Crisis & Disaster

Understanding the Black Swan

Times of Malta in conjunction with Seed is serializing the economic report Agile. Perspectives on Malta’s economy post COVID-19. The report was authored by JP Fabri, Glenn Fenech, partner and senior consultant at Seed, and University academics Professor Vincent Cassar, Dr Stephanie Fabri and Dr Jonathan Spiteri. The full report can be read here. A modern globalised economy is a complex web of […]

The Pandemic Isn’t a Black Swan but a Portent of a More Fragile Global System

Bernard Avishai Nassim Nicholas Taleb is “irritated,” he told Bloomberg Television on March 31st, whenever the coronavirus pandemic is referred to as a “black swan,” the term he coined for an unpredictable, rare, catastrophic event, in his best-selling 2007 book of that title. “The Black Swan” was meant to explain why, in a networked world, we need to change business practices and […]

How COVID-19 might help us win the fight against climate change

Victoria Crawford The COVID-19 pandemic has elicited a global response unlike anything we’ve seen before. From government and business taking on new roles to respond to the crisis to the complete re-organisation of how we work, travel and socialize, we have witnessed transformational changes that didn’t appear possible just weeks ago. The human costs of the pandemic are horrifying, but […]

Coronavirus outbreak highlights market complacency risk

Robert Armstrong Why was reaction to red flags slow — and can business become more vigilant? Monday morning, February 24, was the moment when a thoroughly somnolent market, after a decade of steadily rising prices and accommodative central bank policy, awoke to the fact that coronavirus would have serious implications for the world economy — and that, at the same time, […]

“All the information was always out there”​ – “Everywhere you look there are red flags”​

Paul Barnett, CEO Strategic Management Forum My two recent posts expressed surprise, that organisations that should know better have called the Coronavirus outbreak a Black Swan Event. The first on March 29th and the second on March 30th. Read more “All the information was always out there, and until February 21, risk managers all over the world were just ignoring it.” […]

Pierrick Raude : « Un des premiers réflexes dans la gestion de crise a été de se préoccuper du soutien à l’activité économique car ce sera un enjeu de sortie de crise »

Hugues Perinel Face à la gestion de la crise sanitaire liée à la propagation du Covid-19, les collectivités doivent se coordonner pour maintenir une continuité d’activité et protéger les agents. Pierrick Raude, Directeur Général des services de la Communauté d’agglomération du Bassin d’Arcachon Nord (COBAN), répond à nos questions et nous fait part de son expérience.  Des crises comme celles-là nous obligent à revenir à l’essentiel : Protéger nos collaborateurs et organiser le travail à distance – communiquer auprès de tous sur cette organisation. […]

How our cities can reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic

Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo A ten-point preparedness plan for our communities As the dreaded coronavirus rips across the globe, city after city has locked down, transforming urban business centers, suburban malls, and other public spaces into ghost towns. This is not the first time this has happened—since time immemorial, cities have been epicenters of communicable diseases. Read more

Climate and the $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

Lisa Friedman The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday afternoon on a $2 trillion stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the provisions are a mixed bag for climate change. The measure does not include $3 billion for the government to buy oil and fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a provision sought by Republicans and President Trump. But it […]

Board Leadership and Performance in a Crisis

Jack “Rusty” O’Kelley III, Grace Cheng, Beatrice Ballini, Constantine Alexandrakis, Justus O’Brien, Laura Sanderson, Melissa Martin, PJ Neal, Todd Safferstone For board directors and chief executive officers. Every industry across the globe has faced a crisis at some point in time. While most large companies survive, many struggle for years following a period of severe adversity. Others prevail and become […]

Beyond coronavirus: The path to the next normal

Kevin Sneader and Shubham Singhal. The coronavirus is not only a health crisis of immense proportion—it’s also an imminent restructuring of the global economic order. Here’s how leaders can begin navigating to what’s next. “For some organizations, near-term survival is the only agenda item. Others are peering through the fog of uncertainty, thinking about how to position themselves once the […]

COVID-19: A Failure in Risk Management

Professor David Zaruk as Risk-Monger When a train crashes, authorities are on the scene to determine the cause. The COVID-19 coronavirus is fast becoming a global train wreck and unless we quickly assess the the mistakes leading up to this tragedy, more trains will pile into the station. The longer the Risk-Monger gets in the tooth, the more global mass panic events […]

The seven early lessons of the global coronavirus crisis

Ivan Krastev | NewStatesman These are strange days we are living in. We do not know when the Covid-19 pandemic will end; we do not know how it will end; and, at present, we can only speculate about its long-term political and economic impact. Historians are clear: epidemics are events, not trends. As the historian of medicine Charles Rosenberg has put […]

Before Virus Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded

David E. Sanger, Eric Lipton, Eileen Sullivan and Michael Crowley Government exercises, including one last year, made clear that the U.S. was not ready for a pandemic like the coronavirus. But little was done. The outbreak of the respiratory virus began in China and was quickly spread around the world by air travelers, who ran high fevers. In the United […]

Leadership in a crisis: Responding to the coronavirus outbreak and future challenges

Gemma D’Auria and Aaron De Smet The coronavirus pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on leaders in business and beyond. The humanitarian toll taken by COVID-19 creates fear among employees and other stakeholders. The massive scale of the outbreak and its sheer unpredictability make it challenging for executives to respond. Indeed, the outbreak has the hallmarks of a “landscape scale” crisis: […]

The Coronavirus and Carbon Emissions

Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich In the past month, the world has seen a remarkably large drop in emissions of carbon dioxide, the main driver of global warming. The reason isn’t something to celebrate, though. The coronavirus outbreak in China, which has sickened at least 77,000 people, has shut down factories, refineries and flights across the country as officials order people […]

As New Coronavirus Spread, China’s Old Habits Delayed Fight

Chris Buckley and Steven Lee Myers At critical turning points, Chinese authorities put secrecy and order ahead of openly confronting the growing crisis and risking public alarm or political embarrassment. Read more “A mysterious illness had stricken seven patients at a hospital, and a doctor tried to warn his medical school classmates. “Quarantined in the emergency department,” the doctor, Li […]

Ready for the rising water

Utrecht University The largest evacuation ever in the Netherlands due to flood risk is 25 years ago this winter. 250,000 people had to leave their homes in river areas due to the dangerous high water levels of the Rhine, Maas and Waal. Several water researchers at Utrecht University have personal memories of this. They reminisce on those days and look into the future. Are we […]

Closer than ever: It is 100 seconds to midnight

Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers—nuclear war and climate change— that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode. Read more

Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis

Jared Diamond | Little, Brown and Company A “riveting and illuminating” (Yuval Noah Harari) new theory of how and why some nations recover from trauma and others don’t, by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of the landmark bestsellers Guns, Germs, and Steeland Collapse. In his international bestsellers Guns, Germs and SteelandCollapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and […]

Strategic Disaster Planning

Source: ICMA. Those who work with communities in the aftermath of natural disasters see the importance of advance planning firsthand. Disaster plans save time, money, headaches and, ultimately, they can save lives. In short, planning makes disasters less disastrous. And yet, it can be difficult for communities to prioritize disaster planning, particularly for those with limited time, budget, or staff. […]