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Catastrophe and Systemic Change: Learning from the Grenfell Tower Fire and Other Disasters
Sat, October 16, 2021 @ 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM$7.00 – $11.00
a presentation by Gill Kernick
introduced by Thomas Wensing
The GRENFELL TOWER TRAGEDY was the worst residential fire in London since World War II. It killed 72 people in the richest borough of one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Like other catastrophic events before it and since, it has the power to bring aboutlasting change. But will it? The historical evidence is weighed against ‘lessons being learnt’ in a meaningful or enduring way. In an attempt to understand why, despite enormous efforts, we persistently fail to learn from catastrophic events, the book Catastrophe and Systemic Change uses the details of the Grenfell fire as a case study to consider why we don’t learn and what it takes to enable real systemic change. The book explores the myths, key challenges and the conditions that inhibit learning, and it identifies opportunities to positively disrupt the status quo.
Author Gill Kernick will present her powerful analysis of the Grenfell disaster and its aftermath. The recent fire of a tower block is a sharp reminder that there are many residential structures both in the UK and mainland Europe that feature similar hazardous cladding systems which urgently need to be replaced.
Gill Kernick will be introduced by Thomas Wensing who will present a short introduction on the history of social housing in the United Kingdom to familiarize the audience with an idea of the policy context which engendered the conditions in which the Grenfelldisaster took place.
GILL KERNICK is an internationally experienced strategic consultant specializing in safety, culture and leadership. She lived on the twenty-first floor of Grenfell Tower from 2011 to 2014.
THOMAS WENSING is an architect with 20 years of experience in residential architecture. He teaches a housing studio at Kean University in New Jersey this fall and is a regular contributor to the Marxist Education Project.
Credits for main (building) image:
By Natalie Oxford – https://twitter.com/Natalie_Oxford/status/874835244989513729/photo/1, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59913134
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