Crisis as the norm

“The crisis is the norm”

Thomas de Maizière

Crisis situations are becoming more frequent: financial crisis, euro crisis, refugee crisis, Corona crisis, flood disaster, and the next crisis is already waiting. To improve crisis management, politicians are calling for the establishment of permanent crisis units so that decisions can be made on a sound basis. But is the establishment of such crisis teams already sufficient to master crises with bundled expert knowledge? Can a crisis team keep track of all the effects of a dangerous situation and make the right recommendations for action?

The example of the Corona pandemic shows how a crisis situation can escalate to such an extent that practically all areas of life and the economy are affected globally. Here are just a few highlights: Starting in China, the virus spread worldwide within a short time. In Germany, there was a lack of masks, and instead there was a superfluous discussion about their usefulness. Then there was a lack of vaccine, which is now available in such quantities that some of it is being destroyed or given away. The economy was crippled with several lockdowns, and contact bans or restrictions affected family and social life. Health departments and hospitals, especially intensive care units, reached their capacity limits. Daycare centers and schools were closed. Home offices instead of offices became mandatory, video conferences replaced business trips, etc. The current discussion about incidence values or the inclusion of further data betrays not least an existing helplessness. The examples mentioned here alone show that a single crisis team cannot be in a position to recommend adequate countermeasures to all possible effects of this crisis.

For the problem areas listed, however, there are already huge amounts of data that, when made available in the right way, provide a much deeper insight into past and current events. However, this data must be collected, prepared, structured and intelligently processed and made available. In this way, data can lead to increasingly accurate modeling and, when evaluated, enable recommendations for action on a secure basis.

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