The word resilient originates from the Latin verb resilire ("to jump back") and was introduced to the English language in the early 17th Century.
While Resilience is frequently used by academics, practitioners and policymakers adopted it more recently to describe how something or someone can recover and return to normality after an adverse event. This definition may be suitable for physical structures that do not learn from or are strengthened by the adverse event; However, this may be an oversimplification in the context of organizational resilience.
Organizations are living socio-ecological systems that adapt to the challenges of tomorrow. We have witnessed how organizations have mitigated risk by reimaging work life and adopting technologies in new ways to support organizations in meeting their objectives since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
We know today that only few organizations had insurance to cover losses from the pandemic, and most business continuity plans included some version of a plan for mitigating losses from a pandemic. Yet most continuity plans had an internal focus and did not envisage global disruption of supply chains. Despite this, many organizations have proven to survive the pandemic and may even have become more resilient.
Organizations should be able to learn from adverse events and utilize the knowledge gained from their survival to Bounce-Forward-Better and act more efficiently in future similar adverse events before they can be considered resilient.
With the help of our WTW Research Network partners, the Organizational Resilience Research hub continues to support and foster a broader understanding of how society, organizations and individuals most efficiently can mitigate their risks, learn from the past and become resilient by adapting to the challenges of tomorrow. To rethink insurance as the next generation of resilience, we work with the European Center for Risk & Resilience at The University of Southern Denmark, and Resources For the Future, in particular looking at transitions from catastrophe. We continue to promote the adoption of technology for risk quantification, insurance pricing and risk management through our collaboration with Loughborough University for the establishment of a Center for Doctoral Training under the umbrella of Automated Risk Engineering. Finally, there are also plans to start a new stream of research focused on supply chain resilience in 2023.
We are proud to work with some of the best scientists around the world. In the following chapter, we illustrate the most relevant achievements of the past year.
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