From this month’s Humanitarian Futures newsletter:

  • Can the UN be rendered fit for the 21st Century?
  • Planning from the Future: A New Humanitarian Paradigm
  • Pandemics Present and Future: Coronavirus in Context
  • A Healthy Planet for Healthy People

We wanted to bring to your attention an emerging line of thought suggesting that the United Nations needs to see Covid-19 as the basis of a platform for changing the ways that the international community identifies, analyses and monitors ever more complex humanitarian crisis drivers – beyond just pandemics. The proposal – In a World of Pandemics and ‘Black Sky Hazards’, Can the UN Be Rendered Fit for the 21st Century?  – takes the form of an integrated on-going hub – of the UN but not in the UN. Could such an approach make a significant difference for those with humanitarian roles and responsibilities – now and in the future?

Secondly, Covid-19 is yet further evidence that we need to rethink the ways that risks and crisis threats are conceived and framed. The current paradigm for crisis and risk management does not work and is part of the reason why the Corona virus has spun out of control. You might want to take a look at HF’s  Planning from the Future: A New Humanitarian Paradigm to see if this approach will improve ways to anticipate and mitigate ever more complex crisis threats.

Thirdly, as you will see in Pandemics Present and Future: Coronavirus in Context, we really do need to harness the benefits of science and technology to address future threats as a consistent and on-going process – and, without the distorting effects of what the World Health Organisation has called ‘infodemics’ in the ‘post-truth age’.

The fourth and final point we wanted to make in this newsletter is that Covid-19 also should trigger an abiding global message – not necessarily technical, but visionary and moral. It’s a perspective made so well in the Open Letter to Global Leaders – A Healthy Planet for Healthy People, from the Club of Rome that appeared in the UK’s Financial Times on 26 March.


What a very positive note to end on.

Stay well and protected.