Stop glorifying resilience: Here’s how the word resilience shows up in the social sector, and why some leaders say it’s problematic

During a Future of Good digital conversation on building resilient social purpose organizations, leaders explained what resilience means to them — and what it could mean

Why It Matters

Words matter. The language changemakers use to describe their work, their organizations and the communities they serve creates narratives that can either support or undermine their objectives.


It’s a word you’ve likely heard one too many times over the past 16 months since the pandemic hit North America. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Speech from the Throne back in Sept. 2020 was even titled A Stronger and More Resilient Canada. It’s certainly been used to describe social purpose organizations and the communities they serve. 

We’ve covered resilience at Future of Good, too — from tips for building organizational resilience during turbulent times to how employee ownership might make community businesses more resilient to ways Indigenous philosophy can make for more resilient communities. Given that this word now shows up ever

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