Community Resilience Lab (CRL)


Community Resilience Laboratory

Charter: The Community Resilience Laboratory (“Lab”) is being incubated within the C4I & Cyber Center in the Volgenau School of Engineering at GMU. The Lab will focus initially on trans-disciplinary research and teaching and support to real world event in two areas:

  • Addressing those elements of resilience that overlap with the C4I & Cyber Center’s charter.

Resilience:  Beyond just “bouncing back,” resilience includes pre-crisis preparations and risk mitigation, effective incident management, and leveraging shocks and stresses to emerge stronger–-“Be prepared to bounce forward better.” The Lab also will examine the implications for community resilience of growing interdependencies among infrastructures.

Coordinating across these stovepipes is not easy:  Civilian government processes differ from the military’s, while commercial risk-management, reinsurance and ROI calculations are foreign to government approaches.  Academic researchers and non-governmental/inter-national organizations may use still other methods and terminology.  Any analysis also must recognize impending change and adapt to them, from accelerating technologies, to socio-cultural factors, to changing workforces and expanding cyberattack surfaces.   These provide outstanding opportunities for the Lab to encourage trans-disciplinary approaches.

Initial Activities:  The Lab leverages two complementary initiatives that recently have moved to GMU. STAR-TIDES and Collaborative Community Resilience (CCR) help build sustainable resilience to natural and man-made emergencies while increasing opportunities in under-served communities. They are described in more detail in the “Building Sustainable Resilience” page.  Their goal is to reduce pressures for migration and marginalization through a five-part approach: (1) Knowledge Sharing, (2) Community Focus, (3) Innovative Economics, (4) Integrated Platforms, (5) Learning and Teaching.  The lab will coordinate these activities and serve as a focal point for trans-disciplinary research and teaching, as well as for support to real world events, where appropriate.

Collaborative Relationships with the Lab are available through the George Mason University Foundation, as well as contracting vehicles through the University. Potential partners are outlined in the Potential Partners page. Faculty and student participation is very welcome. The recent STAR-TIDES tech demo generated interest in several students and campus groups and discussions are underway on how to convert these into projects and courses. The Lab welcomes chances to bring diverse talent to bear.