A CARISMAND stakeholder conference on “Disaster, Communication, and Cultures” took place in Bucharest, Romania, on the 14th and 15th April, 2016. This was the first of the three Stakeholder Assemblies planned as part of CARISMAND.
The CARISMAND stakeholder conference in Bucharest gathered local professionals and representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Gendarmerie, the Bucharest Prefecture, Special Telecommunications Service (STS), Romanian Red Cross Society, Emergency Mobile Service for Resuscitation and Extrication (SMURD), the Ambulance service, “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy, the National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management, the National Institute for Earth and Physics, the private sector, non-profit organisations, and the media.
Each of the two days of the event offered a balanced combination of panel discussions with simultaneous translation and working groups held in Romanian allowing participants to share their experience and freely discuss topics related to disaster and risk communication, culture, trust, and other key aspects of the project.
On the first day, the conference delegates were introduced to CARISMAND and then discussed in six working groups a number of topics related to “internal” and “external” risk communication in disaster management, with particular focus on corporate and institutional cultures as well as cultural aspects between disaster managers and citizens. A second round of working groups in the afternoon dealt with the issue of media cultures and the role of “traditional” and social media in risk and disaster communication. These discussions involved disaster managers and practitioners as well as journalists, bloggers and media representatives. Results from the working groups were presented and discussed in plenary sessions.
The afternoon session included CARISMAND’s first keynote speaker, Marco Morabito from the Institute of Biometeorology, National Research Council, Italy, who spoke on communication strategies and informative tools for the mitigation of heatwave effects on vulnerable people.
The first day of the Stakeholder Assembly was concluded with an insight on “How Social Media have been Changing Emergency Management: from Earthquakes to Terrorist Attacks”, presented by the second CARISMAND speaker, Remy Bossu from the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, France.
Following the same format of panel discussions and small-size working groups, the second day of the CARISMAND First Stakeholder Assembly started with a discussion on the role of the media in risk and disaster communication. Participants then proceeded with group sessions focused on the relationships between culture and trust in risk and disaster communication as well as the role of cultural leaders in such communication. Culture, risk, and trust were also the core elements of the afternoon panel discussion.
During the afternoon session, two keynote speakers shared their experience with the audience. First Mr. Radu Magdin from Strategikon, Romania presented concepts and provoked questions in the area of communication and trust.
A final highlight of the event was the speech by Dr. Raed Arafat, Secretary of State within the Ministry of Interior, coordinator of the Department of Emergency Situations, and founder and coordinator of the Emergency Mobile Service for Resuscitation and Extrication (SMURD).
The CARISMAND First Stakeholder Assembly took place with the special support of the Romanian partners in the project: SMURD Foundation, “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy (MVNIA), and the Romanian Special Telecommunications Service (STS).
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