Generating Solutions to Systemic Risks through On-Going Experimentation on Invested Space-Forms

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We live in a complex dynamic world where human activities interfere with the environment in intricate ways causing unpredictable natural events with extreme outcomes that affect vulnerable societies. It reflects exposures to uncertainty and unknown factors as opposed to risk, which is measurable. We tend to downplay concerns that are hard to measure but have exposures to more uncertainties than we realize. We can try to assess potential extreme events and ways to mitigate their adverse effects, but that fails to address the underlying causes rooted in the way we organize global economic activities. The local exposures derive from the way society governs its economic assets whereas the systemic effects derive from global business practices that generate economic value. The exposures are local while the systemic causes are global. Mitigating local risks does not reduce global systemic effects. Sustainable solutions must involve business entities that operate the global economy. The extreme uncertainty of systemic risks makes grand solutions untenable where viable solutions only can derive from distributed experimentation and collaborative learning. Hence, we must embrace uncertainty and explore for opportunities engaging committed enterprises in the quest for long-term solutions. Current practices often allocate resources to address acute threats but fail to invest in exploration for new opportunities. This can be accomplished if private, public, and plural sector stakeholders invest in joint platforms (SpaceForms) that foster creative solutions honing their collective intelligence. Performing guided probes and learning from them as they evolve is a viable approach to generate sustainable solutions for global systemic issues that need collective responses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGAR2022 Contributing Paper
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationGeneva
PublisherUnited Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Complexity
  • Disasters
  • Extreme events
  • Innovation options
  • Platforms
  • Spaceforms
  • Strategic renewal
  • Sustainable solutions

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