The forum was an initiative of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and ASSIST, with the overall goal of encouraging disaster preparedness in forming resilient communities and organizations.
The event included representatives from all sectors—distinguished experts from international institutions, spokespersons from the private sector, non-government organizations, government agencies and the army, as well as members of the academe. Notable attendees include Philippine Ambassador Laura Quiambao-Del Rosario, Asian Development Bank’s Advisor and Head of Organizational Resilience Andrew Clinton, and Cathay Pacific’s Philippine Country Manager Robin Bradshaw.
The atmosphere was spirited as discussions revolved around the importance of strong institutions and leadership, the need for multi-sectoral collaboration, and the ultimate significance of an effective communication strategy. Speakers cited real life events, such as the handling of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the siege of Marawi, as well as the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia.
During the Innovation Showcase, organizations had the chance to present products of their work as potential solutions in disaster management. ASSIST’s Social Initiative, Master of Disaste—a boardgame on disaster preparedness—also took the stage.
Given the nature of climate change, its impacts, and the geographic features of Asia in particular – an increased demand for effective disaster management is more than a certainty. “Looking towards the future, it seems there will be a guaranteed occupation for experts in disaster and crisis management,” ASSIST’s own Managing Director, Sreenivas Narayanan stated as he facilitated the Closing Plenary.
The 2nd Dev Forum closed on a somber note with a call to action from Motoo Konishi, Former Country Director of the World Bank. He reiterated the need to act promptly, “The luxury of time is over. Every hour we take to make a decision, there are people in the middle of a disaster, there are people without homes who are dying.”