Engineering a Safer Future: Public understanding of risk



Published: February 2021

This content was originally published on The Resilience Shift website. The Resilience Shift, a 5-year programme supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation and hosted by Arup, transitioned at the end of 2021 to become Resilience Rising. You can read more about The Resilience Shift’s journey and the transition to Resilience Rising here.

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

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 a 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 practices around risk governance and communications, how the sector has adapted, and what lessons the current disruption holds for our shared future.

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