With a little less than three months to CLAW 2023, the Crisis Management Workshop for the international R&E community, we are happy to share new details of the event’s programme. Charlie van Genuchten, Security Product Manager from SURF tells us more:
“CLAW’s themes this year are teamwork and creativity, both desperately needed in a crisis! In order to get participants in the right mindset from the start, we have decided to make some changes to the setup of our event this year. Participants will listen to a cautionary tale from the keynote speaker to begin with and then start with the first part of the crisis exercise. Everyone will get to know their teams and be challenged to solve some problems with creativity, then a working dinner will help to strengthen team spirit. On the morning of day two we will continue the exercise – but I won’t say more as it’s a surprise! After lunch we will ensure everyone takes away key lessons from the event by attending one of the three training sessions where participants will be able to use their experience of the exercise and hopefully translate them into new skills.”
Keynote and Training Sessions Speakers
Keynote – The Halifax explosion of 1917 – what happens afterwards? | Anna Wilson, HEAnet
On 6th November 1917, the SS Mont Blanc sailed into Halifax, Nova Scotia containing a startling cargo of explosives and munitions destined for Allied forces in World War I. On the same morning, the SS Imo sailed out, empty and in a hurry. They collided, causing the largest man-made explosion to date. Anna’s talk will not focus on the explosion itself, but on what happened before, and what happened after. We can learn a lot by tearing apart the contributing factors to the explosion, finding what mistakes were made, and understanding why they were made. We’ll learn how to avoid and deal with accidents by looking at how other industries have responded to theirs. We’ll learn the limitations of ‘root cause’ as a concept, understand more about why mistakes are made, how to spot the signs of scapegoating and manage them. [Content note: this talk will include discussion of loss of life.]
Anna Wilson graduated in Computer Science from University College Dublin in 1996, and straight away went next door to work for HEAnet. Anna has been with the Irish NREN in some capacity ever since. Her focus throughout has been on the IP network, and she is known for her work in various GÉANT activities and her participation in RIPE, including a recent stint as co-chair of the IPv6 working group. Anna is currently building a robot army for the Services Architecture Team in HEAnet.
Parallel training sessions
a) How to Win a Crisis | Wouter Beijersbergen van Henegouwen
During this workshop we will reflect on the exercise in which participants will have already taken part, examine which success factors were based on theories and experience, and possibly identify any pitfalls too. Participants will receive practical tools to enhance their chances of success during a crisis, and will also be given the opportunity to apply these straight away in a brief a short follow-up exercise called the Second Chance Exercise. The training is hands-on and interactive with a focus on maximising the learning outcomes from the crisis exercise.
For nearly a decade I dedicated myself to the realm of crisis management at Trimension, serving both government entities and private businesses. My role encompassed a wide array of critical aspects, including crisis management response, strategic planning, decision-making, and conducting crisis exercises. In 2021, I embarked on a new chapter in my career as a safety advisor for the municipality of Lansingerland. This role also saw me assume responsibilities as a crisis and project manager, overseeing various initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and resilience of the community. On 1 Nov 2023 I became Assignment Manager for Resilience at the municipality of The Hague. This role presents a fresh set of challenges and opportunities, allowing me to further refine my skills in crisis management and resilience-building.
b) Teamwork! | Marthe Huibers
A crisis situation often demands the utmost from organisations and professionals and good collaboration can make all the difference. But a group of motivated, experienced and/or brilliant professionals does not automatically form a motivated, experienced and/or brilliant team that takes the best decisions. In the workshop Teamwork! we’re going to look for those elements that can make teamwork successful and of real added value, instead of (and I quote) “just a – sometimes slightly frustrating – way to share information” or even (and I quote again) “a process that takes all the energy out”. In other words: we’ll be answering the question “How to turn a team of Experts into an Expert Team?” Together we investigate the four levels at which a team performs, what the success- and fail factors of teamwork are especially in times of crises, and how to timely recognise and avoid common pitfalls in teamwork. Also, we look at individual roles in teams: what kind of teamplayer are you during crises and what effect does this have on your teammates? Of course, we immediately apply the lessons learned to the CLAW team that you take part in during the workshop: are you able to work together as a solid team when the situation requires it…?
Marthe Huibers is an organizational psychologist, fascinated by (effective and ineffective) human behaviour, especially in the context of teams and organisations. It never ceases to amaze her to see what people in “effective” teams can achieve when working together (unfortunately, it also keeps surprising her how ineffective teamwork can cause brilliant people to achieve very mediocre to downright bad results…) After working as a trainer/consultant in the field of crisis management for over 10 years, she is now trainer and teamcoach for leaders and teams, teaching them to (re)discover and work at their fullest (crisis-)potential.
c) How to create your own exercise | Charlie van Genuchten, SURF
Since the launch of CLAW in 2017 we have been continuously improving the format of our crisis management exercises and producing material to enable NRENs across the globe to develop and recreate similar crisis simulation workshops for their organisations. We will look at the steps needed to create successful crisis exercises, how to make them work and how, through trial and error, we learnt what doesn’t work. This training will help NRENs who aim to organise a small exercise for their own organisation as well as larger scale exercises for their constituencies (such as OZON in the Netherlands).
Charlie van Genuchten is Product Manager Privacy and Security at SURF. She organised the first large-scale crisis exercise for SURF in 2016 and has been creating exercises with and for Dutch Higher Education Institutions every year since then. Since 2017, she has been organising the CLAW Crisis Management Event for European NRENs. Charlie studied History and Arabic and learned a lot about media and politics when she was part of the Dutch National Union of Students and the European Student Union.