‘Managing Future Shocks’ in focus for two new research programmes

09 May 2022

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The Oxford Martin School has launched two new solutions-focused programmes aiming to support greater resilience in global economic, social and environmental governance in the face of future shocks and crises of all types.

In the past few years we’ve seen the impact and reach of both individual and global crises. From the widespread health, economic and social harms of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the cascading impacts of the war in Ukraine, to the disruption a single ship can cause when grounded in the wrong place at the wrong time. That we will face further shocks in the future is inevitable.

In the face of this urgent challenge, the Oxford Martin School is launching two new programmes both taking a solutions-focussed approach to improving global resilience to global shocks.

The Oxford Martin Programme on Systemic Resilience will deliver tools to rethink how governments and international institutions manage the risk of global shocks. By considering shocks as systemic risks to a complex system, rather than individual crisis with only direct impacts, they will create new solutions to manage cascading shocks.

The Oxford Martin Programme on Changing Global Orders aims to draw on analysis of the recent past to deliver pathways to more collaborative, cohesive and coordinated institutional responses to future shocks. It will determine what governance frameworks are best able to provide resilient responses to the systemic challenges of shocks that ripple through interconnected global systems.

Director of the Oxford Martin School, Professor Sir Charles Godfray, said, “We launched this funding call in the summer of last year in the midst of the pandemic, aware that ‘the 21st century is likely to experience severe global shocks more often than we have in the past’. Only a few months on and we have already seen the impacts of new shocks cascading through globalised systems and posing threats to human welfare, economic stability, and the natural systems that support our lives. These two new research programmes will help ensure that systemic threats to global wellbeing can be better understood, planned for and managed.”