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National Approaches to Systemic Risk
Germany and Japan under the COVID-19 Crisis
The perception, assessment, communication and containment of risks is an ongoing challenge for individuals, organizations and societies at large. The present COVID-19 pandemic reveals the profound problems countries confront and the difficult trade-offs they have to make when facing systemic risks combined with a high degree of uncertainty. It also shows remarkable differences in the way national governments, businesses and citizens are prepared for and trying to cope with the various dimensions of the crisis. In our online forum, two leading risk researchers from Japan and Germany analyzed and evaluated the crisis responses in their countries. The discussion explored the similarities and differences in the national approaches, possible reasons and implications.
Ortwin Renn is scientific director at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam (Germany). He continues to serve as acting chair of the Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies at the University of Stuttgart (ZIRIUS) and as scientific director of the non-profit company DIALOGIK, a research institute for the investigation of communication and participation processes. Professor Renn is an internationally renowned risk researcher. His honors include the National Cross of Merit Order, an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Institute of Technology, an honorary professorship at the Technical University Munich and the “Distinguished Achievement Award” of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)
Norio Okada, is Prof. em. of Kyoto University, where he was heading the Disaster Prevention Research Institute. He currently serves as special advisor to the Institute of Disaster Area Revitalization, Regrowth and Governance at Kwansei Gakuin University. He obtained his Dr. Eng. from the Faculty of Engineering of Kyoto University. For his research on integrated disaster risk management, sustainable local communities, environment and water resource management and participatory governance, he received many international and Japanese awards. He helped establish the “International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management” and was elected president of the society for two consecutive terms from 2010 to 2017.