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Author image based on the works of Turner, Toft and Reynolds

Risk, Emergencies, Crisis & Disasters

Seven takeaways from reviewing my degree notes.

I looked back at some of my degree notes the other day and came across something I’ve been meaning to work on for a long time. (By long time, I mean about 10 years*.)

It’s based on two concepts. First, the work that Brian Toft, Simon Reynolds and Barry Turner did with respect to how disasters evolve and how we can learn from them. The second concerned how to differentiate between emergencies and crises. Bringing these concepts together gives us a model or framework for how risks become events and how these events can become disasters.

There might be bigger, neater idea here, some kind of unifying theory but I’m not quite there yet. However, in my review I did pick up seven takeaways that are helpful whether that’s to help you see these relationships in moredetail or as a way to help explain them to others.

I’ve shared them in the video here.

* Why the delay, you might ask. Well, as always, these bigger ideas take me a while to nail down. With respect to Turner, Toft and Reynolds, I think there’s a cleaner model than the one I’ve shared here but I can’t get there quite yet. However, rather than waiting another few years to get there, I think that sharing the ideas now might help them come into focus.

However, in this instance, there’s another reason for the delay.

I tried to make the case that you can combine these ideas in an essay I submitted as part of my degree. Unfortunately, this was a little too off-piste and I was told the resubmit the essay which meant that I wouldn’t get a distinction, no matter how good my other grades were.

Clearly it took me a while to get over that…. : )



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Andrew Sheves

Andrew Sheves

I’m an analogue operator in a digital environment who thinks simplification = optimization. I build and share risk management tools at