Impact360 Alliance’s overall aim is to help interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners reduce the impacts of natural hazards and disasters. To do this, we work on building three pillars: strong points of connection, integrative approaches, and dynamic problem solving. Impact360 Chair Joe Trainor shares his thoughts on the importance of building these pillars below.
Develop Strong Points of Connection
To solve real world problems we need to be able to view them from every angle. We also need—and want—input from diverse perspectives. This partially inspired our name: Impact360. Developing strong points of connection is about creating an organization that links people to people, people to problems, and problems to resources. We want to make it easier for you to work across research disciplines and professional sectors by connecting you with people who are equally passionate about working on similar issues. Different perspectives affect how we approach and work through our respective challenges, so we work to develop our communities’ general capacity, including their ability to communicate with one another. For specific problems and projects, we build teams and facilitate them through open and productive collaboration.
Champion Integrative Approaches
Too often when we see a problem we only recognize the parts that connect with our own perspective. We think we know the answer, but we only have one piece of the puzzle. Impact360 champions integrative approaches through the use of creative tools, fostering open-mindedness, and cultivating interdisciplinarity. We support folks to be confident enough in themselves to see the limits of their own views or approaches, and the value of integrating with others. We think when researchers and practitioners can connect it integrates the best of both worlds. We need to get out of our silos if we want to be the change that reduces natural hazards and disaster risk.
Enable Dynamic Problem Solving
To me, dynamic problem solving means working to fix problems and processes. It’s challenging ways of thinking that collectively keep us from improving how we deal with natural hazards and disasters. What does building problem-solving capacity require from Impact360? First, we recognize no one has all the necessary answers, including us. Second, we recognize what researchers and practitioners both do is hard, complicated, and critical work. We need each other to understand what does and, importantly, does not work if we want to create long-term solutions. Finally, we recognize our work is not a quick undertaking and will require focused activity, systematic learning and continuous iteration. In other words, we need to get busy trying things to learn what works and what does not.