Resilience Webinars​

EWB held two webinar series in 2020 with contributors from across the disciplines of engineering, business, humanitarian and design innovation, biodiversity and gardening, ecological economics, development education and more to explore the concept of resilience and rethink how our communities can be and what life post-Covid 19 could look like.

We want to encourage people to consider new approaches and think differently. We hope to inspire people to address the global challenges we face and harness the opportunities we have to create social, economic and environmental change.

Our seventeen webinars can be viewed on the EWB youtube channel under the following sections :

Sustainable Engineering and Construction

In this section, we explore a resilience based approach to construction and infrastructure provision and how we urgently need to switch to a green building model for future development.

New Ways to Build Community Resilience in a post-Covid World
Liam McCarton

EWB Director and Lecturer at TU Dublin Liam McCarton introduces the concept of resilience and how engineers and scientists need to radically change their approach to infrastructure provision if we are to thrive in a post climate change / post Covid 19 world.

Green Building: The New Normal for People and Planet
Declan Alcock
Covid-19 has posed unprecedented challenges for all societies across the world, however there have been significant environmental gains. EWB Director and Executive Director at Varming Consulting Engineers Declan Alcock discusses the environmental and well-being benefits of green building, why it is the “new normal” for the built environment and how it can enable societies to move towards a more resilient future.

Humanitarian & Design Innovation

In this section, we explore product designs for a humanitarian context and design innovation for communities. We also explore how logistics and supply chain management operates in the humanitarian context of refugee camps and adapting to online teaching with refugee and internally displaced students.

Crutches, How to Optimize an Essential Item
Conall Casey
NCAD Product Design student Conall Casey, a graduate of the EWB Innovation Academy, discusses his project “Crutch Kit” where he worked on redesigning walking aids to best suit their environment. He demonstrates how simplifying the product and its manufacturing can contribute to mobility in vulnerable communities.
Designing for Community Resilience
Olivia Holbrook
Design has the ability to empower communities to address their needs and find solutions. In this webinar, Olivia Holbrook, service designer and former winner of the Where There Is No Engineer competition, discusses her project on period poverty, tackling taboo subjects and how to build community resilience through participatory design. She shares the journey of the project, the importance of working with people and the lessons learned from designing with remote and vulnerable communities.
Resilience through Technology
Pradita Pradhan
Pradita, Nepal Program Manager at Field Ready, discusses the different projects that her organisation has completed in recent years in Nepal and how local manufacturing technology is creating an impact on local communities. Field Ready is a non-profit organisation that innovates products to provide better, cheaper and faster aid to communities that need it.
Innovating Access to Technology and Education in Nepal
Mahabir Pun
Mahabir Pun, entrepreneur and Chairperson of the National Innovation Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal discusses his experiences of facilitating community development in the mountainous regions of Nepal and initiating the National Innovation Centre. Mahabir highlights the need for Nepal to create a culture of innovation to foster economic development.
Designing Resilience and Food Security for Subsistence Farmers
Daniel Morgan
Daniel Morgan, product designer and former winner of the Where There Is No Engineer competition, introduces us to Farm Social’s Biokiln, which converts agricultural and organic waste into biochar, which in turn acts as a bio-fertiliser for soil to increase crop productivity. Dan discusses how the Biokiln came about, Farm Social’s experiences and learnings in Nepal and Ireland and the next steps for the Biokiln.
Low Technology for High Impact: Applied Technologies for Local Resilience
Colin Keogh
Technology has never been cheaper, more widely available and potentially impactful.  Applying these new forms of technology to local regions, powered by local people can help not only improve local resilience but also increase local opportunities. Colin Keogh, mechanical and innovation engineer, discusses some of the technological impacts of low-cost tech, how to integrate it into local communities and what’s possible in the area of applied technology solutions.
Rethinking Communities- Perspectives from Kurdistan, Iraq
Will Holden and James Haido
Will Holden, logistics professional, discusses his experience in humanitarian logistics and the unique challenges faced by professionals working in refugee camps. In particular, he discusses Darashakran Refugee Camp in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. James Haido, Professor of Engineering at the University of Duhok, discusses the experience of refugee students and internally displaced students with online learning at his university- both the challenges and the opportunities for new ways of learning.

Environment & Climate

In this section, we delve into the worlds of waste management, adopting a biodiversity based approach to development and climate adaptation and mitigation.

Litter, Not Always A Waste
Elaine Doyle
Elaine Doyle, EWB Director and Coastal Programmes Officer with An Taisce, discusses the origins and concept of litter and how we deal with the reality of it. With a background in waste management, Elaine discusses her experiences in Uganda, Guatemala and Ireland.
Building in Climate Resilience
Aoibhin Flanagan
Aoibhin, Senior Associate at Future Analytics Consulting, discusses climate change risk assessment and the importance of both mitigation and adaptation for climate change in development. Aoibhin presents some examples of Nature Based Solutions and the opportunities they provide for long term adaptation alongside how human activity has affected our natural ecosystems.
Building Resilience through Nature Education
Patrick Hunt
In this webinar, Patrick Hunt, gardening and biodiversity specialist, discusses his approach to gardening workshops with school children and working with schools to create their own gardens. Patrick discusses sustainable approaches to gardening such as using perennial plants and creating meadows within garden spaces, child friendly and child led design and the sensory benefits of plants such as grasses. Patrick advocates for a design approach where space for nature and gardens is incorporated from the start, and is not just an afterthought.

Business Innovation

Businesses continually need to innovate to compete in our globalised marketplace. Covid 19 has created huge challenges for businesses, but there are also opportunities. We look at two case studies of a distillery pivoting its production model and the business opportunity that lies in becoming more accessible, particularly in the tourism industry.

Keeping an Open Mind, Pivoting Production in a Crisis
Peter Clancy
Peter Clancy, CEO of Lough Ree Distillery in Longford, Ireland, gives a candid account of his distillery’s journey of moving into sanitiser production during the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic: the challenges, opportunities, successes and learnings.
Accessibility, What’s it Worth? The Business Case for Universal Design
Katie Burns
In this webinar, we discuss the countless opportunities we are missing when we don’t provide inclusive environments for all levels of needs. Katie Burns, Director of Operations at Mobility Mojo, shares the work that Mobility Mojo is doing in accessible tourism, presents the compelling business case for universal design and discusses how we can apply inclusive thinking to enhance everything we do.

Alternative Development and Economic Approaches

Dominant narratives around growth and development shape policy, investment and our own thinking about what is “right” or “normal”. In this section, we step back to question the concept of growth and explore what opportunities the degrowth movement can offer our current and future societies. We also look closer at finance for development and international trade and cash flows, global inequality and whether we are really tackling global poverty.

Degrowth - Engineering a Utopia
Riccardo Mastini
Riccardo Mastini, degrowth scholar and PhD candidate in Ecological Economics and Political Ecology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, discusses how degrowth aims to counteract the assumption that economic growth goes hand in hand with improving wellbeing. The reality is that in wealthy countries, growth is no longer either ecologically sustainable or socially desirable. The degrowth movement attempts to reform the institutions of property, work, and money to ensure social inclusion, economic equality, and ecological sustainability.
International Development, Finance and Ending Poverty - Who's Aiding Who?
Tony Daly
This webinar focuses on three big ideas and myths – legal or illicit…the language game; numbers and the international poverty line and financing for development. It also looks at recommendations based on recent civil society critiques which seek to ‘minimise finance for underdevelopment’. Tony Daly is Coordinator at 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World.

Community Development in the Online Space

In our final section, we look at the opportunities the online space can offer community development and community management.

A Proposal for a Smarter Approach to Community Management
Pat Kennedy
Now more than ever, communities need to be connected and active online. In this webinar, Pat Kennedy, CEO of eTownz, a small digital company focused on the community sector, discusses what he sees as the future for Smart Community Management. Pat discusses the research eTownz have conducted in this area and their development of the “Smart Engaged Community Management Framework” together with a number of universities in Ireland. The framework allows communities to identify their own needs and priorities and create bespoke development plans that can easily be maintained and kept relevant.
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