Title: Old answers to new questions: using past disaster narratives to make today's organisations more resilient to the challenges of the Anthropocene

Authors: Justine Walter

Addresses: Department Lippstadt 2, Hochschule Hamm-Lippstadt, Marker Allee 76–78, 59063 Hamm, Germany

Abstract: The Anthropocene will see a significant increase in the likelihood, frequency, and intensity of natural hazards. This altered context poses new challenges for global societies and economies. In addition to sustainability efforts, building resilience and reducing disaster risk thus become increasingly important strategic topics. This paper proposes that inspiration for how to respond to these challenges, and even use them for transformation and sustainable innovation, may lie in the distant past. By applying insights from sociological disaster studies and discourse analysis to earthquake narratives from ancient Greece, it will be shown how extreme natural events may, or may not, trigger disaster. Subsequently, implications for organisational resilience and disaster risk reduction in the Anthropocene will be derived.

Keywords: disaster risk reduction; resilience; organisational strategy; innovation culture; disaster narratives; creativity; natural hazards; case studies; organisational culture; business continuity management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISD.2022.10046876

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 2022 Vol.16 No.3/4, pp.271 - 284

Received: 15 Jul 2020
Accepted: 16 Dec 2020

Published online: 04 Jul 2022 *

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