Why we need a new Office for Global Risk Preparedness

Curated and produced by CRUISSE Network and the UCL Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty Policy-making is best understood as enacted in contexts of uncertainty and complexity rather than as a lottery. Radical uncertainty arises when you cannot quantify which factors are going to influence the future in what way and you may not know what the consequences of interventions are, or perhaps even where and when you can intervene. And in this situation you are not be the only one in a state of radical uncertainty, because everybody else is as well. This is the context we are all in today with COVID-19, so the lack of global preparedness and often slow response to COVID-19 is a case study of the consequences of spending too much time discussing good decision-making as if it’s like lottery choice and too little time learning to be “attentive” to human strengths and weaknesses in coping with Radical Uncertainty. This panel explores how to think and to make better policy under radical uncertainty discusses both a proposal to create an independent Office for Global Risk Preparedness to help us mitigate pandemic and similar global threats in future, and the need to reform university curricula to get real.

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