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Emergency Planning Society Annual Conference 

September 2021: The Emergency Planning Society (EPS) – one of the UK’s leading membership bodies for professionals working in, or learning about, resilience, emergency planning and disaster management, and a CRJ Key Network Partner – is hosting this virtual, two-day event. 

Jeannie Barr from the EPS asks: "So, how do we take lessons identified from incidents and transform them into learning? That’s what our conference will aim to explore fully." Image: Adobe Stock

The conference, entitled Change Required! Will take place on September 20 and 21, 2021, and will feature a series of learning opportunities that will bring together speakers from all over the world. 
EPS Director for Professional Standards and Learning, Jeannie Barr says: “According to Albert Einstein, doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results, is the definition of insanity.
“Yet change and changing the way we do things during crisis is frightening. We are creatures of habit and making changes is a challenge to overcome. So, how do we take lessons identified from incidents and transform them into learning? That’s what our conference will aim to explore fully. 
“Our programme this year has been designed to challenge thinking and ask questions such as: What has become of that learning? and: Why do we struggle to transform lessons from identified to learning?
“We’re delighted to be joined by some of the world’s leading speakers on this fascinating topic and we hope professionals from across the sector will join us. The event is open to both EPS and non-EPS members, and we look forward to a wonderful two days of learning and networking.”
UK and international speakers will share their experiences and the challenges they faced when implementing changes, based on their learning from incidents, and will ask delegates to consider how all of this learning should help resilience professionals to shape the new strategy for resilience.
The programme
September 20, 2021

Getting the world humming again – learning from disaster, with Jolie Willis, Co-Founder and Director of Hummingly
Disaster has so much to teach us. It is in the worst of times that we learn the most. Yet, this learning is rarely available to guide the next community which finds itself hit by disaster and all the supporters and stakeholders involved. Jolie Wills, a psychosocial recovery expert, cognitive scientist and survivor of the Christchurch earthquake, will share her personal and organisational mission to ensure the learning from disaster is paid forward to make it that little bit easier for those struck by disaster. 
SEPA Ransomware Attack, with Robert McDonald, Resilience Manager at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
People First: Why our crisis communication needs to change, with Amanda Coleman, 
Crisis Communication Consultant at Amanda Coleman Communication Ltd
Food For Thought
Dr Steven Forrest, Lecturer in Flood Resilience and Sustainable Transformation at the Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull – ‘The Role of Civil Society in Flood Resilience’. 
EPS: Annual General Meeting
Seed Planting – A cry from the heart, with Gill Kernick, Master Consultant at JMJAssociates 
We can predict with high levels of certainty where we will fail in preventing and responding to the next disaster. Our problem is not one of identifying lessons, it’s of learning meaningfully from them. Of changing. In her book Catastrophe and Systemic Change, Gill concludes that our failure to learn makes sense – that we are perfectly set up to maintain the status quo. In her talk, Gill will explore what she believes change will take and, in a cry from the heart, challenge us to join her in a quest to disrupt the status quo and plant the seeds of change.
September 21, 2021
Keynote – Roger Hargreaves, Director Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Cabinet Office
Disaster Management in the Climate Crisis, with Samantha Montano, Assistant professor of emergency management at Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Disaster scholars and practitioners have long noted the shortcomings of our approach to disaster management. Taking a reactive approach to disasters, not addressing equity issues, and the more operational challenges of co-ordination and communication are familiar to all who are doing this work. Today, as we stand at the forefront of the climate crisis, disaster management must now overcome these long held challenges while simultaneously dramatically scaling up our work. How do we do this?
Learning from Covid-19: Global insights from the Recovery, Renewal, Resilience (RRR) project, with Andrew McClelland, Research Associate at the University of Manchester
The RRR project team at the University of Manchester is working with partner organisations in the UK and globally to support those designing and implementing recovery strategies and renewal initiatives to help reinstate preparedness and deliver major transformations to local resilience post-pandemic. To date, deliverables from the project include an international standard (ISO 22393) on Recovery and Renewal for Resilience, as well as an online database of over 500 lessons to stimulate thinking on recovery and renewal from Covid-19. In this presentation, Andrew will introduce the project and its impact so far and talk about emerging activities that the team is progressing to ensure that the learning from the pandemic translates into improved policy and practice.
Lessons from Manchester Arena, with Amanda Coleman, Crisis Communication Consultant at Amanda Coleman Communication Ltd
Benefit from the wisdom from more than a hundred crisis leaders and recovery personnel around the globe and be introduced to a range of practical recovery tools that are changing how we support communities recovering from disaster.

To register and for further information, or to find out more about the speakers, visit here or contact the EPS here

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