“It takes a community” is the Alliance’s key operating principle. That is, the Alliance has been developed by, will be constituted from, managed by, and will serve the community. This principle enables all stakeholders, both individuals and organizations, to build transformative relationships by turning opportunities into synergistic realities that are expected to result in practicable solutions for reducing disaster loss.
Given the evolutionary nature of research, and in light of the complexity and ever evolving realities of societal challenges and those wishing to take part in addressing them, the Alliance itself will evolve to support the development of next-generation ideas, skills, and community participants. To this end, the Alliance operates on the principles that it:
- Works on behalf of the community because it comprises members of the community and is stewarded by the community;
- Translates and integrates information, concepts, methodologies, and plans across disciplinary and cultural boundaries to ensure that all participating organizations, individuals and sectors are able to interact in ways that are maximally effective;
- Serves as a virtual think tank and resource base for incubating particularly novel and intellectually “risky” ideas, especially those which might not be “ready for prime time” if submitted to traditional funding sources but that have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of and ability to deal with extreme environmental events;
- Facilitates co-produced knowledge by creating opportunities for all researchers and practitioners, irrespective of discipline, to partner together for the co-production of knowledge and development of solutions to extreme environmental events;
- Enables meaningful progress in enhancing diversity and inclusivity in all of its dimensions (geographic, gender, ethnicity, race, institution type, perspective, etc.);
- Empowers “research conducted within operations,” rather than “research transitioned into operations,” by promoting and supporting the simultaneous conduct of research and operational activities;
- Convenes the community, in collaboration with others, by organizing meetings that facilitate the sharing of knowledge and the free exchange of ideas across a wide array of organizations, perspectives and stakeholders;
- Advocates, on behalf of the communities it serves, for an integrative approach to problem-solving that involves all relevant sectors and organizations; for bold research agendas; for identifying gaps in the translation of research to practice; and in policies that are most effective in addressing extreme environmental events; and
- Serves as a gap-filler such that it does not replicate opportunities and approaches that are already available through agencies, companies, or organizations. Rather it serves as a strategic and flexible community framework that can advocate for attention to areas where others cannot or choose not to invest their resources and efforts.
It is important to recognize that the Alliance is not a center or research unit and that its value derives from facilitating multidisciplinary, practical, and community-driven outcomes in ways that otherwise would be notably difficult or impossible. Consequently, The Alliance will not compete with existing research entities or activities, nor by itself set the community research agenda. Rather, it will empower and enable the community to be successful.