Rob Glenn Rob Glenn
Vice President, Global Resilience


June 30, 2022


For more insights into this topic, register for our annual Building Resilience Through Private-Public Partnerships Conference for two days of thought-provoking sessions and insightful conversations.

Businesses ready for future risk build their operational resilience today and actively engage in the communities they provide value for every day. Through this role at the U.S. Chamber Foundation, I look forward to helping them on this journey so they can create additional value by doing good. But resilience involves more than just the ability for businesses to function across infrastructure sectors, the marketplace, or community lifelines.

Business capabilities and capacities create value when they adopt systemic resilience measures that improve readiness for inevitable disruptions, crises, and disasters. We want to help businesses apply this to causes that reduce fragilities and increase resilience capacities recognizing that there are limitations.

While some risks develop by accident, resilience functions as an intentional strategy. In the future, executives will likely integrate resilience into corporate strategy instead of as a peripheral item apart from the core business. If a company doesn’t possess readiness or resilience, it will not be able to generate value in its core function or its more philanthropic efforts of doing good amid increasing disasters.

Proactive investment in reducing holistic community vulnerabilities, including assessing where people live, the structures, building codes, and the community lifelines all supported by infrastructure systems. Continuing to adapt to climate variability and certain cybersecurity interdependencies of systems will be growth areas to enhance both corporate and community resilience.

We will continue to experience a series of resource-intensive, complex incidents that include multiple hazards (e.g., hurricanes, wildfires, cyber) globally with complex supply chains and market dynamics that demand resilience across interdependent sectors and ensure those on the economic margins become more resilient.

Our social infrastructure may be more critical than our view of traditional infrastructure. Significant tension exists around truth, misinformation, and trust. During crises and conversations preceding significant disruptions that require resilience, we depend on facts, expertise, and trusted relationships to conduct complex operations to stabilize communities and systems in distress. We might find that when planning and understanding community issues holistically, we see greater harmony and unity against the disaster instead of each other.

This will require a Generational Commitment. Perhaps it’s looking at my seven-year-old son, Grant, and reflecting on the seven years at FEMA, but it’s evident that our future resilience depends on our actions over this short horizon. The next seven years might become just as eventful as the previous, with changes now being faster, more interconnected, and some effects requiring extended time to remedy and ultimately a challenge for our global resilience.

I look forward to more discussion on this topic during our 11th Annual Building Resilience Through Private-Public Partnerships Conference on July 28-29 in Washington, D.C., hosted in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Small Business Administration (SBA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and NORAD and USNORTHCOM. Hope you’ll join us. You can register here.

About the authors

Rob Glenn

Rob Glenn

Rob coordinates the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation's efforts to connect government and private sector capabilities and expertise, enabling readiness for all hazards and advancing resilience.

Read more