"Thinking the unthinkable?” - Civil Protection in a Changing World
Fra Hanne Høy Kejser
Lecture by Professor David Alexander, University College London
Objective: To discuss the changes in the 'risk landscape' that are occurring in the modern world and consider what sort of civil protection systems are needed to tackle them.
After Putin's intervention in Ukraine, shouldn’t we think the unthinkable? And upscale our precautions concerning civil protection?
Processor David Alexander, Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction at University Collage of London, is an international well-known researcher and lecturer. He participated in the English House of Lords' evaluation of the Corona contingency (published 3 December 2021).
Prior to the launch of COVID-19, the UK's approach to risk assessment and risk management was internationally recognized and considered strict. However, the pandemic has exposed Britain's entire risk management system as deficient and too inflexible to provide the protection the nation needs.
Dependence on electricity and the internet and the increasing complexity and interdependence of the networks that support everyday life have made communities vulnerable to cascade failures that could spread rapidly and cause widespread destruction.
There has therefore been a concern, among other things over how developed security of supply is in the UK society. Ie. a concern about the fragility of just-in-time networks on which our food, fuel and essential services depend.
UK society must therefore become better at predicting, preparing for and responding to a range of challenging scenarios - in order to strengthen national resilience.
Specifically, in the future, the government must ensure that it properly accounts for and involves all sections of society in its risk assessment and planning. A number of recommendations aim to ensure this.
The government must realize that the population constitutes an essential element in and is a building block in any emergency preparedness, just as the population is at the same time active participants in creating resilience.
"We call on the government to undertake a more structured and open engagement with the business community and industry on risk and resilience," it says, among other things in the analysis.
The webinar will consist partly of Professor David Alexander's lecture (English), partly of the opportunity to comment and possibly, ask questions.