Hoe moeten we ons voorbereiden op het onverwachte?

LONDEN – We leven in gevaarlijke tijden. Net als we weer vaste grond onder de voeten denken te hebben, gebeurt er iets dat ons het gevoel geeft dat onze benen onder ons uit zijn geschopt. Handelingen en gebeurtenissen hangen vaak met elkaar samen, en wat op één niveau gebeurt – waardoor individuen, staten, economische sectoren en bedrijven van alle soorten en maten worden getroffen – kan repercussies hebben op andere niveaus.

De recente terreuraanslagen in Parijs onderstrepen dit. Zij hebben niet alleen gevolgen voor de families en vrienden van de slachtoffers, en ook niet alleen voor het Franse volk. De dreun ervan is voelbaar over de hele wereld en zal – tot ver buiten Europa – invloed blijven uitoefenen op het overheidsbeleid, de electorale politiek, de mediavrijheid en meer.

De aanslagen kwamen op een moment dat de wereld doorgaans probeert te begrijpen wat er in het komende jaar te gebeuren staat – om in te schatten welke risico's op de loer liggen, welke mogelijkheden zich zullen voordoen, en welke uitdagingen overwonnen zullen moeten worden. Maar hoe zit het met de langetermijnrisico's? Tonen gebeurtenissen als de Parijse aanslagen aan dat het voorspellen daarvan onmogelijk is? Of hebben de aanslagen precies het soort risico's blootgelegd die langetermijnverwachtingen zouden moeten openbaren?

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