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.

Seth Schultz, CEO, The Resilience Shift, is one of more than 300 senior leaders brought together by the British Science Association to interrogate the key scientific and social challenges facing society including how to build resilience.

The report is the result of discussions from For Thought, the British Science Association’s thought-leadership programme, chaired by Lord David Willetts.

A new report, “˜Build better: What can be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to construct a resilient, innovative and prosperous future for all‘, is the culmination of discussions from For Thought, the British Science Association’s thought-leadership programme, chaired by Lord David Willetts.

Launched at the For Thought Summit on 16 June 2021, the report’s three key recommendations call on Government and policymakers, as well as business professionals and scientists, to:

  • Put future generations at the heart of institutional and systems decision-making
  • Share the benefits of research and innovation across different communities
  • Create a long-term leadership coalition to deliver the UK’s Net Zero ambition

The report also includes “˜Calls For Thought’ which should be further explored by leaders when considering the longer-term, post-pandemic recovery. In the report, the focus on building resilience highlights the following questions: How do we develop a new relationship with risk?; How do we prepare leaders and build capacity for responding to future crises?; How do we embed “˜whole-systems’ thinking into future decision-making?; and How do we balance the drive for efficiency with the need for “˜slack’?

There are many echoes of The Resilience Shift’s work across the For Thought discussions and in the report, and in particular these Calls For Thought chime with our insights from the Resilient Leadership initiative, and our work to understand what matters for resilience.

BSA_For-Thought-Report-June-2021The report is now available to download here.

The British Science Association (BSA) believes that science should be a fundamental part of society and culture and owned by the wider community.

Society’s biggest challenges – pandemics, climate change, cyber-security, the future of cities, food security – require a partnership between science and the rest of society. They need conversation, challenge and change-oriented ideas.

This series of For Thought roundtables and online events that took place in February and March 2021 brought together leaders from business, science, policy and civil society to explore a range of societal challenges that can draw on science in their solutions and tackle three overarching questions:

  • How can we build resilience in our societies and systems?
  • How can we innovate for the future?
  • How can we create environmental prosperity equitably?

Seth Schultz participated in the roundtable on Tuesday 23 February 2021 and with a panel of eminent guests from across many disciplines, Seth provided opening provocations to kick-off the discussion. In Seth’s opening remarks, he highlighted the transformation that is needed by government, scientists, engineers, and industry in order to meet our looming issues around resilience and how that transformation needs to happen in harmony. To watch the highlights from the events, visit the British Science Association’s YouTube channel.

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