Research Areas

We use the term resilience to mark our focus on climate adaptation -- but we also address economic, social, and community health, equity, and opportunity through our direct work with local partners. We are “rethinking the think tank” by creating real-world demonstrations to inform holistic models of policy and practice, supplementing and supporting New America’s work in pursuit of legislative and policy change.

Our demonstration projects occupy a unique position in both the policy and the preparedness and resilience worlds. While recovery funding and initiatives often pass through many levels of bureaucracy on their way to communities, we take opportunities to bring resources to local level, where everyday people and the institutions and organizations they trust are already creating a critical layer of preparedness and response.

Some of the public issues we address in our work include:

  • Reliance on fragile, outdated, centralized, and rigid critical infrastructure systems in an age of growing instability

  • "Digital redlining": inequitable digital systems shaping data profiles, economies, and physical contours of neighborhoods;

  • Broadband and digital equity issues such as access, literacy, and opportunity;

  • Monopolistic control of a key market shaping public opinion, governance, and access to opportunity;

  • Rapid changes in platforms for vital civic engagement, participation, and preparedness

We are currently building relationships with community organizations across the five boroughs of New York City and bringing together representatives from multiple areas of city government, including resilience, technology and communications, and economic development, to address the issue of preparedness in a holistic and collaborative spirit.

In the Silicon Valley region, we are forging connections among media and advocacy organizations, the philanthropic sector, and county-level and regional emergency management personnel. By collaborating on a shared vision of connectivity that serves all residents of the region, these different groups and actors are building relationships and creating pathways for resilience planning.

Our staff are also involved in ongoing support of the work of local groups around the world using technology to achieve civic and organizing goals.