OUR BASIC PREMISE
We emphasize that this is a collective predicament.
We are locked-into a trajectory that will drive escalating socio-economic stress, intensifying shocks, rising volatility, and declining adaptive capacity. This will increase significantly the already present vulnerability to systemic failure.
The nature of our shared dependencies and vulnerabilities binds our welfare to that of others. Thus, “In your safety, my security”.
A focus on blame is misplaced. Our predicament is wider and deeper than anything caused by a particular social group, system of government, or corporate actors.
Supporting our common foundational resilience is the most important and meaningful thing we could possibly do.
A proactive engagement that faces these challenges head-on is the best antidote to despair, rage or despondency—and one that can help transcend growing political and social polarization.
We bring a hazard-independent approach.
Because critical systems are interdependent the consequences of a systemic failure are largely independent of the trigger(s). Any shock or combination of them, will have the same societal outcome — a shut-down in the flow of goods and services. Those concerned with, for example, responding to a severe global pandemic; a global financial system collapse; a wide-area grid failure; or natural disasters have a common cause in cooperating.
Some global challenges, in particular financial system failure, are highly reflexive, so explicitly preparing for them could be destabilizing. With our hazard-independent approach it is possible to work on contingency plans without explicitly enumerating the challenges.
We focus on responding to the impacts of systemic failure.
Our focus on preparing for the impacts of systemic failure assumes that mitigation and siloed resilience efforts ultimately fail.
This is firstly linked to our Integrated Systemic Risk Perspective where growing stresses and shocks through increasingly vulnerable systems makes mitigation and building resilience more difficult in existing systems, while increasing the likelihood of systemic failure.
Secondly, there is very little work being done on preparedness for the impacts large- scale systemic failure, while the risk is rising. We focus on this critical gap.
There is no implied criticism of those undertaking such mitigation and in-system resilience efforts.
We say there is a risk, not what will happen.
We are confident that even those who hope for, expect and work toward a gentler future realize that, in an uncertain world, having contingency plans is a wise and necessary insurance policy.
We Take a Whole-Society Preparedness approach.
There is a culture-wide intuition that should a catastrophe occur, ‘the government’ or ‘the military’ will be able to manage the crisis and support the needs of populations. In the event of large-scale failure, this will not be possible. So, the capacities of citizens need to be enhanced with “Whole-Society Preparedness” vision of foundational societal resilience.
Increasingly stressed conditions are likely to promote further polarization and destructive forces. But by being an early provider and promoter of measured discussions, we aim to influence and frame narratives to promote positive, pro-social and proactive responses.
Our role is to instigate and support — not replace.
By understanding the implications of the current and evolving circumstances, systemic collapse and post-collapse, we can provide a bird’s-eye perspective to encourage governments, institutions and civil society to engage on their own. Ultimately, only nations, regions and societies can assess their own particular needs, response capacities and implement realistic, practical strategies.
The GGI can become a critical clearinghouse of best practice and a partner when conditions get difficult or the challenge seems overwhelming.