Business Resilience and Historical Wisdom

Business Resilience and Historical Wisdom


Business Resilience and Historical Wisdom

by Lisa Short

It would be impossible for anyone to not reflect on the fact that COVID-19 has detrimentally impacted and disrupted the very socio-economic fabric of the world. As the World Economic Forum says “it will cast a long shadow over the world” with some saying it is so dire it may take 5 to 10 years to recover. The irony in the past few weeks is cognisance of this catastrophic effect, and at the same time seeing the turmoil of protests,  violence and social unrest flaunting the extreme sacrifices made by every person and every business.  McKinsey’s speak of the implications for business, but also of a ‘social recession’ from loneliness and isolation, with profound consequences for our health and flow on productivity in workplaces. Even for business stalwarts it’s difficult to comprehend the enormity of the situation.


At the same time, it’s more difficult to comprehend that the world knew in at least 2006 that should a pandemic emerge, it would become the single greatest threat to business continuity, and could remain so for years.  It also knew that organisations, companies, business, governments and the economy at large needed to develop rigorous contingency and resilience plans to manage the progress of a pandemic and limit its impact on employees, shareholders, partners, consumers, and communities. The world categorically knew that this would require more than simply double-checking the soundness of existing business continuity plans, if they were in existence at all. The world didn’t plan. That’s obvious.


And if another issue could compound that lack of preparedness, it is the failure of the economy to have at least kept pace with skills required to live and work in the 21st Century – even though we are 20 years into it.  Governments, educators, business, workforce and society need to understand the changing environment, be resilient to its changes and relentlessly and continuously learn and innovate. These are new educational capacities and concepts and the ones that unify our capacity to live and work now and into the future. Yet current educational frameworks evolved in the 1800’s when the time and relevance to study, learn, and develop capabilities were linear and mechanistic and have largely ignored these capacities. Systemic future focused change is urgently required, and was urgently required when we all anxiously waited for the world to implode on 31 December 1999. This was recognised on the 13th June 2019 when the UN and the World Economic Forum signed a strategic partnership that placed 6 key areas at the international critical level requiring acceleration, if as a world we are to attain the SDG’s by 2030.  Two of those areas  were Education & Skills and Digital Co-operation. And the deficiency in both has been highlighted like a neon light in Times Square for everyone to see and shake their heads in wonderment about. I’ve personally had to assist leaders in business through basic digital engagement, and for many they’ve had to sink before they even wanted to swim.


To be really frank, whilst politicians and people from all nations are pointing fingers and finding blame – it is every single stakeholder who failed to listen who is accountable. It reminds me poignantly of a long-standing joke where there are rapidly rising flood waters and people seek refuge on the roof of their house. Rescue services arrive in a canoe, a boat and finally a helicopter  with the offers of help being refused each time – suggesting that God would help them. After drowning and arriving at the pearly gates, the people say to God, ‘why didn’t you save us?’ God says, ‘I sent a canoe, a boat and a helicopter – what more did you want?’


With that in mind when I hear that countries like Australia, the United Kingdom and others are ‘100 days from an economic cliff’ I think, what do we need to do to ensure we don’t fall off. I don’t think it’s a destiny. It will take resilience, planning, strategy and taking action to innovate – and most importantly learning lessons from the past. History gives us hindsight and the ability to take alternative pathways moving forward knowing the consequences of taking historical choices. Seeing our global history vandalised, desecrated and torn down in the past week feels a little like an out of body experience where humanity has fallen into a state of decay.  And I relate that situation to recovery from the pandemic. We cannot change the past, but we do have the ability to reshape our future to be better, stronger and more resilient.


I tell this story often to my friends and family, however,  the very first time I visited London I went to Westminster Abbey – a bucket list item for me having lived in Australia all my life, a nation with a  comparatively very young modern history, and only ever reading about history. As I wandered the Abbey with the usual mouth open in wonderment expression I found myself completely overwhelmed with emotion when I was seeing and experiencing my history firsthand. Things that for me were never real – they just existed in a textbook. I walked past the plaque for Captain James Cook – credited with being the first to discover and establish a colony in Australia. I could touch the tombs of royalty farther back than I can remember. And then I stopped and glanced at the floor of tombs of great literary greats like Chaucer that I had studied at school – never for once really believing they were real. But they were real. I sobbed and felt a deep connectedness to my history and felt a real fervour to learn and embrace my past, and what I could learn from it to make life better, more enriched and diverse. I felt resilience, and experienced the fact that history builds wisdom. It wasn’t all good, but that knowledge drives you to ensure that those unwanted outcomes are mitigated for the future. Much the same as now. None of us want another economic and social impact from a pandemic but who is actually going to say we failed to plan, and want to reshape the future – but we must.


It may surprise most that more than half the entire population of the world work in SME’s.  They are the backbone of the global economy, both financially and to social development. Collectively that is a huge untapped market and conversely a market where innovative solutions and business resilience can have a profound and catalytic impact to a disproportionately disadvantaged market. Reducing costs, increasing efficiency and overcoming the many challenges that are common causes of angst makes obvious sense. Yet SME’s are often missing  or lacking opportunity and enough people, skills and knowledge to develop new strategies to transform their business. Many are entrenched in the status quo of making ends meet, generating cash flow, meeting compliance and trying to grow. Rarely are they at the cutting edge of innovation or contemplating blue sky thinking where making the ‘impossible possible’ disrupts the way things have always been done. Now is the time for them to pick up the gauntlet and run with it – not wait for destiny to push them off the cliff in 100 days.


While there are regular headlines on how blockchain will transform our daily lives, at the moment its potential application for small and medium size business [SME’s], mid-tier and other underserved sectors in the economy such as education does not feature as a priority on national or international agendas. Effective change requires a profound mind shift in thinking and those in the blockchain industry with SME experience and honesty that understand the real challenges of SME’s, to offer high quality relevant education, and actively support the step by step development of simple business cases that can deploy solutions. Trade finance, Invoice financing, reduced cost in financial transactions, systems to support verification of skills and compliance, greater administrative efficiency, valuing the identity and data of the SME, protecting IP, building international trade opportunities and creating business infrastructure that is affordable and trustworthy are good starting points. Imagine if SME’s could use white labelled smart contracts for important, yet costly infrastructure such as Shareholders Deeds, Employment Contracts and WHS Procedures. The flow on is not just a reduction in cost but a safer, more diverse, secure and sustainable business.  When you hear statistics that more than 70% of SME’s experienced a cyber-attack – before COVID-19 due to lack of preparedness, and that 60% of these who experience financial  losses over $100K will be out of business in 6 months it should be a wakeup call to act.


Catastrophic economic damage is pushing world economies and business of all sizes to think about how they will rebuild, but many are still waiting for a knight in shining armour to save them. Reactivity to poor planning must be replaced with proactivity for resilience and continuity planning and the necessary actions to embrace innovation to build stronger better business, economies and communities. This will require deep reflection on the historical aspects of the past few months and also of our previous times, education and lots of feeling uncomfortable as people enter a changed normality. Even when we embed the profound effects of inclusive diversity into our socio-economic fabric, which includes gender parity and its known gains on the bottom line – removing history doesn’t change the future. Only people and changing their mind set will drive change. Will you be one of them?




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Emergency Planning and Response Guidance for Schools

Emergency Planning and Response Guidance for Schools


Emergency planning and response

How schools and other educational settings should plan for and deal with emergencies, including severe weather and floods.

Making an emergency plan

The aim of an emergency plan is to help staff respond effectively to an emergency at school or on an educational visit.

Your emergency plan should be generic enough to cover a range of potential incidents that could occur, including:

  • serious injury to a pupil or member of staff (eg transport accident)
  • significant damage to school property (eg fire)
  • criminal activity (eg bomb threat)
  • severe weather (eg flooding)
  • public health incidents (eg flu pandemic)
  • the effects of a disaster in the local community

Your plan should cover procedures for incidents occurring during and outside school hours, including weekends and holidays. You should also include emergency procedures for extended services, such as breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and holiday activities.

The planning process

Preparing for emergencies is an ongoing process involving:

  • risk assessment
  • planning
  • training
  • exercises
  • reviewing

Throughout each stage of this process it is important to consult members of staff and governors to gain their involvement and support.

School emergency plan template and guidance

A school emergency plan template and accompanying guidance are available to download from Nottinghamshire County Council.

Whether you adopt the template or choose to use your own, you can use the guidance to develop appropriate arrangements for your school.


Nottinghamshire County Council has also developed resources to help train staff and run exercises, including:

  • risk assessment and planning templates
  • training materials
  • tabletop exercises

You may not need to use all of these resources in order to have an effective emergency plan, and these documents shouldn’t replace any existing arrangements your school has in place.

Your local authority may have already sent emergency planning guidance to your school. If so, please contact your local authority for advice before using these resources.

Electronic storybooks, games and puzzles to use in classroom lessons on emergency planning are also available.

The Cabinet Office has developed a single point of reference for emergency planning terminology.

Severe weather

During severe weather conditions, such as flooding or snow, you should keep your school or early years setting open for as many children as possible.

However, it might be necessary to close temporarily due to inaccessibility or risk of injury. You should do all you can to reopen as soon as possible.

If flooding has significantly affected your school or early years setting, you should contact our incident alert team.

If you’re an early years provider and have had to move to temporary premises, you should check to see if you need to register with Ofsted at your new premises.

School attendance statistics

Where children are unable to get to school due to severe weather conditions, you can mark them in the register using absence code ‘Y’. This means that their absence won’t affect your school’s attendance figures.

However, if you believe that a child could have got to school, their absence should be recorded as unauthorised using code ‘O’.

Staff absence

If some of your teachers can’t get to work, you should be flexible by, for example:

  • bringing together groups and classes with teachers and support staff working together
  • using other school staff or volunteers to provide cover supervision or oversee alternative activities
  • re-arranging the curriculum

Reception and other infant classes (children aged 5, 6 or 7) should normally be groups of 30 or fewer, but having more than 30 in one class due to temporary exceptional circumstances is not a reason to close the school or the class.

Exam disruption

You should prepare for possible disruption to exams as part of your emergency planning and make sure your staff are aware of these plans. If you have to close your school, or if a child misses an exam due to an emergency, you should discuss alternative arrangements with your awarding bodies.

You are responsible for making sure parents and children know what has been agreed, for example:

  • using alternative venues
  • an exam result being generated by the awarding body, based on factors such as a child’s performance on other assessments in the same subject
  • the opportunity for children to sit any missed exam later in the year

Contact details

Incident alert team

Useful information

You may find the following links useful when considering your plan:

Published 25 March 2014
Last updated 23 December 2015
The COVID-19 marathon, in reality it’s more of relay

The COVID-19 marathon, in reality it’s more of relay

The COVID-19 marathon, in reality it’s more of relay.

By Lisa Short

You could be forgiven for waking each morning to feeling overwhelmed that overnight you’ve missed a month’s worth of information about medical advances, vaccine development, infection and death rate statistics, lockdown, easing of lockdown, political and scientific bantering, alternative therapies and all things in between. You’d be right!  To ease the burden here’s a summary of some of the major developments.

A COVID-19 Vaccine

Globally, vaccine FOMO has now emerging as a key bargaining chip in pandemic diplomacy, with China, United States and United Kingdom flexing their investment muscles and intent to share, often dependent on the political mood of some of the most volatile world leaders in history. The UK Government has largely turned a nationalised marathon into a relay by handing the baton to Gavi when it holds the Global Vaccine Summit on 4th June 2020 aimed at mobilising resources to expedite vaccine development with equitable access.

The vaccine teams with the leader’s baton

  • There are 124 candidate vaccines in development globally
  • 10 vaccines designed to prevent COVID-19 are already being tested in people, and another 114 are in development.
  • A landscape list can be found at WHO or GAVI
  • Earliest expectation of vaccine for use is end of the year or January 2021
  • A vaccine will be a valuable tool in assisting in the reduction of spread of COVID-19.

CanSino [Beijing Institute of Biotechnology] 

  • Ad5-nCoV is a weakened common cold virus (adenovirus) genetically engineered to produce the COVID-19 spike protein.
  • Is at Phase 2 trial

Sinovac [Beijing China]

  • CoronaVac consists of a chemically inactivated version of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This is a very traditional method of creating vaccines and one that historically has proved successful.
  • Is at Phase 2 trial which has already been found to protect monkeys from being infected with the coronavirus.
  • Discussing Phase 3 trials to take place in UK
  • Building a commercial vaccine production plant to manufacture up to 100 million doses of the vaccine per year.

Moderna [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) USA]

  • LNP-encapsulated mRNA vaccine works on the principle of having the immune system recognise the spike proteins the coronavirus uses to enter people’s bodies. It encodes the instructions for making a spike protein into a RNA molecule that can be injected into patients.
  • Is at Phase 2 trial

Oxford University/AstraZeneca  [United Kingdom]

  • A candidate vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is made from the ChAdOx1 virus, a weakened version of a common cold virus (called adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees, genetically modified so that it is impossible for it to replicate in humans Genetic material used to make the spike glycoprotein, the protein that the coronavirus uses to penetrate people’s cells and gain entry to their bodies, is added to ChAdOx1. Researchers hope to make the body recognize and develop immunity to these spike proteins, therefore preventing the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering people’s bodies.
  • In Phase 2 trial
  • Phase 3 planned

Ibuprofen as a Treatment for COVID-19 Respiratory Complications

  • A pioneering trial called LIBERATE as a collaboration between London’s Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London and the pharmaceutical organisation the SEEK Group has commenced in early June.
  • The trial is using a type of Ibuprofen called Flarin which has a separate composition than the standard version to protect the stomach
  • Researchers believe the anti-inflammatory properties of the drug could treat severe respiratory distress syndrome, in hospital admissions, by reducing inflammation of blood vessels and subsequent blood clotting.
  • This is a good example of how scientific information has evolved during this pandemic as more knowledge is developed. Initially at the onset of the pandemic, there were concerns that ibuprofen would aggravate the infection, but this has since been withdrawn. For simple symptomatic relief of fever, paracetamol is still the preferred option as it has less impact on the stomach.

Malaria Drug Hydroxychloroquine

  • The controversial drug Hydroxychloroquine has been tested and reviewed as a treatment for COVID-19 and does NOT save lives and is NOT a treatment for COVID-19.
  • The drug has immediately been removed from the University of Oxford’s UK’s Recovery trial, which ran one the world’s largest trials shows on the drug of 11,000 patients with Covid-19.
  • The trial results showed 25.7% of people taking hydroxychloroquine had died after 28 days. This compared with 23.5% who were given standard hospital treatment.

Madagascar’s artemisia-based tonic Covid Organics

  • There is as yet, no evidence Covid Organics is a cure for COVID-19. 
  • On 22 April, Rajoelinalaunched Covid-Organics, an artemisia-based herbal drink developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research to allegedly prevent and cure COVID-19.
  • The tonic was tested onfewer than 20 patients. Data from the study has not been made available.
  • On 23 April the National Academy of Medicine of Madagascar (Anamem) released a statement that the effectiveness of Covid-Organics in preventing and treating Covid-19 had not been adequately tested.
  • WHO recognises that traditional, complementary and alternative medicine has many benefits and Africa has a long history of traditional medicine and practitioners that play an important role in providing care to populations. Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world. If therapies are derived from traditional practice and are natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical.
  • WHO is working with Africa and Madagascar for medicinal plants such as Artemisia annua that are being considered as possible treatments for COVID-19 to be rigorously tested for efficacy and adverse side effects.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies [SAGE]

There is only one government appointed SAGE  for the United Kingdom for reputable and credible information and who provides scientific evidence to the Government from its various expert groups.

Other breakaway and informal groups have taken on similar names and are not government authorised.

SAGE is responsible for ensuring that timely and coordinated scientific advice is made available to decision makers to support UK cross-government decisions in the Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBR). The advice provided by SAGE does not represent official government policy.
Science is an evolution of thinking and discovery based on what is known at any point in time. Science does not have all the answers and nor do all scientists agree. Different perspectives and approaches are based on interpretation and research and all scientists expect their work to be peer reviewed and collectively over time to arrive at the best known conclusion. It is not infallible. Science and advice changes as we learn more. Wanting all the answers, regardless of how urgent it is, is not the same as having them or knowing them or even being able to discover them.












Test and Trace in England is live

Test and Trace in England is live

NHS Test and Trace: if you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus

Follow this advice if you’re told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus (COVID-19).

Stay at home for 14 days

If you’re told you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus:

  • stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person – it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear
  • do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care
  • try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
  • people you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms

If you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days.

If you have to stay in the same home together, read about how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with.

If you get symptoms of coronavirus

If you get symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste):

  • use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do and get a coronavirus test – call 111 if you cannot get help online
  • anyone you live with must self-isolate until you’ve been tested and received your result

What to do when you get your test result

If you test negative (you do not have coronavirus):

  • keep self-isolating for 14 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested
  • anyone you live with can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms

If you test positive (you have coronavirus):

  • self-isolate for at least 7 days from when your symptoms started – even if it means you’re self-isolating for longer than 14 days
  • anyone you live with must self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started

Read more about when to self isolate and what to do.

If you do not get symptoms of coronavirus

If you do not have any symptoms of coronavirus:

  • you can stop self-isolating after 14 days
  • you do not need to have a test

How NHS Test and Trace will contact you

You’ll be contacted by email, text or phone.

Text messages will come from the NHS. Calls will come from 0300 0135000.

Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian’s permission to continue the call.

You’ll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at

If you cannot use the contact tracing website, they will call you.


The NHS Test and Trace service will not:

  • ask for bank details or payments
  • ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087


More about NHS Test and Trace

GOV.UK: NHS Test and Trace – how it works

Nigerian NGO Technology Against Crime partners with Cyber Peace Foundation for Cyber Defense initiatives in Africa

Nigerian NGO Technology Against Crime partners with Cyber Peace Foundation for Cyber Defense initiatives in Africa

Nigerian NGO Technology Against Crime partners with Cyber Peace Foundation for Cyber Defense initiatives in Africa Nigerian NGO Technology Against Crime partners with Cyber Peace Foundation for Cyber Defense initiatives in Africa

●     To work towards Cyber Defense Initiatives

●     To Establish CPF Center of Excellence (CoE), Nigeria

●     Official Industry partner for TAC Africa Drone and Counter Drone Projects

May 18, 2020, National: Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF) an award-winning Indian civil society organization and think tank of cybersecurity and policy has joined hands with Africa based NGO, Technology Against Crime Initiative (TAC Africa). TAC Africa is a futurist oriented, Law Enforcement Centric NGO borne out of an International Law Enforcement Conference on Technology for a Safer World. The alliance is made to work upon the goals and initiatives in the global fight against cybercrime, data-protection, diplomacy, inclusion & outreach, research, cybersecurity of drone and counter-drone technology among others.

The objective of the partnership is to work towards curbing the increasing number of cybercrime, encouraging research in the field of cybersecurity, cyber defense and emerging technology platforms, etc. The partnership will also help to introduce new courses on cybercrime investigation, security and internet engineering, drone and counter-drone systems and governance subject to prior approvals of academic council of university and other legal requirements.

“The strategic partnership pact with Cyber Peace Foundation is to build Cyber capacity, drone and emerging technology capabilities for Academia, Law Enforcement Agencies and relevant stakeholders within the African region. We believe this will curb the brazen audacity with which technologically aided crimes are carried out within the region, said Mr. Jerry Akubo, Founder & CEO, TAC NGO Africa. 

Vineet Kumar, Founder, Cyber Peace Foundation said “As the world becomes more connected through devices, cybersecurity and awareness takes the centre stage. We all need to work towards the safety of being online through new learnings, policies and law enforcement. With TAC, we pledge to build cyber peace and trust in technology and the internet.”

Cyberattacks are causing ever-greater harm to people and civilian infrastructures around the world. The most damaging attacks have destroyed businesses, halted economies, and shut down hospitals. With these unprecedented times the entire world is on the internet and the attackers are maliciously working towards harming these innocents through varied ways.

This partnership will promote and share information on the following initiatives:

●     Official Industry partners for TAC Africa Drone & Counter Drone projects

●     Instituting a Cyber Defense Initiative for Academia, Law Enforcement Agencies & Financial Institutions within the region

●     Establishing of CPF Center of Excellence (CoE) in Nigeria

Editor The Covid Telegraph comment, this initiative shows what can be done in the current lockdown period and is a great initiative helping Africa. Foir further information please contact the Editor and he can put you in touch with Mr Akubo or his team.