Insight: Systemically Resilient National Infrastructure

Dr Dolan explains how National Infrastructure cannot effectively fulfil its purpose unless it is systemically resilient
Insight: Systemically Resilient National Infrastructure
UKCRIC Senior Research Fellow (UCL)

Any country that fails to prioritise the systemic resilience of its national infrastructure will regret it: ‘Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon’. (Casablanca, adapted)

Our wellbeing, quality of life, societies and economic prosperity are enabled and enhanced by our National Infrastructure. Its ultimate purpose is to enable the long term realisation of the societally beneficial outcomes expected by the citizens and society it serves. Moreover, it has the potential to do this in a way that is sustainable, equitable, affordable and supports our Net Zero aspiration.

However, National Infrastructure with low level of systemic resilience jeopardises realisation of all of the above, and risks initiating a downward spiral in which the cumulative impacts of disruptions to National Infrastructure undermine quality of life, reduce productivity and GDP, damage industry and investor confidence, impair tax revenues, diminish international competitiveness and channelling national resources into responsive expenditure.

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This article was originally published by Routledge in Chapter 5 of Professor John Beckford’s book The Intelligent Nation.

The Intelligent Nation by Professor John Beckford, proposes a systemic and radical transformation of the organisation, management, ownership and performance of the services of the state by capitalising on the potential offered by contemporary information capability and fulfilling the rights and obligations both to and of citizens, and a complete rethink of the state as the enabler or provider of public services.

The Intelligent Nation includes contributions on the fundamental importance of systemic research into National Infrastructure systems by UKCRIC Deputy Convenor Professor Brian Collins: and the societal significance of systemically resilient National Infrastructure by UKCRIC Senior Research Associate Dr Tom Dolan.

Image credit: Pierre Jarry via Unsplash