The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the unpreparedness of many governments to effectively manage complex risks and ensure community resilience. Two decades into the 21st century – and further into an era called Anthropocene by climatologists and geologists alike – that is greatly concerning. Pandemics, global warming, floods and droughts, severe weather events, and the loss of critical ecosystem services and other crises often hit countries and communities struggling from economic contraction, political instability, rising authoritarianism, or eroding trust in government – all made even worse by the exponential spread of false ideologies and conspiracy theories. Together, such trajectories create a perfect storm that already overwhelms institutions, policymakers, and societies. Scientists play a key role in helping counter such tendencies and rebuild trust in the common good. To this end, they must understand their role as engaged citizens dedicated to the social contract.
This online panel discussion is part of the PROGRESS Webinar Series “Governance in Times of Crises: A New Social Contract for the 21st Century”.
The series is jointly sponsored and organized by the Program on Governance, Resilience and Sustainability (PROGRESS), College of Public Policy, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar; Institute for Society, Culture and Environment (ISCE), Virginia Tech, USA; and Deborah Brosnan & Associates, USA.