Community Resilience in the 21st Century Online Exhibition

This is the 13th What’s Next for Earth online exhibition based on Think Resilience,
a free online course written by Richard Heinberg and produced by the Post Carbon Institute.

“In this video, we’re going to bring resilience, which we defined and discussed in the last video, into the context of this century’s simmering and complex “E4” crises, with (1) ecological, (2) energy, (3) economic, and (4) equity dimensions. We’ll clarify the relationship between sustainability and resilience, and show why a lot of the climate change resilience discussion—while necessary—doesn’t go far enough. And we’ll explain why this video series focuses primarily on building resilience at the community level, as opposed to the global, national, or household level.”
– Richard Heinberg

Video transcript here.





Voice of a River

Group of five pieces
- The on-site watercolors of the river (5” x 8”) are in a black-bound book from my last series RIvers Feed The Trees, an exploration of rivers, topography, and the color blue.
- Two pieces (12” x 16”) are made with fragments of maps.

Thanks to The Post Carbon Institute for exploring the relationship between sustainability and resilience in the most recent Think Resilience Course!

Natural rivers have a high level of resiliency. They create buffers as they wend their way downstream and across valleys and create new channels that contribute to the overall health of all beings living on the land through which they flow. We can use this as a guide, or a metaphor, for how our communities can adapt and support this natural process of resiliency.

By juxtaposing my on-site watercolor studies of the spring runoff with fragmented rivers from human-created maps of the land, I hope that one thinks about our negative impact on rivers and watersheds as well as the vital role our communities can play in wetland restoration.

This work restores the resiliency of a river and creates a trickle-down effect in nearly every aspect of the life of communities around the world. Meredith Nemirov is an artist living and painting in the Uncompahgre River Valley in southwest Colorado.
  • Meredith Nemirov

We are stronger when we work together

Illustration with a purpose

I had a big conversation with someone last week who has very different views from what I do on a number of issues. But we agreed that staying friends is important. When our town had a peaceful climate protest (we formed a human sign saying 'We Can Do It' and sent the drone photo to parliament), he was there with his family. When tragedy struck another local family, he was there to support them in their grief. And when we needed help with our house build, he was first in line.

Wherever we argue amongst ourselves, we're distracting our energies from the bigger issues, and we're damaging the most important things: family, friendship, community and our capacity for collective activism. Of course, we need boundaries in our lives to protect ourselves from people who harm us. But for everything else, we gain so much from being able to disagree in a healthy way.

I don't want to be caught arguing with my neighbor while another gas plant is snuck through parliament overnight.

Let me know how you're going with this - have you been able to overcome differences?
  • Brenna Quinlan

The Land

digital photography

Volunteers work together to improve a space in our community. We have to meet frequently to keep it clean. Because of the garbage that passers-by discard. This section had become a polluted place. We clear and plant to renew the land and create an example of what the community can do with community resilience.

Voluntarios trabajamos juntos para mejorar un espacio de nuestra comunidad. Tenemos que reunirnos frecuentemente para mantenerlo limpio . A causa de la basura que los transeúntes descartan .Esta sección se había convertido en lugar contaminado . Limpiamos y sembramos para renovar la tierra y crear un ejemplo de lo que la comunidad puede hacer con resiliencia.comunitaria.

“It’s both ethical and practical for community members to be at the heart of community resilience building work,” Richard Heinberg

“Es tanto ético como práctico que los miembros de la comunidad estén en el centro del trabajo de crear resiliencia en la comunidad” Richard Heinberg
  • Marcela Villaseñor

Cast-Offs Streamers

Photo montage (clockwise)
1. Organization of my detritus
2. Preparation of my streamers
3. Community participation
4. Cast-Offs installed in Putnam Plaza

Cast-Offs Streamers is a series of interactive art-making events that promote inclusion with members of the community of Petaluma, CA. The intention is to engage public awareness around energy consumption and over-consumerism where our cast-offs are sent to the landfill. Everyone is invited to collect their discarded household plastic and metal for this collaborative hands-on, creative project. A goal is to empower children who inherited this crisis. They enthusiastically engage, especially hammering holes in the items to wire them on the ropes. Detritus is left undisguised so that their new artistic lives will sound an alarm for environmental action with the goal of zero waste. These fun events take place through October in Petaluma’s Helen Putnam Plaza where the trees are festooned with these “Cast-Offs” streamers.

I am grateful to be a recipient of an ArtSurround artist’s grant through Creatives Sonoma @creativesonoma; wherein I conceived and am implementing this project. “Cast-Offs” is a community endeavor that relates to the @WhatsNextForEarth art call “Community Resilience in the 21st Century”. Richard Heinberg demonstrates that the “focus is primarily on building resilience at the community level, as opposed to the global, national, or household level.”
  • Susan Bercu

My Last Fork Project

Community project

60 people at San Diego City College participated in the event on October 12th, 2022 by eating a piece of cake with their last single-use plastic fork. Then, they cleaned and hammered their fork onto their plaque to take home. A beautiful community of diversity representing our college participated. A young student said, "This will remind me every day not to use plastic utensils."

Project by Terri Hughes-Oelrich Art project documented through photos by Gabriela Ponce Featured participant: Anna Delgado.
  • Terri Hughes-Oelrich

Participatory Weaving

Participatory weaving of locally sourced fiber imbued with soil, water, and plant color, gathered from local sites with known PFAS contamination.

An offering for the exhibition What's Next for Earth: Community Resilience. An attempt to create community-based sustainable practices while acknowledging the land and calls for stewardship.
  • Susan Smith


Artist's book

This artist’s book was created with sheets of fused plastic made from food packaging which is usually discarded, ending up in landfills or worse: our waterways and the life within them on which our lives depend. When fully unfolded, the accordion flag structure measures about 36 inches long by 11 inches tall, based loosely on the size of a large bluefish, one of the many species in decline due to overfishing. The book was bound by hand with a needle and thread.

The concept of the school of fish in the shape of a fish honors the brilliant children’s book “Swimmy” by Leo Lionni and its powerful message about community resilience. My wavy line of rhythmic text further underlines how critical this is for humans to understand in the face of all of our interwoven eco-social crises. As stated in the Post Carbon Institute's Think Resilience course (lesson 14): "The resilience of any one system is influenced by the resilience of everything around it... [and] “building resilience starts with decisions about what we value about a system.” If people value their access to clean water and the ability to derive sustenance from it they would be wise to align with organizations that do the work that makes this possible. A shining example in my own Hudson Valley community would be @riverkeeper, and I encourage all who live nearby to check out their website ( and get schooled!

Thanks to Sarah Maker, @areyoubookenough and the #areyoubookenough community and to Michele Guieu for creating the What's Next for Earth? project. I express my gratitude to both groups in this one post as a nod to how different communities can nurture and strengthen each other.
  • Karen Viola

Bug Inn

Repurposed small cabinet, various materials

This Art call was for Community Resilience. Based on Richard Heinberg's Post Carbon Institute and Think Resilience websites that spring from his book Power, Michele Guieu has created these amazing bi-monthly art calls that address artists' responses and expressions to the topics related to climate change.

While in England, we saw several Bug Hotels that were the result of community efforts to maintain balance in supporting helpful bugs and pollinators. We repurposed a small cabinet to make the structure. Brian and I will be sharing our experience in creating a bug hotel with instructions for our neighborhood, and community (via NextDoor and local newspapers) as well as on my website and, obviously, Instagram.

Helping people to become aware of the importance of insect communities as we urbanize and destroy open fields, wooded areas, and clear spaces to look neat, we lose the intricate balance of bugs, birds, plants, and other native species and animals.

So this is just the beginning of this project! We still need to add more to our Bug Inn but it's basically set. The mason bees won't inhabit the hollow tubes (not completed) until spring so we have time. I love the textures of each section and will enjoy creating a fun sign to go with this Bug Inn. It has been an exercise in practicality and aesthetics. Thanks for this Art Call!
  • Marianne Bickett

What Melts Away

We are always collaborating on our shared future.

We can choose to move forward, fully conscious and educated about our actions or remain unconscious about our actions and keep the rose-colored glasses.

What we know is that energy, ecological, economic, and equity issues need to be addressed relatively quickly.

How we adapt from our daily, high expenditure of resources to something currently more realistic is the hurdle. Weaning ourselves from our energy expectations built on past habits can create opportunities in other areas.

What is possible is finding deep connections with each other and our non-human neighbors for the long-term health of our planetary existence.

In my work, I consider today, energy is more at the forefront of our cultural makeup. It becomes as important as my appreciation for flora, fauna, and family traditions. My past emerges with a different context and focus.

What Melts Away 1 Encaustic, repurposed costume jewelry, fabric, wood, leaves, pine needles, light bulb core 6” x 6” x 2”

What Melts Away 2 Encaustic, repurposed costume jewelry, fabric, wood, leaves, pine needles, light bulb core 6” x 6” x 2”
  • Yvonne C. Espinoza

Cascadia Enchantment & the Barbaric Heart

Acrylic collage w/metal leaf on panel60" x 48"

Enchantment: “An unapologetic affirmation of the meaningful richness and depth of existence, registering the dynamic wholeness of being (inclusive of negativity and absence), fostering health and vitality in evincing a non-reductive integrative inclusiveness.” -- Michael Schwartz, PhD

Barbaric Heart: “In fact the Barbaric Heart is civilized, for all the good that does it, and has always happily clad itself in the decorous togas of Rome (as the Ostrogoth King Theodoric did), the pinstripes of Wall Street, and the comfy suburbanity of L. L. Bean.” “This is the barbaric calculation: if you can prosper from violence, then you should go ahead and be violent. In short order the Barbaric Heart is lead to conclude that in face prosperity is dependent on violence. Therefore, you should be good at violence, for your own sake and the sake of your country. -- Curtis White

I’ve lived in the Cascadia Bioregion for thirty-nine years, the majority of my life now, and this place feels like home and it has nourished my creative life, imagination deeply through its magnificent beauty beyond what words can adequately articulate. It is much greater than the visual beauty that awes and feeds my sense of wonder, as it is very physical, tangible. We’ll get more into this…

The truth is that Cascadia is not named after a static entity like a mountain range, but rather for what the whole of the maritime mountainous region does—it cascades! So, Cascadia is named after this signature region-wide dynamism! -- Dr. David D. McCloskey, Cascadia Institute
  • Gordon Wood

LOVE Nebula Autopoiesis

Acrylic collage on panel24" x 30"

This artwork is an image of nested scales and scopes as existing in holonic reality. Love is a powerful, regenerative force in sustaining resilience in the universe as well as sentient beings through an integral ecology of mind essential for our health, as well as the health of all the Earth’s flora & fauna.

Autopoiesis refers to a system capable of producing and maintaining itself in relational terms, dynamics, as in Interbeing, with the persistence of Panarchy, a model of “interlinked adaptive cycles occuring at multiple temporal and spatial scales simultaneously.”

1 - Wahl Beauty nurtures harmony and flourishing in the universe, enhancing resilience: Beauty equals, retains, and emphasizes truth and connection to subtlety and the sublime through its presence. Beauty expands the relationship of the soul to spirit and beyond through increased awareness, openness, and perception. Beauty embodies the very drive, creative and evolutionary of the Kosmos toward greater depth and expanding consciousness in the witness, beholder and through empathic capacities.

Beauty embraces us in the timeless now by suspending the other chatter in our brains, creating space to be present in the moment. The freedom of non-duality sustains beauty and truth. Beauty nurtures growth, inspires, and confirms all the potential in the Kosmos.

Beauty has meaning. Decay - entropy is inevitable, unavoidable, and regenerative. One can’t have beauty without decay; they go hand in hand, the Yin and the Yang, the Wabi Sabi.

The vision and objective are for sustainable beauty, transcendence, transmutation, and transformation via translation of all that this wondrous Kosmos provides through my actions and art.
  • Gordon Wood


Acrylic, basketry reed, and collage on canvas
24x20 inches

This piece, which includes basketry reed woven into the canvas, exemplifies the interconnection between all things from the smallest cell on up. We are all woven together and dependent on one another. Actions in one area result in changes in other areas.
  • Christine Mckee

The Golden Thread in Question

Fractured Panorama Photograph
Inkjet print
9" x 15"

With this work, I am thinking about the golden thread of awareness, of the witnessing consciousness which runs through all things, of the tentative threads of compassion, of awareness of our shared existence and fate, which when we acknowledge it, can urge us to be kinder and more resilient.
  • Hillary Johnson

Thought Form: The Divine Revealed in its Own Time

Inkjet print
10" x 10" overall
Limited Edition of 5, 2AP

Much in the same way that “sustainability is not a steady state, because nothing in nature persists unchanged. A sustainable society must be able to adapt to new conditions—and that means resilience.” This piece looks at how all our states change continually. We may feel fragmented one moment and see more clearly our interdependence and connection in the next. The work of cultivating that awareness is ongoing. The more we practice, the easier it is to do.
  • Hillary Johnson

The Veil We See Through Makes Things Unclear

Photograph of fabric intervention in an urban landscape
Inkjet print
13” x 19”Limited Edition of 5, 2 AP

This work offers viewers a chance to experience presence as a way of recognizing and intentionally being in connection with ourselves and all around us. When we can experience true presence, clarity and alignment arise and our inclinations shift.
  • Hillary Johnson

Found drawing – after Duchamp

iPhone photos

This is one of an irregular series of photos posted on my Instagram page, all titled “Found art after #Duhamp.” Artist Marcel Duchamp, inventor of the readymade, asked his audience to reconsider art, arguing that simply by calling something art—giving it a title, signing it, or placing it in an art context such as a gallery—it became art. Referring to the Alan Watts quote, “Total situations are, therefore, patterns in time as much as patterns in space,” each photo in this series invites the viewer to think of every moment we experience as part of an ongoing planetary performance. In this spirit, I hope that people who see these photos will come to recognize sunlight, shadows, stains, and the surfaces or forms that cast or capture shadows or cause reflections, as fragments of one ongoing artwork. In time, I hope others will post their own images demonstrating the mystery and beauty in which we are embedded, and some of my followers have done so. In this way, we are co-creating an online community of Earth-reverence. Loving our home is the first step to saving it.
  • Kim Tanzer

Being Breathed

sound drone
new media moving image

Process & Media: Fallen Willow leaves provided the internal chemistry used to create images on undeveloped 35mm film. After fixing the images in sea salt, I used ink to make micro-paintings on and around the intimate details radiating from the Willow’s leaf patterns.

I created this piece to bring people together regardless of the seeming distance between them. It seems a perfect way to support community resilience. Recommended experiencing with others near and far. Please use it freely.

We have used technological advancements to aid our ability to survive as a species from the beginning of our origin. Today, technologies allow us to form community bonds through social media. Finding like-minded individuals across the globe is far easier than within the neighborhood one resides. Online relationships are proven to be strong and uniquely intimate, even though the members may never come in physical contact with one another. Love and friendship know no borders, no boundaries, no conditions. We have grown and virtual communities are cherished, nurtured, and relied upon. They provide the support and encouragement needed for our growth as individuals and as a species.

Virtual communities have strong identities because their members are focused. They have the social capital to get things done with strong collective relationships, a wide range of wisdoms, and the capacity to organize. Because virtual communities are made up of international members, the capacity for resilience increases exponentially. These include new ideas for how to adapt to specific crisis, relocation connections, emotional well-being support, education, encouragement, survival needs, inventions, innovations, revolutions.
  • Quin de la Mer

The Healer


Healers use natural ingredients to cure people of physical or mental ailments. They use herbal remedies to purify their spirit. Also, they use incense, shells, and prayers to build resilience in their people.

Los curanderos utilizan elementos naturales para curar a los individuos de enfermedades, físicas, o mentales. Usan tratamientos herbolarios para purificar su espíritu. Para crear resiliencia en el individuo también utilizan Incienso, conchas y rezos .

“Building resilience at the community level makes practical sense because of how our political system is structured.” Richard Heinberg

“Crear resiliencia a nivel comunitario tiene sentido práctico debido a cómo está estructurado nuestro sistema político” Ricardo Heinberg
  • Marcela Villaseñor

Critical Compost

Packaged compost
limited edition

My limited edition "Critical Compost" is being sold at the Union Gallery during COMPOSTING FOR THE COMMONS event, to raise money for the purchase of #seeds and topsoil in the Spring. $30 each, all profits after artist costs will be donated back to Union Gallery to assist them in building additional infrastructure and signage for their new gallery garden. Contents are usable and boxes are refillable! Reserve your favorite number out of 100 today.
  • Jill Price

Mending Wall

Porcelain clay
90cms x 60cms

Inspired by the Robert Frost poem Mending Wall, where social customs and traditions are difficult to change when they are embedded in communities. The poem is about destruction and creation going hand in hand.
  • Rosalind Lowry


wood engraving8x4cm

I thought a leaping salmon would be a good example of resilience but carving it developed that reflection further than I expected. The salmon is certainly resilient, thrown back thousands of times and each time regrouping and trying again. But it also dawned on me that many of the individual salmon don’t make it. But overall, as a community they succeed, ensuring their survival as a species.
  • John Cloake

The Resiliency of the Oceans

The world is a big place and it's easy to feel like our actions don't matter. But the truth is, everything we do has an impact. And when we work within our communities, we have greater impact. Our oceans are a perfect example of this. They cover 70% of the earth's surface and play a vital role in regulating the planet's climate.

Have you ever stopped to think about the resiliency of the oceans? The oceans have a profound impact on the entire planet, even in areas that seem very remote from the sea. It plays a vital role in regulating the Earth's climate. The waves roll up on the shoreline, cleansing and soothing us.

This short video explores the interconnection between all of nature on Earth and the planet itself. It is a reminder of how our actions in one part of the world can have a ripple effect on the health elsewhere on the earth. The group of horses in community and the town of Cefalu to remind us that our actions work best at the community level. As it is a big tourist destination, it is a nod that everything in the tourism sector needs to evaluate its sustainability and resilience within the communities as well. Images are from around the world, from the South Pacific Ocean to the island of Sicily. I try to show beauty to inspire others to act in ways to encourage the resiliency of the oceans.

Many thanks to The Post Carbon Institute for their exploration of the relationship between sustainability and resilience in the most recent Think Resilience Course! And thanks for creating the What's Next for Earth? project, bringing people together from around the world in a creative way. to share their ideas and visions for the future of our planet.
  • Larissa Rolley

The Veil We See Through Makes Things Unclear II

Fractured Panorama Photograph made by moving the camera to mimic the movements of climate change data with fabric intervention in an urban landscape
Inkjet print
50” x 11”

This piece explores a confusion that seems to prevail, a notion of separation from everything that is not ‘us.” The glitches which occur in the making of the image, moving through the veil are a way of representing the feeling of the disturbances we experience from consumption, consumerism, and competitive modes of living.

When we begin to develop greater clarity we can see that “Not only is there no conflict between sustainability and resilience, there is mutual support between the two. A major factor in building resilience in human systems is making them less likely to produce future disturbances—in other words, making them more sustainable.”
  • Hillary Johnson

The Veil is Thin (When We Look and When We Don’t)

Slow motion video excerpt from longer ongoing investigations with sound gathered from the location.
Gold sparkle tulle intervention in the landscape between the shack and the Wisconsin River at the @aldoleopoldfoundation in Baraboo, WI.

The land where I made this intervention and photo is part of ecosystem resilience work being done at the foundation. They strive to balance a respect for history with deep listening to the ecological needs of the land now and in the future.

The foundation fosters climate and eco-education in community with programs and practices in resilience. This intervention and video was inspired by the intersection of the foundation's landscape choices and deep commitment to education for future generations.

A delusion or confusion that seems to prevail is a notion of separation from everything that is not ‘us’, by which I mean all of nature, all of the universe, all of “the great absorbing stream of the world,” as poet Mark Doty puts it.

Do we live with a veil over in front of our eyes? A veil which until we recognize it, prevents us from seeing clearly.

Might a veiled view lead us to act in ways that are harmful to ourselves, to the planet, to all those with whom we share this time and place? Are our thoughts, words and actions creating repeating patterns or cycles of suffering?

This work explores, through the sensuous pleasures of seeing, veiling and unveiling, texture, moving and weaving through space, ways of experiencing oneself in relationship to ourselves and all that appear to be distinct or separate from us. This work offers viewers a chance to experience presence as a way of recognizing and intentionally being in connection with ourselves and all around us. When we can experience true presence, clarity and alignment arises and our inclinations shift.
  • Hillary Johnson

The Community Resilience in the 21st Century exhibition is based on Think Resilience, the Post Carbon Institute’s free online course. To respond to the art call, we asked the artists to signup and to watch the course, one lesson/video at a time. Each video is approximately 12 minutes long.

[Lesson 1: Introduction to the course]

CHAPTER 1: Our Converging Crises

CHAPTER 2: The Roots and Results of Our Crises

CHAPTER 3: Making Change

CHAPTER 4: Resilience Thinking

  • Lesson 13 – What is Resilience?
  • Lesson 14 – Community Resilience in the 21st Century
  • Lesson 15 – Six Foundations for Building Community Resilience

CHAPTER 5: Economy and Society

  • Lesson 16- How Globalization Undermines Resilience
  • Lesson 17- Economic Relocalization
  • Lesson 18- Social Justice
  • Lesson 19- Education

CHAPTER 6: Basic Needs and Functions

  • Lesson 20- Meeting Essential Community Needs
  • Lesson 21- Resilience in Major Sectors
  • Lesson 22- Review, Assessment & Action

Think Resilience is hosted by Richard Heinberg, one of the world’s leading experts on the urgency and challenges of moving society away from fossil fuels.

We live in a time of tremendous political, environmental, and economic upheaval. What should we do? Think Resilience is an online course offered by Post Carbon Institute to help you get started on doing something. It features twenty-two video lectures—about four hours total—by Richard Heinberg, one of the world’s foremost experts on the urgency and challenges of transitioning society away from fossil fuels. Think Resilience is rooted in Post Carbon Institute’s years of work in energy literacy and community resilience. It packs a lot of information into four hours, and by the end of the course you’ll have a good start on two important skills:

1. How to make sense of the complex challenges society now faces. What are the underlying, systemic forces at play? What brought us to this place? Acting without this understanding is like putting a bandage on a life-threatening injury.

2. How to build community resilience. While we must also act in our individual lives and as national and global citizens, building the resilience of our communities is an essential response to the 21st century’s multiple sustainability crises.

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