Complexity in Practice: re-imagining Disaster Incubation Theory

One of our five keynotes at the CIP Conference 2014 in Brussels

Dr. Mike Lauder

This presentation will describe current research that is examining how rather reactive theories concerning crises might be used to stimulate foresight. Three cases will be used to illustrate this practical use of the re-imagined theory.

Presentation synopsis

Many of the theories applied to crises and other catastrophes are used, with hindsight, to explain why situations occurred rather than to help prevent them. The aim of this presentation will be to describe current research that is examining how such theories might be used to stimulate foresight; it will introduce the idea of a catalytic framework and where this fits in with other risk and crisis management planning tools.

The research takes Barry Turner’s Disaster Incubation Theory and looks at the practical implications of using the theory as a pro-active rather than a reactive analytical tool. It takes each of the stages, explains its original construct as formulated the 1970s and supplements them with more recent research findings. The presentation then describes the truly complex and interactive nature of the process for any practitioner trying to control or manage such situations.

The presentation uses three cases (the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Barclay’s Bank as seen through the 2013 Salz report and the ongoing Flight MH370 crisis) to illustrate the practical use of the re-imagined theory.

Video

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