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Navigating the Storm

From 13-17 March 2017 the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) presented the course, “Crisis Management: Navigating the Storm” at the Maison de la paix.

The five-day course designed for senior staff members working in both the public and private sectors. With a mix of lectures, exercises and simulations, the course armed participants with the tools and techniques needed to lead teams and also execute crisis management plans under intense pressure.

Using a variety of different scenarios – some ripped from headline news, industry experts including Crisis Communication Consultant and former BBC journalist, Charlotte Hume, Executive Director of Unicef UK, Mike Penrose, International Peace and Security Consultant, Gen. Robert Gordon and GCSP’s own Crisis Management and Conflict Management Cluster Leader, David Horobin, guided participants through leadership and crisis exercises and advised them on how to handle incidents, both natural and man-made.

However, not all exercises focused on sudden incidents. The GCSP’s Strategic Foresight Cluster Leader, Emily Munro, also introduced some exercises to help orientate participants on future trends and how horizon scanning can also play an integral part in building both risk and crisis management planning.

“We are living in an increasingly complex and turbulent world with repeated crises," said Dr. Carl Ungerer, Course Director and Head of GCSP’s Leadership, Crisis and Conflict Management programme. "Whether the crisis is natural or man-made, disasters require us all to be prepared and to respond appropriately.” 

For some participants, the take-away from the course was simple: be prepared.  While for others the learning was more nuanced. All agreed that the course helped them to better understand the importance of having such plans, as well as how to incorporate these lessons into their individual organizations. 

 “In times of crisis, you have to be able to think and act decisively on your feet," said Dr. Ungerer. "And, always remember the people.”

Watch Course Participant Interview