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, Executive Director, The Resilience Shift, is participating an online round-table discussion on Tuesday 23 February 2021, hosted by the British Science Association (BSA).

Entitled What can governments, scientists and industry do to better prepare for and respond to future shocks?, the round-table is chaired by Lord David Willetts (Chair of the For Thought Advisory Board, Chair of the Resolution Foundation and former Minister for Universities and Science) and features eminent leaders from business, science, policy and civil society.

With a panel of eminent guests from across many disciplines, Seth will be providing opening provocations to kick-off the discussion.

In Seth’s opening remarks, he will highlight 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.

COVID-19 has demonstrated how precarious some human-made systems and infrastructures are to unexpected shocks. In gathering this expert group together (under Chatham House rules), the British Science Association (BSA) aims to gather lived experience and formal evidence on what leaders in governments, scientists and industry do to better prepare for and respond to future shocks.

They will also discuss what lessons have been learned from the COVID-19 pandemics and other global shocks and agree on common themes/areas to develop into “˜calls to action’ for leaders in business, science and policy.

Preparing better to be better prepared

The UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs Social Inclusion has called the pandemic a “human, economic and social crisis” that “is attacking societies at their core”.

The global shock of the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed inbuilt weaknesses within society but also demonstrated that rapid change is achievable. The pandemic has fundamentally changed how citizens, organisations and states perceive risk and it has called into question who we trust. Its impacts have leapt from sector to sector and crossed state borders, bringing together unlikely collaborations and alliances.

The invite-only event is part of For Thought a unique thought leadership summit that provides a platform to debate key scientific and social challenges facing the UK in the 21st century.

In 2021, the online summit’s events and workshop are built around the theme of “˜Building resilience: the role of science and innovation in creating a sustainable future’. This round-table will bring together leaders to discuss key issues around resilient leadership in preparation for the summit. The discussion will go on to inform the content of an invite-only panel event, to be held in early March 2021, and will help the BSA create calls to action that will be featured in a report launched at a global event online on 21 April 2020.

Background notes:

For Thought is the new name for the Huxley Summit (see note on the British Science Association website). For Thought is a series of events and activities from the British Science Association and partners, which gives leaders from business, policy, science and civil society a platform to discuss the biggest issues of the day. Previous Summit roundtable attendees have included CEOs, Chairs and executive leaders from FTSE 100 companies, government agencies, scientific institutions, and politicians. For Thought is supported by EY, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Institute of Physics.

The British Science Association (BSA) (@BritSciAssoc) is a charity, founded in 1831. Its vision is of a world where science is at the heart of society and culture. Its mission is to support, grow and diversify the community of people interested and involved in science; and to strengthen their influence over science’s direction and place in society.

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