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Following on from last year’s theme of the complex issues posed by growing pressure on our planet’s essential resources – a phenomenon sometimes called the Energy-Water-Food Nexus – this year’s event embarked on a search for greater societal resilience. The City of Rotterdam and Royal Dutch Shell will jointly hosted the event. 

Resilience is the long-term capacity of a system to cope with change. Sometimes change in the world is gradual and predictable. At other times, sudden changes can disrupt the climate and vulnerable communities. Such sudden disturbances are expected to increase in frequency and magnitude as the result of stresses on resources and society, as well as acute events such as droughts and floods. 

Powering Progress Together in Rotterdam fostered discussions around what business, civil society and local authorities can do to survive, adapt, and grow in this volatile world. 

Attendees joined a diverse group of experts, including Julia Marton-Lefèvre (Director-General IUCN), Jørgen Ole Haslestad (CEO Yara), Andrew Steer (President World Resources Institute), Michael Suess (CEO Energy Sector Siemens AG), Daan Roosegaarde (Studio Roosegaarde) and resilience experts Brian Walker (Resilience Alliance) and Johan Rockström (Stockholm Resilience Centre). 

Throughout the day, the forum hosted around 500 leading thinkers, representatives from business, NGOs, academia and tomorrow’s leaders. Representatives from The Great Energy Challenge, a National Geographic initiative in partnership with Shell were also present.

Resilience through different lenses

While our speakers discussed resilience and its relationship with the energy-food-water nexus, four talented illustrators from Jongens van de Tekeningen captured the conversations from the day in this insightful infographic. The illustrators were able to draw each panel session from the day and demonstrate the link connecting the sessions to the over-arching theme of resilience. Please click on the image to view each and every detail in full.

See what happened

Look back at the Powering Progress Together Forum 2013 in Rotterdam - opens in new window

Highlights from the day’s discussions are included, along with images, videos, questions, Twitter conversations and other interesting moments captured during the day.