A new report on steps needed to achieve whole of society resilience has been produced by Resilience First in collaboration with PA Consulting, the consultancy that’s bringing ingenuity to life.

We are living through unprecedented volatility, disruption, and change, as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, climate change, frequent instances of industrial action, and the current energy and cost of living crisis. So the time is right to rethink our approach to resilience. Initiatives like the UK Government Resilience Framework (UKGRF) sound a call to action for all sectors of society – from government and business to individuals – to take resilience seriously.

“If we can understand and prepare for shocks and stresses more intentionally, we can mitigate some of their impact, and ensure recovery is quicker and less costly.”  Martyn Link, Executive Director, Resilience First

To achieve a truly whole of society approach we all need to play our part and work collectively. The report is a result of a discussion forum held by Resilience First with its champion member PA Consulting at the end of 2022, where we brought together resilience experts from across government, communities, academia, and business. The forum included a briefing from the Cabinet Office on the UK government’s approach to resilience, a panel discussion, and workshop, with groups considering the key theme of how to achieve a whole of society approach to resilience.

“The government's framework gives us the contours of a long-term resilience strategy, but the next step is to shade in all the colours, and to give us the action plans under each of these things. What I like about the report is that it sets out some of the concrete specific steps that different actors in this resilient system can take forward.”  James Heath, CEO, National Infrastructure Commission

“A whole of society approach looks to create shared ownership for our national resilience, providing the governance, guidance and incentives from the top and community led needs and initiatives from the bottom; recognising that resilience is a positive strategic enabler underpinning the nation’s prosperity and levelling up agenda.”  Caroline Field, national resilience expert, PA Consulting

The report is based on five key themes:

  1. Establishing wider partnerships
  2. Providing incentives
  3. Involving communities
  4. Building future skills
  5. Leveraging data and technology

For each of the key themes, the report sets out the recommendations and provides specific actions for how we can implement a whole of society approach to resilience in the UK. Taking these steps will deliver a collective, co-ordinated approach beyond traditional emergency preparedness and response that moves towards holistic resilience for both society and organisations.

Standards are a universal currency, not just nationally, but globally. Technology driven platforms are vital for engagement. Having a playbook, and a safe space for people to come together and exchange ideas, makes it easier to share what works and what doesn't.

There is a real value in having a proper strategic, long-term framework in place for our approach to national resilience. We hope we can all work together to deliver a truly whole of society approach.

Get the report