Throughout history, humanity has faced numerous global crisis, ranging from pandemics to natural disasters to economic recessions. These crisis have often brought about immense suffering, loss, and uncertainty. However, amidst the chaos and devastation, there is also an opportunity to harness the power and potential of building - to create positive change and shape a better future for all.

When faced with a crisis, building takes on a whole new meaning. It goes beyond constructing physical structures; it involves building resilience, solidarity, and hope. Here are some ways in which building can be a powerful force in a global crisis:

Build Knowledge and Expertise

Crisis often reveal gaps in our knowledge and understanding. They highlight areas where expertise is needed to address the situation effectively. In response, individuals and communities come together to learn, educate, and share information. Experts emerge, and knowledge is built through research, innovation, and collaboration. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists and healthcare professionals worldwide worked tirelessly to understand the virus, develop vaccines, and implement public health measures. We can hold differing views on the vaccine while acknowledging the essential need to rapidly accumulate knowledge and deploy merited expertise to mitigate the impact of a potential crisis.

Build Communities and Networks

Crisis have a way of bringing people together. They foster a sense of solidarity and unity, transcending boundaries of nationality, ethnicity, and religion. Communities rally around a common cause, providing support, comfort, and assistance to those in need. Networks of individuals, organizations, and governments collaborate to address the crisis collectively. For example, in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or wildfires, communities come together to rebuild homes, provide aid, and support those affected. These acts of building community and networks create a sense of resilience and connectedness, strengthening social bonds and fostering a spirit of mutual care and support.

Building Innovation and Creativity

Crisis demand new solutions and approaches. They often require innovative thinking and creative problem-solving. In the face of adversity, individuals and organizations rise to the challenge, developing new technologies, processes, and strategies to tackle the crisis. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed unprecedented levels of innovation, from the rapid development of vaccines to the use of technology for remote work, telehealth, and online education. The crisis spurred creativity and ingenuity, leading to breakthroughs that have the potential to reshape and advance our world.

Build Resilience and Adaptability

A crisis tests our resilience and ability to adapt to changing circumstances. They force us to confront uncertainty and navigate unforeseen challenges. In response, we learn to be more resilient, flexible, and agile. We develop new skills, strategies, and coping mechanisms as we struggle through a crisis and emerge stronger on the other side. For example, businesses that faced economic recessions have had to adapt their operations, pivot their business models, and find new ways to survive and thrive. This resilience and adaptability built during a crisis can be invaluable in navigating future challenges and uncertainties.

Build Sustainable And Scalable Systems

A crisis may often expose the flaws and inequalities in our systems and structures. They reveal the vulnerabilities of our societies and economies, and the need for change. In response, we have the opportunity to build sustainable systems that are widely available for use and adoption. Crisis can serve as a catalyst for rethinking and reshaping our systems, addressing root causes and building solutions that are resilient and sustainable. For example, in a world where nature balances itself, often in undesired ways, there has been a growing movement towards building sustainable cities, transitioning to renewable energy, and promoting environmental conservation. We see this take place in any number of ways, from improving architecture, to advancing nuclear energy, to holding the sand dunes back from civilizational ecosystems.


The power and potential of building in a global crisis cannot be overstated. Crisis challenges us to come together, innovate, adapt, and build solutions that address the immediate needs and underlying issues of our time. Building in a crisis is not just about constructing physical structures, but also about creating knowledge, communities, innovation, resilience, sustainability, and hope.

Build in a crisis is not random; it requires intentional design. It involves thoughtful planning, strategic action, and collaborative efforts. It requires us to envision a better future and work towards it with purpose and determination. Through intentional design, we can create systems, structures, and solutions that are sustainable and resilient. We can empower individuals and communities, promote social cohesion, and foster innovation and creativity. We can build a world that is better prepared to face future crisis and challenges.

As we navigate the complexities of global crisis, let us recognize the power and potential of building. Let us embrace the opportunity to come together, learn, innovate, and create positive change. Let us intentionally design our responses to crisis, with a vision for a better future. Through building, we can shape a world that is stronger and enduring for ourselves and future societies.

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