Testimonial

Back to all Trending

Crisis Management Navigating the Storm: Testimony of a young professional

“I think that this course is the perfect embodiment of the GCSP motto, ‘Where knowledge meets experience’”

By Mr Boris Bertoli, Student at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies doing a Master’s in International Affairs
14 August 2019
Testimonial Boris Bertoli Crisis Management course
Caption: Mr Boris Bertoli during the Crisis Management course at the GCSP

Crisis Management Navigating the Storm: Testimony of a young professional

“I think that this course is the perfect embodiment of the GCSP motto, ‘Where knowledge meets experience’”

By Mr Boris Bertoli, Student at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies doing a Master’s in International Affairs

In a world where unconventional threats are not only more diverse than ever before but also made more pernicious by new technologies and globalisation, crisis situations have become major challenges for governments and organisations alike. In this dynamic and hazardous context, it is no longer possible to improvise when it comes to crisis management. New means of communication, the overload of information as well as the constant evolution of stakeholders on the ground require both a field-base expertise and a great deal of academic knowledge. The GCSP combines both needs within its “Crisis Management: Navigating the Storm” courses.

Working intensively, for a week, with experienced individuals from very diverse backgrounds was extremely fulfilling. The opportunity to network and learn about different humanitarian and multinational organisations throughout the course should not be underestimated either.

The core material of the course, which covered risk assessment, hostage situations and long-lasting crises were the most interesting to me.  My main takeaway from the course was the utility and methodology of the crisis management “wheel” used for risk assessment purposes, which was introduced to the course participants. 

boris Bartoli Alumni GCSP Crisis ManagementIt is also necessary to keep in mind the importance of contingency planning in the prevention of “crisis-material” situations.  There are major benefits one can reap from implementing contingency planning.  It prevents emergencies from turning into crisis situations daily for both organisations and individuals, for example, performing regular data backup savings or using the right type of firewall.

In my opinion, the strength of the course was found in the balance between the expertise of disciplinary practitioners from Dr Patrick Sweet, Dr Jean-Marc Rickli, Dr Christina Schori Liang, and the experience of other speakers across the GCSP’s network. Indeed, it seems that as far as crisis management goes, nothing beats experience. I felt that I benefitted from the long experience of Martin Richards, subject matter expert, and David Horobin, course director.  Their knowledge and expertise was an added privilege that very few security and crisis management trainings offer. For this reason, I think that this course is the perfect embodiment of the GCSP motto, “Where knowledge meets experience”.

In addition to the theoretical framework offered, the applied simulations we did helped me grasp the main challenges posed by any rapidly-developing crisis: identifying information gaps, gaining the trust of the families involved, achieving effective communication and keeping a track-record of all decisions taken. Not only will I use the skills and knowledge acquired during “Crisis Management: Navigating the Storm” in my current work as a Safety and Security intern at CARE International, but I would also like to bring this learning with me for the rest of my career which I expect will revolve around these issues. 

 

MyGCSP is an exclusive platform for GCSP Alumni to tap into the international peace and security community.

 

Mr Boris Bertoli is currently a student at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies doing a Master’s in International Affairs with a special focus on Global Security. He is also working part-time for an NGO in the field of Safety and Security. He has worked for two years in the field of Security for the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs (including one year in the Crisis Management Centre in Bern). He is interested in working in the field of Security in the future.