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Crisis Prevention in a Time of Radical Change. By Markus Vogt

Many signs indicate that we are witnessing an epochal trans­formation. Radical changes in our lives are happening more often, while familiar patterns of order and power structures are becoming noticeably less important. But whatever will follow is not yet in sight. The only certainty is that in the near future, we will face various security risks, for which our conventional risk avoidance strategies are ineffective or even counter-productive.

Markus Vogt cites the specific examples of climate change, the superimposition of various types of conflict, and finally “the fact that morality itself is becoming uncertain.” He puts forward the concept of “resilience” when dealing with uncertainty. This concept, now becoming more established, requires a shifting of focus away from external factors to an inward consideration of one’s own potentials for robust crisis management strategies. Especially in times of increasing uncertainty, the author argues, resilience becomes a new guiding principle.

The philosophical and theological tradition of “learned ignorance” (docta ignorantia, Nicholas of Cusa) can be useful here, and enhances current foresight practices. It can help to systematize our own ignorance, awaken curiosity and the willingness to learn, and offer guidance for action under uncertain conditions. Ultimately, it allows the establishment of “risk maturity,” i.e. the ability to take justified and responsible decisions in complex and uncertain situations.

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