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Crisis Management: Stages

A lot of my early research work began in crisis management. Whether you are a manager or a policy maker, crisis management means:

(1) realise early warning signals, and if you missed,

(2) prevent the situation from reaching the point of no return, and if you still were unable to do so, then,

(3) prevent the situation from reaching the edge of chaos.

When you are in a crisis, you often are reacting, trying to control a situation, rather than proactively manage the situation. The latter is possible but requires strong systems of communication, transparency and leadership with a people-first strategy. A people-first strategy prioritises internal stakeholders and extends duty of care to customers before prioritising other stakeholders like shareholders, board members, TMT, media, or regulatory authorities.

Where are we with some forms of AI or Synthetic Biology (SynBio)? I believe, definitely at a tipping point (we have passed the EWS stage). If you have large segments of the population using such tools without understanding that the tools can have an error rate that can affect a decision, this is a major problem. It is a problem that adults and decision makers do not have an idea of what AI is and isn't, or where synthetic biology is being used. Let me illustrate this with an example using vanilla. Did you know 99% of vanilla is artificial? Surprised? How about if I tell you that algorithmic transparency alone is not enough to manage AI because of the way it is built using multiple APIs across many proprietary pieces of code?

Both AI and SynBio save lives, true - have great potential to do good, but, like any other tool, in the wrong hands, can do so much damage. Think of Alfred Nobel's invention, TNT or dynamite.

Today, we run our policy council on synthetic biology. Excited to present some results from the DubaiFutureForum design thinking workshop held last year. It's great working with my co-researchers: Amal AlahmadiDr.Khawla AlhajajMeera Alsuwaidi and thanks to the CapitalClubTeam Dubai for making this happen. MBR School of GovernmentMona Parikh McNicholas


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