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Antifragility - The new buzzword in regional development?

We’re lucky in our region to have one of Australia’s best minds in the fields of geography and regional development as well as being a futurist to boot. Adjunct Professor Tony Sorensen from the University of New England recently authored a paper entitled “Antifragility, Stable Adaptation, and Future-proofing:  redefining the spirit and purpose of regional development strategy in Australia’s peripheral regions” which is a must-read for anyone who takes an interest in regional economic development and the future of our communities. You can read the abstract of Tony’s paper and download the full version below:

Australia’s rural regions typically have fragile and narrow economic bases specialising in agriculture, mining, or leisure and recreation. We canvass the major sources of economic fragility, which is growing fast through global competition, massive technological progress, and many other pressures for change. These severely diminish the capacity of governments to deliver effective top-down and one-size-fits-all regional development strategies. The antidote to fragility resides instead in local self-help strategies designed to increase communities’ entrepreneurial, technological, future-oriented, and innovative capacities. Knowledge about optimal delivery of such outcomes in Australia’s sparsely settled regions is, however, limited. This suggests an agenda of action research to promote and document local experiences – both successes and failures – in promoting the cultural change necessary to deliver stable adaptation.

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