Economic Mobility: Creating Disaster Resilient and Sustainable Communities

Webinar Held Dec. 5, 2023


Disasters destabilize societal wellbeing and further damage fragile economic infrastructures, especially in communities experiencing inequality. Explore these complex issues and how establishing economic mobility is a primary solution to building disaster-resilient and sustainable communities.

Key Takeaways

  • To ensure the prosperity of communities, it is essential not only to restore them to their pre-disaster state but also to establish conditions that surpass their previous state.
  • Equity should be at the center of any strategy. Bring affected communities to the table as planning begins so everyone is a part of the conversation from the very beginning and can inform exactly what is needed.
  • Consider technology through an equity lens and recognize that often the first step is ensuring technology’s accessibility to all community members. Technology plays a crucial role in every phase of a disaster, including pre-disaster preparation. Consider what types of technology you may need based on where you are in the disaster cycle.
  • Clarify the specific issue you aim to address and maintain a laser focus on that scope. Identify suitable partners who share alignment with your focus area.


Rob Glenn (Moderator), Vice President, Global Resilience, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: Rob coordinates the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s efforts to connect government and private sector capabilities and expertise, enabling readiness for all hazards and advancing resilience. Before joining the U.S. Chamber Foundation, he spearheaded several initiatives at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to align the efforts of private and public sectors before, during, and after disasters. In consulting, he advised clients in the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA at Booz Allen Hamilton. Rob served in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer where he led search and relief missions during Hurricane Katrina and was awarded the Bronze Star during Operation Iraqi Freedom for innovative counterinsurgency operations disrupting Al Qaeda.

Qadira Harris, Head of Global Responsibility, Matterport: As Matterport’s first Head of Global Responsibility Harris leads efforts and initiatives in diversity, equity and inclusion, social impact, volunteerism, sustainability and ESG. She is passionate about helping others discover their purpose and is a renowned speaker and facilitator. Harris has previously held leadership positions at Walmart, AARP, Allstate and CVS Health. She completed her undergraduate degree at Marquette University and her graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Harumi Kachi, Executive Director, Hands On Tokyo: Before becoming Executive Director of Hands On Tokyo in April 2021, Kachi was the project coordinator of the LIVES project for five years. She has a background in coordinating international conferences and managing international groups including Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) in Japan. She has assisted global companies by teaching English and cross-cultural understanding to young leaders and promoting corporate culture within companies.

Joe Ruiz, Vice President of Social Impact and The UPS Foundation: The UPS Foundation leads the global citizenship programs and initiatives for UPS. As vice president, Joe is responsible for UPS Health and Humanitarian Relief efforts, including The UPS Foundation’s commitment to accelerate vaccine equity across continents. He also leads UPS’s Logistics Emergency Team to enhance the supply chain capabilities of U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations. Joe also oversees The UPS Foundation’s Planet Protection efforts to plant 50 million trees by 2030, and UPS’s International Community Relations network.

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Joe serves on The Salvation Army National Advisory Board, The St. Bernard Project (SBP) board and the Good360 Disaster Recovery Council. He is also a former member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Risk & Resilience and former vice chairman of The Center for Disaster Philanthropy.