Framing the COVID challenge

This lecture will remind us that good answers stem from good questions and such questions always make full use of existing knowledge. Governments have struggled with the fluid, resilient, dynamic, uncertain and complex nature of the pandemic, as their traditional focus has been on developing efficient processes for handling stable, linear phenomena.

In the first part of this lecture, Professor Rafael Ramírez will remind us that Scenario thinking has over 20 years of experience handling complex and uncertain situations and indicate some of the insights a Scenario perspective would bring to the discussion.

In the second part, Professor Trudie Lang will remind us that COVID-19 is not the first, and nor will it be the last, pandemic caused by pathogens crossing from birds and animals to humans. Our past experience of pandemics, again, offers some valuable insights into the portfolio of interventions (public health, clinical, pharmaceutical) governments should have perhaps maintained better in the past – and certainly should research and maintain going forward.