Remember the movie “Moneyball”? The Oakland A’s are struggling, financially and on the baseball field. Then they introduce an innovative system for figuring out which players will improve team performance. Moving away from observations by scouts, the A’s begin to use advanced statistics to value players. With their new insights, the A’s acquire high-impact players for relatively little money. Within a season, they’re at the top of the game and so successful that within a few years the rest of the league has reorganized how they value players, too.
“Moneyball” highlights the power of innovative knowledge systems: creative new sets of tools and practices for collecting, analyzing and applying data to solving problems. All organizations depend on knowledge systems, but it’s not uncommon, over time, for the knowledge they generate to become stale and poorly adapted to changing contexts.
As researchers on resilience and sustainability of cities, we’ve found that unfortunately that has become the case for a number of cities. This is already causing problems: Outdated knowledge systems have exacerbated recent disasters and contributed to growing financial losses from extreme weather, which have exceeded US$110 billion in the U.S. this year alone.
Discussions around improving resilience and adaptation to extreme events often focus on upgrading infrastructure or building new infrastructure, such as bigger levees or flood walls. But cities also need new ways of knowing, evaluating and anticipating risk by updating their information systems.
CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE - This article was produced by the Knowledge Systems Innovation Group at Arizona State University’s Urban Resilience to Extreme Events Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) (Eric Kennedy, Margaret Hinrichs, Changdeok Gim, Kaethe Selkirk, Pani Pajouhesh, Robbert Hobbins, Mathieu Feagan).