Insights from the Covid-19 pandemic for systemic risk assessment and management

Gonzalez, Jose J. and Eden, Colin; Sasaki, Jun and Murayama, Yuko and Velev, Dimiter and Zlateva, Plamena, eds. (2022) Insights from the Covid-19 pandemic for systemic risk assessment and management. In: Information Technology in Disaster Risk Reduction. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 638 . Springer, JPN, pp. 121-138. ISBN 9783031041709 (

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The COVID-19 pandemic has activated hundreds of interdependent long-lasting risks across all sectors of society. Zoonotic diseases are on the rise, fuelled by climatic change, by encroachment and destruction of habitats, and by unsustainable practices. Risk assessment and management must be greatly improved to prevent even worse consequences than COVID-19 if the next pandemic is caused by an agent with higher infectiousness and lethality. Insights from a project on systemic pandemic risk management reveal that the interdependency of risks creates cascading effects mediated by millions of vicious cycles which must be addressed to gain control over a pandemic. We propose a method for systemic, cross-sectoral risk assessment that detects the myriad of causal influences resulting from the risks, allowing to identify and mitigate the most potent risks, i.e., those participating in the highest numbers of vicious loops.