Latin America Summer School

TRANSFORM in partnership with the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies ARISE of Mexico and Colombia networks carried its 1st Summer School. It’s purpose was to train a group of master’s and Ph.D. students from ten different Universities to be part of a transdisciplinary team of researchers working to map and document sustainable and resilience building practices and models of small and medium enterprises.

This activity contributed to our database of business actions that provide evidence of innovations in the domain of sustainability and disaster risk reduction.

Reforzando la resiliencia a desastres en espacios locales: El papel de las pymes en la transformación de las comunidades
Mayo 2021 – Septiembre 2021

In 2021, the TRANSFORM team mapped sustainable and disaster risk reduction practices of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to understand the trajectories in their implementation and identify opportunities to accelerate their replication in the private sector. This led to 20 in depth case studies of SMEs across different industries such as fisheries, energy, agriculture, construction and education.

The project moved beyond business continuity and corporate social responsibility towards identifying the pathway to business models capable of making more robust strategic contributions to transformative processes leading to more sustainable and resilient communities.

 The Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) was formed by the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Office in 2015 to support the private sector to become a key partner in reducing disaster risk. They aim to implement tailor-made solutions for all industries and sectors, leading to making risk-informed decisions, formulate adaptive strategies and implement preventative actions. 

Climate change and a host of other sustainability challenges require creative solutions from all sectors” says Burch. “TRANSFORM opens a space for sustainability scholars to learn from, and support, small enterprises who help to make their communities healthier and more resilient. We’re very excited to launch this Summer School and Research Project with ARISE Mexico and ARISE Columbia, which will advance this work in Latin America.”

Dr Jose DiBella, TRANSFORM director for the Latin America project said: “We are expanding our research into a Latin-American context, where SMEs have specific challenges shaped by particularities of its cities and communities. We expect to find practices, innovations and entrepreneurship that are making contributions to the targets of the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for DRR. We will generate an evidence base on some of the factors driving and arresting sustainability and disaster resilience building efforts in the private sector, and better understand the cultural, technical and leadership factors that drive the emergence of these practices play in the region.”

ARISE works as a catalyst for business innovation and knowledge sharing to reduce risk of a sustainable and resilient future. Through its networks and links into the global policy discussions on sustainability, climate action, and disaster risk reduction.  This project aligns to its priorities and will help expand the network, promote new partnerships and generate robust evidence on innovations and good practices on risk to inform decision-making processes. 

This project emphasised the importance of global partnerships to bring together and strengthen the next generation of sustainability leaders.