Scientists inform policy makers about different aspects of the pandemic: risks and opportunities, lessons to be learned and pitfalls to be avoided. 

Policy Makers © (c) Andreyyalansky19 |

IIASA Research Scholar Thomas Schinko to participate in a Top Management Symposium entitled “Return to the New Normal?” Dr. Schinko will discuss IIASA’s systemic approach to the current pandemic and global inequalities as part of a network of interrelated crises. Dr. Schinko presents the pandemic as a chance to usher in the 3rd Great Transformation in humanity.  

His contribution entitled “Building back better!?” is aimed at identifying the most significant lessons that can be learned from the current pandemic and applied to the larger climate crisis. Humanity is in the midst of several – at first glance – independent crises, but our focus is currently on the COVID crisis and the resulting economic crisis. Nevertheless, other crises continue to develop in the background and pose a real threat to humanity: the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis, the democracy crisis, the migration crisis and the growing global inequality. At second glance, these crises turn out to be interrelated and reinforcing each other into potentially existential risks and threats for humanity. In order to avoid the gravest consequences, it is of utmost importance to adopt a systemic and proactive attitude in analysing and managing the effects of these multiple challenges. If the COVID crisis drains our strength and distracts our attention from the other issue areas, we will be facing an extremely difficult 21st century. If, however, we learn from the current situation and set the stage for the necessary 3rd Great Transformation in the history of humanity, we could emerge stronger from the current crisis and avoid a perfect storm that could be triggered by the interplay of other looming crises. 

The symposium is aimed at policy makers, top management in the financial and industrial sector, public institutions as well as NGOs, entrepreneurs, managers in small and medium-sized enterprises. The symposium encourages participants to consider and reflect on the strategy and direction of institutions and companies in the context of societal change. 

The symposium will be organized in German. Registration is limited to 85 participants. For more information, please visit the event page:


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