Reflections on Education

Screen-Shot-2015-09-30-at-23.02.24-300x300By John O’Dea

Some weeks ago, I was invited, or rather coerced into giving a talk about PRIMO to my granddaughter’s class for careers day. I loaded the PowerPoint presentation that I prepared tracing the organisation’s development from its birth as an idea and a concept on the 1st April 2005 to what it is today – the premier public risk management organisation in Europe.

I spoke briefly about Murphy’s Law and the definition of risk, segueing smoothly into PRIMO’s mission statement –“ We care about good governance”. I explained that PRIMO focuses on leaders, managers and advisers in the public domain, seeking to improve the management of public risks by sharing knowledge, and realised that I was addressing 13-14 year olds and that all this was way over their heads. Their eyes were glazing over and I was losing them.

Thirteen year olds do not as a rule consider the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report as cool reading material. So I went from the academic to the mundane and talked about traffic signs, signals and road marking as an everyday example of public risk management by local authorities and central government.

I explained that by Law traffic routes must be suitably indicated where necessary for reasons of public health and safety. That clear signs should be installed to tell both drivers and pedestrians about the routes they should use, where to park, where to cross in safety. That a risk assessment should answer where signs and road markings are required, what are the potential hazards, who has right of way at crossings, which signs are needed to warn or inform. Which road markings regulate traffic and parking/no parking areas et cetera?

Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world and I believe that PRIMO will be a catalyst for change by sharing knowledge where and when required.

* Read also the interactive textboek (iPhone, iPad, Mac).