How to Survive a Crisis | How To Academy

Tue, 30 May 2023

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

How to Survive a Crisis

Sir David Omand, Former Director of GCHQ

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In this live talk, Sir David will show how anyone can survive – and even thrive – in crises when using methodologies employed by the British intelligence agencies.

We never know when a crisis might explode. Some ‘sudden impact’ events, like terrorist attacks or natural disasters, blow up out of a clear blue sky. But some crises burn and fester slowly, often with warning signs ignored along the way until, as if from nowhere, the troops storm the palace. But we are rarely powerless.

Professor Sir David Omand has dedicated his life to helping the nation in the face of crises. ‘One of the most able people to have served in British government since the Second World War’ (TLS), he was the UK’s first Security and Intelligence Coordinator, responsible to the Prime Minister for the national counter-terrorism strategy and “homeland security”; previously, as Director of GCHQ, the nation’s world-leading intelligence, cyber and security agency, he led their mission to keep the UK safe in extraordinarily turbulent times.

Using gripping real-world examples from his storied career, including chairing the COBR room in the storm of a crisis, to lessons from historic crises such as Chernobyl, 9/11, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack, Sir David’s returns to How To Academy to show what we can do as individuals and societies to increase our resilience in the face of ever-multiplying crises.

This is an unmissable event for anyone interested in the state of our world – and how we might improve it.

Praise for Professor Sir David Omand’s How To Survive a Crisis:

‘An amazing book. Timely, essential and important. The brilliantly insightful David Omand draws on his unmatched experience to explore the complexities of crisis. He shows us how poor preparation leads to failure, but applied intelligence saves lives. There is a lesson for all of us on every page, moreover it’s a fascinating read’ – Richard Aldrich, author of GCHQ

‘As the world belatedly wakes up to the importance of resilience, this book is the instruction manual we all need. Leaders, in particular, should take note. It will be your imagination, ownership and example that will be decisive as we fight to defend that most precious of things: normality’ – Sir Alex Younger, Chief of MI6

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David Omand

Former Director of GCHQ

David Omand was the first UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator, responsible to the Prime Minister for the professional health of the intelligence community, national counter-terrorism strategy and “homeland security”. He served for seven years on the Joint Intelligence Committee. He was Permanent Secretary of the Home Office from 1997 to 2000, and before that Director of GCHQ.