WBS academics brief policy-makers at House of Commons

Assessing risk and resilience to ensure 'business as usual'

Archived Article • 30 October 2012 • Opinion

L to R: Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor, Richard Waterer, Hazel BlearsWBS academic Dr Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor was one of just two presenters at a meeting of parliamentarians and industry specialists held last week at the House of Commons in London. She was presenting her research on assessing risk and developing resilience to large-scale threats such as terrorist attacks, economic crises, and unpredicted physical disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

Professor Steve Brammer, Associate Dean for Research, and Dr Layla Branicki, both of WBS, also attended the event and informed discussions.

The meeting was chaired by the Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP, a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee, while Richard Waterer, Head of Marsh Risk Consulting in the UK and Republic of Ireland, which advised on security for the Olympics, was the specialist industry presenter. Representatives from the Cabinet Office, the Defence Select Committee, the Joint Committee on National Security, and multi-national organisations attended.

Bridgette commented, "With complex global supply chains operating on a 'just in time' basis, and the divide between private business, public services and the public sector generally becoming more and more blurred, it is increasingly important to understand the complexities of risk and address the question 'How does risk differ in differing contexts and how much risk is too much?'

"My research aims to assist organisations to identify risk, and then plan for resilience should risks or crises materialise, whatever form they might take."

Hosted by the Industry & Parliament Trust, the event was one of a series designed to enable those attending to enjoy peer-to-peer discussions which focus on key policy areas in a balanced and inclusive way, in the spirit of Chatham House Rule.

A blog recording discussions at the meeting can be browsed on this link.

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