Moreover, each discipline tends to self-talk, that is, a kind of talk that does not create new ideas or new solutions as much as it could.  The repetitive nature of such conversations prevents the emergence of innovation that is an essential part of solving complex problems. SINTEZO is a conversation about complexity and how resilience can redescribe it so that we can make better lives, better communities, better workplaces.  But most of all SINTEZO is an attempt to mobilise conversations that expand beyond a single dogma, single strategy and single way of understanding resilience.  What happens afterwards is hopefully a renewed sense of confidence in the face of uncertainty.  Come to think of it, that is one definition of resilience»