By Rod Cartwright


For many, the late 2010s felt complex and confusing enough, in a world of increasing misinformation, mistrust and polarisation. In reality, the turn of the decade was just the end of the beginning. Despite all the memes, 2020 wasn’t cancelled. In fact, it was actually just like 2019 on a large dose of steroids and a warm-up act for the challenges of 2021 and beyond.

Some have claimed that COVID-19 has created a whole brave new world. In reality, the global pandemic has merely accelerated a raft of existing trends and dynamics already making their presence felt. From diversity & inclusion, mental health & wellbeing and more flexible working patterns to corporate transparency, accountability and governance, the expectations of today’s corporation were already sky-rocketing even before the pandemic took hold.

Add to that the rise and rise of ESG, financial materiality and the inexorable march of integrated, six capital reporting, and you arrive at a reputational risk environment in which professional communicators have their work cut out as never before. This is the complex and fast-moving backdrop for the crisis track at this year’s EACD Summit on 14th October, which we have themed ‘Beyond Crisis Communication’.

Our ‘macro’ starting point will be an exploration of the key findings of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2021 and their implications for professional communicators. From the climate emergency and infectious diseases, to inequalities of income and opportunity, and even weapons of mass destruction, we will examine a stark, repeated warning from the Forum – that we ignore long-term risks at our peril.

With crises often wrongly viewed as purely short-term phenomena, we will learn from key players in the European hospitality sector how they approached a long-term, rolling crisis like few in the sector’s history. And in a social media-fuelled environment where disinformation can fuel and distort an emerging reputational crisis, we will address the challenge of understanding and managing ‘angry mob’ psychology during a crisis. How can organisations develop and deploy a better understanding of behavioural science and psychology mitigate and minimise risk? Join us to find out, as part of the three-session crisis track designed to move you beyond crisis communication.

I invite you to register for the upcoming EACD Summit, where we will discuss the Future Now! Learn more:

Rod Cartwright, Chair, EACD Crisis & Risk Communication Expert Group and Principal, Rod Cartwright Consulting