Ridenour Conference explores resilience as rallying point for research, planning and policy making
Virginia Tech faculty and graduate students from Blacksburg and the National Capital Region will participate in the third annual Ridenour Faculty Fellowship Conference, entitled Resilience, at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington on Oct. 23 and 24.
The conference is sponsored by the School of Public and International Affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
Resilience is defined by the conference as a rallying point for interdisciplinary research, planning, and policy making to address an infinite number of pressing issues from climate change to community well-being to economic stability.
“We are pleased to bring this year’s Ridenour Conference to the National Capital Region,” said Anne Khademian, professor and director of the School of Public and International Affairs. “This is an important forum that underscores our goal of overcoming the disciplinary limitations to understanding and effectively engage our most challenging public problems.
“The conference joins practitioners and scholars of different disciplines, all focused on resilience as a means to understand and strengthen communities, markets, the built environment, and more," said Khademian. "Our goal is to build research partnerships and processes that support collaborative work across scholarship and practice to continuously inform, question, and advance knowledge in the public sphere."
The 2014 format differs from the debate sessions of the 2012 and 2013 conferences. The two-day agenda includes guest speakers and panelists who engage distinct components of resilience – government agencies, urban real estate construction and development, and financial dimensions. They are: Kevin Bush, senior analyst at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Jim Davis, president of DAVIS Construction Corporation, Washington, D.C.; and Ed Walker, developer and lawyer in Roanoke, Virginia.
Workshops are another added component of the program.
Preceding this year’s conference on Resilience, the School of Public and International Affairs, the Minnis E. Ridenour Faculty Fellowship, and the Virginia Tech Institute for Society, Culture and Environment organized a research grant competition to choose two workshops to include in the program.
The winning teams will present “Research Frontiers of Disaster Resilience: Adaptive Learning and Social Media” and “Resiliency and the Network Approach.”
These workshops will serve as scientific and outreach platforms for the teams to further develop their resilience research in order to support their work towards a greater research project, said Khademian.
The conference will conclude with a plenary session on “Dimensions of Financial Resilience: Conceptualization and Policy Implications.”National Capital Region.