Collaboratory (wikipedia – Cogburn, 2003, p. 86).

A collaboratory is a new networked organization form that uses leading-edge complex system adaptive practices to create an “action network” across a multi-organization ecosystem. According to wikipedia, a collaboratory is … We consider action networks to be a promising organizing structure to bring transformative tools and approaches to the communities we call home. These transformative approaches bring people together in meaningful and effective ways across cultural divides and across the megacommunity (grassroots and social, civic, and business organizations) to create the world that our hearts know is possible.

Deep Democracy: those most affected by decisions make those decisions because they live with the consequences. From a climate perspective, deep democracy is led by the “front-line” low-income communities and communities of color who end up with the oil refineries, coal mining, waste incinerators, etc. in their backyards. (from the Movement Strategy Center with TRCC member Movement Generation,The Pathways to Resilience (P2R) Dialogues)

Grassroots: the community heart of human society. The term grassroots is often used by political organizers who want power in numbers, in order to pass policies. However, rather than simply the means to a political end, the grassroots is really the community heart of human society. It is the organized power of local community members to determine their common values and address their common needs. The grassroots is the local community commons.

Grasstops: grassroots leaders and organizations who build the resilience movement by working at the regional and translocal scale  The “grasstops” are influential network hubs for grassroots leaders and organizations in what is sometimes called the grassroots organizing sector (GRO). Grasstops local work causes powerful impact within regions, and then regional impact shifts policy and resources at state levels and beyond.


Resilience is a community’s ability to adapt and thrive in changing conditions instead of collapsing during a shock. Resilience is not about “bouncing back.” Instead, it is about “bouncing forward” to eradicate the inequities and unsustainable resource use at the heart of the many crises we face, including climate, equity, and democracy.

Two TRCC member organizations define “resilience” in more depth.

  • Resilience: The ability of a community to maintain and evolve its identity in the face of both short-term and long-term changes while cultivating environmental, social, and economic sustainability. (Post Carbon Institute, Six Foundations for Building Community Resilience)
  • Resilience: Climate Change Mitigation + Adaptation + Deep Democracy.
    • Mitigation: stopping the harm by lowering greenhouse gas emissions
    • Adaptation: adjustments in ecological, social, or economic systems to lower the risk of climatic changes