Lessons learned from very largedisasters – some remarks about imagination and co-ordination IDRC Davos 2012 29 August 2012 Armin Haas
Imagination• Thinking the unthinkable.• Black Swans vs. Dragon Kings.
Black Swans• Nicolas Taleb: „An outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility“.• Our definition: Black Swans: Events most people cannot imagine, or refrain from imagining.
Black Swans• The Fukushima Tsunami was a 100-years event.
Dragon Kings• Didier Sornette: Dragon Kings: Rare events that result from endogenous dynamics of markets.• Our broader definition: Dragon Kings: Rare events that result from endogenous dynamics of socio-ecological systems. => Imaginable Comprehensible Predictable (within limits)
Co-ordination• Co-ordinating different sub-systems of the socio-ecological system, e.g. policy, business, civil society.• Co-ordinating different sub-systems within a specific sub-system, e.g. different governmental departments/agencies.
Imagination & Co-ordination• Incentive structures in socio-ecological systems.• Descriptive/normative question: Trade-off or synergies between incentivising imagination and incentivising co-ordination?
Lesson learned• Incentive structures are key for thinking the unthinkable.