Flood of Ideas

Flood of Ideas

24.05.2011 - Posted by Dom Blackham
Flooding occurred in many areas of Queensland during late December 2010 and early January 2011, with three quarters of the state declared a disaster zone. FLOOD OF IDEAS is a forum gathering diverse and creative ideas for how we could plan and respond to floods and natural disasters in our community. Here’s a post from Alan Hoban, Manager of the Water by Design program at the SEQ Healthy Waterways Partnership.

Last summer I was followed by floods. First, a soggy Christmas at Bundaberg, then I managed to get back down the highway to Brisbane in the few days it was open. Then, as everybody now knows, it rained. Really rained.
Almost everyone we spoke with during and after the floods had some bright ideas about what we could do differently; ideas about ways as a society we could become more flood resilient.

Understandably, under great public scrutiny, our partners in state and local government had to be risk averse and not entertain wild ideas. But we knew from international experience that the floods were a catalyst for new thinking about floods.

I was inspired by the work of James Surowiecki in his book The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few(2004)which is about the aggregation of information in groups, resulting in decisions that, he argues, are often better than could have been made by any single member of the group.

Others had been thinking the same way so we initially partnered with the State Library and Institute of Architects to get the Flood of Ideas project happening. Ideas are coming in daily. We’ll have an exhibition, and then some focussed workshops analysing and recombining the ideas, and hope to be able to make some useful recommendations to government.