Driving research

Define leadership.
Measure resilience.

How do we make a difference?

Research to improve social resilience

Creative Crisis Leadership invites academic and professional scholars to work with us to understand effective grassroots crisis response, and the means of making it happen.

To guide our work, we are looking for answers to questions such as:

What inspires people to rise up and succeed in a crisis?

What individual and situational factors inspire a bystander to take action in a crisis? What skills and mindsets lead to successful collective action and improvised leadership?

What learning methods can prepare people for grassroots crisis response?

What educational techniques promote and reinforce the skills and mindsets of collective action and improvised leadership? What techniques yield effective behaviors years later in a time of uncertainty and stress?

What support do those who take action need?

What common challenges do grassroots crisis response efforts face? What are the most effective ways of overcoming them? How can coaching and support services help grassroots responders to improvise and adapt in their unique situations?

How do we measure outcomes?

How do we measure behavioral change, long-term impact, and complex social interactions? What methods will give us reliable actionable answers in the chaotic and emotionally difficult environments of crisis?

Current research projects

COVID-19 leaders study

When COVID-19 became a pandemic, we immediately knew that grassroots efforts would emerge all over. We interviewed leaders and experts in the thick of it to uncover what emerging spontaneous leaders need to succeed, and how we can support them.

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Research roundtables

Understanding crisis, collective action, and improvised leadership draws on many scientific fields. We are leading a series of roundtable discussions that bring together diverse groups of researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas and share insights.

Hurricane Harvey study

A few days after Hurricane Harvey first struck Texas, we learned of this exceptional case of improvised crisis leadership. Within weeks, we were doing ethnographic interviews in Rockport TX to learn what happened, and why people did what they did.

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Get involved

Partner

Work with us to study the many research questions that surround grassroots crisis response. We have the questions, we have the field opportunities. We need research collaborations to get the answers.

Volunteer

We need creative, but rigorous, thinkers to help design innovative research approaches, outcome measures, and data collection methods for the chaotic situations and complex social phenomena our research explores.

Volunteer

Help us to write case studies from amazing stories of people stepping up to help their community cope in crisis. We need writer-analysts to dig deep into interview data, and come up with compelling fact-based narratives.

Volunteer

We need someone to provide logistical support for running research roundtables, especially around managing coordination and communication with participants. We also welcome help with analyzing and reporting results.

“‘Google’ is not a synonym for ‘research’.”

Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol

Partners in research