Podcast of Prof. Chapin’s Q&A session

One of the things that really impresses me about Alaskan native groups is their confidence that they can adapt. They’ve felt that they’ve always had to adjust to change, they’ve never lots of resources. Each individual is a jack of all trades … so they have to be very efficient in doing different things, and this makes them convinced that they can deal with a lot of differently circumstances – because they’ve done it regularly as part of their lives.
I’m optimistic that many people in poor areas are more resourceful than we give them credit for being. So maybe some of the best ways to enhance resilience is to empower them to use the skills that they already have, rather than developing programmes that bring in resources from outside. Because once people are doing these things for themselves they’ll figure out a way to continue doing them with little or no money, and so it’ll be less dependent on a public finance program.

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