Developing a new relationship with risk, a new report from For Thought The British Science Association (BSA) has today, Wednesday 15 December, launched a new publication as part of the For Thought series. ‘Developing a new relationship with risk’, supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, brings together insights from a roundtable of cross-sector experts in risk and risk know-how, chaired by Lynne Berry CBE which took place on Tuesday 23 November. The report will be discussed by an online panel, culminating the For Thought events in 2021. Read 'Developing a new relationship with risk' (opens in new tab) Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and climate emergency, leaders around the world are attempting to manage risks unique to this moment in history. Build better (BSA, 2021) posed the question: how do we develop a new relationship with risk? Nations and other bodies are capable of foreseeing seismic events but, despite being armed with this knowledge, responses and preparedness remain ineffective. The roundtable participants debated a range of issues related to risk and risk perception, such as cross-sector collaboration, adopting whole-systems thinking, and the National Risk Register, providing examples from their own experiences and professions. These have been distilled into a set of ‘Established principles’, reflecting current understanding and decision making in industry and society, alongside recommendations for transforming the public relationship with risk: Established principles: Communicators must be credible and embrace a wide range of formats and mediums through which to communicate effectively Successful risk communication is two-way and requires a strong network of trusted and trustworthy intermediaries Risk literacy and risk know-how must be accessible to all Risk may also offer opportunities and these potential “upsides” are often overlooked Recommendations for a better relationship with risk: A longer-term approach is required to identify and plan for future “slow burn” risks, not just sudden shocks We need a diversity of decision makers, not just a focus on how best to communicate with a diverse audience through diverse mediums Decision makers need to be (and feel) empowered to make necessary but unpopular decisions The UK National Risk Register needs to be more accessible – and more useful in giving practical guidance on risk – to the general public The final For Thought event of 2021 invited the following panellists to share their thoughts on risk and the world’s future relationship with it: Stephanie Boyce (President, Law Society for England and Wales) Lord Toby Harris (President, National Preparedness Commission) Nina Schick (Author, advisor and speaker, specialising in how technology is transforming politics and society in the 21st century) Dr John Taylor (External member of the Prudential Regulation Committee, Bank of England) Professor Charlotte Watts (Chief Scientific Adviser, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) Follow the discussion on Twitter via the #ForThought hashtag. Download 'Developing a new relationship with risk'. Find out more about Lloyd’s Register Foundation. Get involved in For Thought.