6 Sept 2012

Interesting views at the Davos conference

End of August we had the pleasure to visit the International Disaster and Risk Conference high up in the mountains of Davos, Switzerland. There were breathtaking views after taking the cable-lift, but just as interesting views in the contents shown at the conference.

There was much attention for prepardeness for disasters in developing countries and other crises all around the globe. I heard interesting presentations on preparedness for bush fires in Australia and many speakers stressed the importance of social media in public discourse on risks and crises.

Trends were the emphasis on climate change and its consequences, but also attention given to improving resilience in big cities all around the world. Community approaches were common when talking about developing countries, and also mentioned in the USA and Australia, while it seems that in Europe rescue services by authorities are professional but less linked with citizen response. Communication can strengthen this. Furthermore, the role of information technology was stressed, and cooperation in multi-stakeholder networks.

Our workshop about the international FP7 project Public Empowerment Policies for Crisis Managament got interested listeners and the flyers referring to the project may increase traffic on the project website www.crisiscommunication.fi. We will be back in Davos to present more research results in 2014.