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 / Spring 2008 / Issue 50(originally published by Booz & Company)


Convenors of Capability

The Hope Center also shows that there is something to be learned from every emerging megacommunity. Each example like this contributes to an expanding experience base. The problems faced by cities such as Biloxi may well grow more complex during the next few years, but by working on them in a megacommunity fashion, we can meet these challenges with a greater collective capacity for sustainable solutions.

Above left: Patience Harris on the porch of her new home, built by the GCCDS. Above right: After two years of living in a trailer, Karen Parker and her children are ready to move into the first model home completed by Architecture for Humanity.

Above: The center’s staff.

Above: Scenes of post-Katrina Biloxi.

Above: GCCDS Director David Perkes, in the white shirt, shows Lawrence Frascella a new house designed in Biloxi’s vernacular “dog trot” style (with an open breezeway between sections of the house).

Reprint No. 08109

Author Profiles:

Michael Delurey ([email protected]) is a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton in McLean, Va. He specializes in strategic planning, policy analysis, and policy development for government clients with a focus on complex network analysis, critical infrastructure protection, and geocomplexity. He is the project director for the megacommunities research group at Booz Allen.

David Sulek ([email protected]) is a principal with Booz Allen in Herndon, Va. He leads a team of policy analysts focused on homeland security, protection of critical infrastructure, information sharing, public–private partnership issues, and national preparedness. He has researched and written about the development of megacommunity concepts in emergency preparedness.

Lawrence Frascella ([email protected]) is a consulting editor for Booz Allen’s megacommunities research group. He is the coauthor, with Al Weisel, of Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause (Simon & Schuster, 2005). His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Aperture, Rolling Stone, and Harper’s Bazaar.

Alan Richardson ([email protected]) is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine; he has also coauthored several books, including The Breath of a Wok (Simon & Schuster, 2004) and The Four Seasons of Italian Cooking (Time-Life Books, 1998).
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  1. Mark Gerencser, Reginald Van Lee, Fernando Napolitano, and Christopher Kelly, Megacommunities: How Leaders of Government, Business and Non-Profits Can Tackle Today’s Global Challenges Together (Palgrave, 2008): Introduction and in-depth guide to the megacommunity phenomenon.
  2. William Henderson, “Oral History with Mr. William F. Stallworth,” Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage of the University of Southern Mississippi, F341.5.M57, vol. 747, pt. 2, (introduction and transcript): Life story of a megacommunity leader, recorded in 1999.
  3. Douglas Himberger, David Sulek, and Stephen Krill Jr., “When There Is No Cavalry,” s+b, Autumn 2007: Explains that disaster preparedness can be rehearsed, if there is a megacommunity approach in place.
  4. Jim Lewis, “Battle for Biloxi,” New York Times Magazine, May 21, 2006: A report on East Biloxi in the midst of recovery.
  5. Kate Stohr and Cameron Sinclair, “Rebuilding an American City: A Case Study of Biloxi, MS ,” MP3 audio file: Presentation by the Architecture for Humanity cofounders at the 2007 Aspen Institute Ideas Festival. Also see the Web site.
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