Good disaster risk governance: perspectives from business leaders

In recognition of International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, AIDR and corporate2community co-hosted a webinar panel of business leaders to explore this year's theme: disaster risk governance.

On Wednesday 21 October, AIDR and corporate2community were hosted a webinar panel event in recognition of the United Nations International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.

This year’s theme, which focused on disaster risk governance, was addressed by prominent business leaders who shared their reflections and experience on managing risk governance in the corporate arena.

In the good disaster risk governance: perspectives from business leaders webinar, Claire Rogers spoke about her time as the CEO of World Vision Australia, leading through times when a Category 4 cyclone hit Mozambique and a tsunami hit Indonesia in 2018. Drawing on her experience with these events, Claire advised, ‘don’t wait for a disaster to build good relationships in community – because by the time it happens, it will be too late.’ She also noted that prevention and preparedness will pay dividends in recovery pace and cost.

Sue O’Connor, Non Executive Chair of Yarra Valley Water, shared her board level experience of managing risk and uncertainty in business planning and decision making. ‘The world and the future is uncertain, and we need to deal with that uncertainty differently,’ she said. ‘To build disaster resilience, you need to be able to understand, assess and confidently deal with an uncertain future’. Sue encouraged everyone whose business is impacted by natural climate – suggesting that almost everyone’s is – to think about climate change scenarios as part of risk governance.

James Ritchie, Principal Consultant at corporate2community and International Resilience Advisor, agrees with using evidence-based scenario planning as a strategic approach to better managing and prioritising risk, as well as driving good strategy and policy for governments, organisations and the community. ‘We need to think about changing the scope of our planning and our strategy development and implementation. It must include disaster planning in a very different way’, he said, highlighting the need to have an outcome focus that looks at both business and community.

‘Collectively Australian businesses, with many other parts of the world, are not yet on the same page. But they are all willing and able with great capacity to lead and make a valuable contribution working together to design, innovate and solve the complex issues that compounding of complex disasters brings,’ James said.

The good disaster risk governance: perspectives from business leaders webinar recording is now available to view on the Knowledge Hub.