From I have, to I am to we can

2 min readDec 7, 2023

In 2001, after the 9/11 attacks the French papers put on their front pages, “We are all Americains”. A decade later, in our own country, when Paris faced it’s own terrorist attack, killing journalists from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, as well as police and a Kosher shop, the slogan was “Je suis Charlie”. Several months later, the City of Light was attacked again. The motto? “Je suis en terrasse”. The focus had changed from the “we” to the “I”. A sign of greater individualism or that a newspaper could no longer pretend to speak on behalf of a society?

I have : external support: networks of help

I am : feelings, attitude and faith — #iamcharlie versus #iammuslim

I can : interpersonal skills, social relationships — “si se puede”

Community resilience

How can help our places be more collectively resilient, in other words to creatively and successfully to cope with and adapt to anticipated or unexpected circumstances that threaten to deplete existing financial, social and cultural resources?

We shouldn’t expect only people involved in structures like cooperatives or social enterprises to be “cooperative” or “social”. That’s like saying we should only learn at school or be friendly with friends. Despite the black swans and incentivises pushing people to always be better than their colleagues, like the Call Centre below, there have always been networks of solidarity in the workplace from the match strike ladies to ocreative communities in the workplace.

Yet organisations either feel threatened by these behaviours or take them for granted (calculate how much unpaid time you give to your organisation). Some organisations have a deeply embedded culture where their employees want to help each other like @ideo. That’s why @harvardhbs went and mapped the “networks of help” in that organisation. Their CEO @tceb62 argues that they do this because “the more complex the problem (that their organisation is asked to tackle), the more help you need”.

How are your organisations or local areas helping people feel more collectively resilient?




Head of Policy Design, Scrutiny & Partnerships @newhamlondon #localgov Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese