Preparedness Exercises @ BWC Meeting of States Parties

· 3 min read

The Geneva Science-Policy Interface (GSPI) and the Simon Institute for Longterm Governance (SI) are pleased to invite you to explore the in-person table-top exercise Preparedness. Sessions will be held at the UN Library between November 25 and November 30, 2021.

COVID-19 has brought worries about deadly pandemics into public awareness. For years, experts have been warning of worse outbreaks. But a focus on short-term results has been hindering pandemic preparedness. COVID-19 has killed about 0.06% of the world population by now. The reality is, we need to prepare for pandemics that could be 100, if not 1000 times worse.

The past two decades have seen an increase in research, consultations, and simulations on global catastrophic biological risks. But when it comes to taking action, any individual actor often feels forced to resort to conservatism because they are facing (i) a glut of information of questionable quality, (ii) deep uncertainty about the consequences of their action, and (iii) scrutiny from the public.

This tabletop exercise explores decision-making in fast-paced international contexts. The simulation allows decision-makers to focus on practicing to manage a plethora of policy problems, potential shocks, and risk cascades. The scenario and the actions are hypothetical but reflect real-world constraints and dynamics. The evolution of the exercise and the final outcome are a direct result of individual and collective choices. For more information, see page 2.

The Simon Institute for Longterm Governance (SI) and the Geneva Science-Policy Interface (GSPI) are jointly inviting you to participate in this exercise. The working language will be English.

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What will participants learn?

  • Understand global catastrophic risks: Participants will learn about global catastrophic risks, how they emerge and the type of effect cascades they can create.
  • Explore solutions to build resilience: Participants will learn about the difficulty of governing risks in an isolated manner, the need and difficulty of global coordination, as well as how to allocate resources to prevention, mitigation and recovery policies.
  • Learn skills and tools for better risk decision-making: Participants will discover concepts, tools, and resources to make informed decisions in the face of uncertainty and in interaction with various stakeholder groups.
  • Through debriefing and additional resources, participants will get a better sense of how to navigate difficult trade-offs when it comes to risk-taking in their everyday job.

Who is this for?

This 3-hour exercise is meant to benefit diplomats, national policymakers, civil society leaders, international civil servants, as well as scientific experts. 7 participants join the exercise for each session. Participation is free.