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    What Resilience Means To My Generation?

    By Mandeep Bhandal, on 21 August 2013

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    Following a two week Internship Programme at ISRS, Iona Palmer-Baunack provides an assessment of what resilience means for her generation.

    What Resilience Means To My Generation?

    When I first came to the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies I must admit that I had no idea what resilience was or what the word even meant and I know for a fact that a lot of my peers would agree with me in saying that neither do they; unfortunately the people of my generation don’t understand this concept of resilience even though it is a concept that surrounds them in everyday life and will be an important component of their future.

    Many people of my age, including myself before I came to do my internship at ISRS, will hear about the war in Afghanistan, the on-going conflict in Egypt, or a flood in Wales yet they don’t think about the effects of any of these situations- it goes in one ear and out the other. However, what I have come to realise is that these issues that my generation don’t take any notice of effect or could have a direct effect on us, for example:  the current situation in Egypt may seem like a million miles away to any one of my friends but what happens when that conflict becomes bigger and develops into a civil war which leads to repercussions such as a rise in oil prices- what someone my age doesn’t think about is that rise in oil price for example could directly affect them if their parents could no longer afford the increase in petrol for their car or gas for the heating in their house then they will be directly affected.

    Furthermore, it is not just about the theoretical side of resilience and understanding that an everyday news bulletin could have an effect on us it is also realising that resilience is incredibly important for our generation, if not  more so than for our parents’ generation, as we will live in a world of increased population and increased demands for products. What my generation needs to begin to understand is that we will be the ones having to come up with solutions and new innovations to deal with a population of potentially 10 billion people who all want cars, computers, or mobile phones and therefore we will have to come up with new ways of being able to deal with this increased demand, i.e., finding new resources and inventing new ways to export and import products in order to reduce the danger of global warming. And it is not just about these luxuries that one must think about but also the simple things such as food, if the population reaches or even exceeds 10 billion people the demand for food will of course increase, but it is clear from various amounts of studies that have taken place that there is not enough suitable space on our planet to cater for that many people in terms of growing crops and farming animals- therefore yet again it will be my generation who either have to suffer and live with the consequences and maybe even face huge cases of famine or my generation who deal with the risk that we can foresee and come up with new innovation in terms of supporting this increase in population.

    Another very important aspect of resilience concerning my generation is cyber; as a generation we have grown up in a world filled with computers, mobile phones, iPads, and various forms of social media and if we were all honest we would not be able to survive without them but what we don’t see is the risks that are involved in the cyber world. For example: a popular iPhone app nowadays is SnapChat which is an app where you can send a picture to someone which is deleted within 10 seconds, however it is not deleted but it is kept on a data base so what you send ultimately could be traced. Another key example is in social media, teenagers seem to assume that Facebook is a safe forum however it is not – anyone can hack into your account and find the information they are looking for- so do not go telling everyone you’re on holiday for a month!!! A final example is that of internet banking- internet banking has become increasingly popular over the years and I believe that within a couple of years our generation will only be banking online but do we realise the dangers of this? What happens if a terrorist attack takes place online?  How would we access our money? And what would the repercussions be for us as a country?

    So in conclusion, I think that resilience is so incredibly important for my generation especially and that if we don’t, as a generation, begin to realise this and learn about resilience and what it really is then we are going to face major problems in our future and even ruin what generations before us have achieved for us.