The Resilience Dialogues was a public-private partnership launched by the Obama White House in 2016. Its Pilot Program was co-led by community leaders from five cities, and later the program was expanded to include more communities. Through a professionally facilitated online program, communities, scientific experts, and stakeholder representatives engaged in dialogues on topics like defining the resiliency challenges facing their communities, exploring impacts of climate change, and identifying resources and strategies to address their concerns. Eight U.S. Federal agencies contributed subject matter expertise, and more than 20 other organizations contributed either subject matter expertise or facilitators to mediate the discussions, including the Museum of Science, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes at Arizona State University.
The Outcomes section of the Resilience Dialogues website contains descriptions of how the program operated in different communities, including the questions that were addressed, resources, and more. The questions addressed were typically specific to local concerns, such as “How can Whitefish (Montana) build on the current local food movement to launch a broader community discussion about climate resilience?” or “What are the most climate vulnerable plant and animal species in the East Lansing (Michigan) area?”. This local specificity allows for more actionable findings that can directly impact the community. The participants also considered how their local context can inform communication strategies, what organizations they can partner with, and how they can find financial support for their local governments to engage in climate resilience efforts.
There have been a number of positive outcomes from these projects. In Hallandale Beach, Florida, the dialogues helped stakeholders in the community learn how to use data visualization tools to better communicate with community members and facilitated the development of a communications plan for implementing resiliency strategies. In Wisconsin, the Menominee Indian Tribe, responsible for managing 235,000 acres of forest, was concerned about the effects of climate change on the forest. The Resilience Dialogues process helped the community determine the biggest threats and vulnerabilities that the forest—and therefore the community—faces from climate change and clarified the methods for addressing these concerns.