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Leapfrog From Disaster Symposium will radically generate and seed distinctive solutions to the challenge of today’s natural hazards

By A. Lira V. Luis posted 09-27-2014 11:05 AM

Chicago, IL. (September 27, 2014) — More people are now living in natural disaster-prone areas resulting from climate change. In 2013, over 22 million people were displaced by natural disasters, as reported and backed by the UN in the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) Global Estimates. That year, category 5 Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines displaced 4.1 million people alone — a million more than the combined effects experienced in Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Oceania.

Organized and led by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)-USA and Leapfrog Project including the American Institute of Architects’ AIA NY Design for Risk and Reconstruction (DfRR) and AIA International, "Leapfrog From Disaster" will be held in the Philippines on November 1 – 7, 2014 to bring together world-leading pioneers in Resilience, Architecture, and Ecology.

“Leapfrog Project’s role and potential for the Philippines is staked out, and a unique role for (Filipino) architects defined. (This) symposium will be hugely important as the one year anniversary of the disaster (Haiyan/Yolanda) approaches,” said USA Ambassador (ret) John F. Maisto, President of the US-Philippines Society.

Speakers, which include influencers in science, business, government, and the arts, as well as the delegates will be challenged to re-invent the post-disaster paradigm, going beyond current aspirations and expectations in post-disaster rehabilitation.

“Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was very devastating and horrible. Having witnessed its impacts firsthand and assisted in rebuilding, I saw the tremendous amount of work going on including all the help that’s happening around the world. I’m delighted to hear of the efforts being made toward this symposium. It sounds super special, positive, innovative, and I hope it will go a long way,” shared Billy Dec, The Whitehouse, US President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

"It is truly an honor to be with individuals who are willing to share their resources to help rebuild our nation,” said confirmed speaker and Philippine TV personality/Trainstation CEO Carelle Mangaliag. “In this Symposium, I also get to work with an inspired new organization such as the Leapfrog Project, at the heart of building a resilient future for Philippines. Thankful for this opportunity to serve,” further comments this content producer.

Ultimately the Symposium aims to: Organize a genuinely collaborative post-disaster rebuilding initiative that utilizes wide-ranging local, national and international expertise, efforts, and resources to help Tacloban and its neighboring cities rebuild with resilience; Engage different schools of thought from design, science, technology and business, through interdisciplinary discourse and group activities both during and after the symposium; Birth a new school of architecture-and-design-thinking from the typhoon rebuilding efforts, which may inform future natural hazard resilience programs worldwide; Develop ecologically-friendly architectural solutions that help protect the rich biodiversity of the region and beyond.

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About Leapfrog Project

Leapfrog Project was officially launched during the 2014 American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention and is now deployed to respond to the call of rebuilding. It is a project under the Orem Foundation, a US registered 501(c)(3) tax exempt Non-Profit Corporation.  It rallies a number of local and international partners to collaborate in helping Tacloban and its neighbouring cities rebuild with resilience, to serve as model of post-disaster reconstruction to the rest of the country and perhaps, the world.

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