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A Systemic, Socio-Ecological Approach for Community Resilience: The Case Study Analysis Of The World Music School


  • Chen Jian College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.
  • Susu Nousala Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Timothee Landa Political Sciences, Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France.
  • Pedro AIBÉO Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Architecture, Alto University, Espoo, Finland.


Community, Community Resilience, Systemic approach, Systemic Design, Socio-ecological System


This paper presents research and a discussion on aspects of community resilience informed by literature and the case studies of the World Music School (WMS) Helsinki community and the Shanghai WMS community of interest. Focus has been informed by issues of human community resilience, impacted through (and with) their immediate environments, both social and environmental. Based on discussion, feedback loops and observation, the question of our proximity to our environment and the links between human beings, seems to suggest an emergent result, being one of disconnection, however, what emergent combinations of these conditions are responsible? In a human centered paradigm, the disconnection of the individual, then of its community greatly reduces their capacity to operate as a resilient system. In an overall perspective of human and non-human, this disconnection or dis-integration, weakens simultaneously the socio-economic system, as well as the social-ecological system it is connected to or belongs to. An understanding of how connectivity organized itself was informed by Community of Practice (Wenger, 1998) and related literatures regarding the effects of resilience with NGOs (Robinson and Berkes, 2011; Berkes and Ross, 2013; Walker and Salt, 2012a; Aldrich and Meyer, 2015).

This research focuses on the critical roles, impacts and evolution for the World Music School as an NGO, teaching music and organizing events around dance and music. As an inclusive and connectivity enhancer, this work aims to investigate what and why of this NGO’s involvement in building community structure, including the inclusive of local diaspora leading to any supporting resilient subsystems within the overall social system. This research argues that the WMS communities bare the potentials to make a difference predominantly on individual level, and then on its close environment and subsequently enhancing the community resilience on the overall socio-ecological system level.