The Great Debate UK

International crises and the value of Global System Dynamics



-Lord Julian Hunt is a Visiting Professor at Delft University of Technology. The opinions expressed are his own.-

In their different ways, the disruption and damage caused by the ongoing Icelandic Volcano eruption, and the major oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, have underlined how low-probability events can wreak havoc locally and across the world.

Both events underline the continuing need for well-established crisis response by international bodies.  Risk assessments taking into account all the diverse scientific and social interactions should enable the public and private sector to prepare in advance.

•    Although international procedures by UN bodies for dealing simultaneously with volcanic eruptions, meteorology and aviation had been agreed and tested at a technical level since the 1990s, the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano led EU Transport Ministers call for quicker and more coordinated reaction to such crisis situations.

Should travel insurers pay up after volcano disruption?


Rachel_Mason- Rachel Mason is public relations manager at independent financial service providers Fair Investment Company. The opinions expressed are her own. -

Flights to and from the UK may have resumed in part, but the thousands cancelled over the past week as a result of the volcanic ash are estimated to have cost the airline industry 1.1 billion pounds.

Seeking the silver lining in a volcanic ash cloud


Rachel Andrew- Dr Rachel Andrew is a clinical psychologist working for the NHS in Lancashire. The opinions expressed are her own. -

I spoke to Sophie, a good friend of mine, on Wednesday.

She is currently stranded in Majorca, Spain, as a consequence of the volcanic ash from Iceland. When I asked her how she was feeling about her situation she replied, “I’m feeling great.”

Travellers could feel long-lasting impact of volcano disruption


RobertBor- Professor Robert Bor is a clinical psychologist with a special interest in aviation and  travel psychology. He has published several books on this topic. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The opening of UK airspace on Wednesday will clearly bring some relief to travellers stranded around the world. For others, their misery and feelings of fear and uncertainty will continue well after they have returned home, and that could be still a few weeks for now.

Managing staff shortages during the volcano disruption


Melanie Franklin-Melanie Franklin is CEO at Maven Training. The opinions expressed are her own.-

Businesses should have learned by now, from the unexpected eruptions of volcanic ash and the global havoc it has wreaked, that flexibility, creativity and the ability to adapt to an unpredictable environment is crucial to survival.

Having the skills to manage a crisis, such as what to do when 25 percent of the workforce may not turn up to work on Monday morning and how to manage the impact, is vital. Those that learned such project management skills will have been putting contingency plans in place as early as Thursday – when the mass flight cancellations started totting up into the thousands.

Impact of the volcano disruption on the airlines


Joris Melkert

- Joris Melkert, MSc BBA, is assistant professor in aerospace engineering at the Delft University of Technology. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Despite the announcement that air space could begin to re-open in Northern Europe, the Icelandic volcano eruption could prove to be a major turning point for the global airline industry with short- to medium-term questions already being asked by some about its future financial viability.

Why the Icelandic volcano could herald even more disruption


Andy_Hooper- Dr Andrew Hooper is an Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology and is an expert on monitoring deformation of Icelandic volcanoes. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The unprecedented no-fly zone currently in force across much of Europe has already caused the greatest chaos to air travel since the Second World War.  Thousands of flights have been cancelled or postponed with millions of travel plans affected.