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Learning from crisis: From disruption to transformation

Public Understanding of Risk

What has the Covid-19 pandemic taught us about the future of public understanding of risk?

Learning from Crisis


In the Public Understanding of Risk session, held on 24 September 2020, participants were asked to examine how their work life has changed between January and September 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic; how they have managed to stay resilient – both personally and professionally - and prepare for a ‘new normal’ future.

The session was a lightly guided discussion of how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected public understanding of risk, with thematic emphasis on the areas of leadership and decision making, disaster risk governance, risk communications, and the relationship between the pandemic and the climate crisis as concerns the above issues. The conversation drew on emerging findings from the Foundation’s research as well as input from grant holders and experts around global perceptions on risk and how these might be affected by the Covid-19 crisis. The session reflected on how Covid-19 has disrupted existing practice around risk governance and communications, how the sector has adapted, and what lessons the current disruption holds for our shared future.

COVID is a learning moment for how we work without thorough evidence. If we wait to see the evidence for what climate change is going to do with our planet, we’ll be too late.

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