Monday, April 22, 2024
Since the turn of the millennium, pandemics, heat waves, wildfires, floods, cyberattacks, supply chain interruptions, and other crises have deeply stressed governments, communities, businesses, and individuals around the world. This cascade of catastrophic events raises fundamental questions about how governments can anticipate, prepare for, and respond to these and other shocks yet to come.

Blog Co-Authors: Terry Gerton, President and CEO, National Academy of Public Administration and Dave Zaharchuk, Research Director, Thought Leadership, IBM Institute for Business Value.

Shocks transcend geographic, jurisdictional, political, and organizational boundaries. Furthermore, adaptation, preparation, and response to shock events cannot be the responsibility of a single sector, program, agency, or level of government. Instead, the key to success—and the root cause of many failures— lies within the capabilities of individual network participants and the strength of the network before, during, and after an upheaval. Simply put, complex problems cannot be solved in silos.

What practical steps can governments take in the near term to better prepare for and respond to future shocks?

We are pleased to announce a Challenge Grant competition to learn of real-world examples of where government organizations have implemented strategies and capabilities that have improved their mission resilience to be “future ready” and prepared to respond to disruptive events. We are interested in case studies within five key domain areas: emergency preparedness and response, cybersecurity, supply chain, climate sustainability, and workforce development. (Learn more about our future shocks initiative). Case studies can be international, U.S. federal, state, or local. We would like to learn about examples that were piloted or implemented between 2022 and 2024.

The Challenge Grant will provide $1,000 for the winners of the competition to produce essays for publication.

The Challenge Grant process is straight forward:

  • Stage Two: The National Academy of Public Administration, the IBM Center, and the Institute for Business Value will review proposals and select 10 to 15 finalists who will each be offered a $1,000 Challenge Grant to prepare a longer essay (up to 1,500 words) describing the future shock program. Schedule: We will announce the winning proposals by July 1, 2024.
  • Stage Three: The winners of the Challenge Grant will prepare their essays for publication by the IBM Center. Schedule: The 1,500-word essays will be due to the Center by August 12, 2024.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Note: Per our past practices, government employees are unable to receive funding but are welcome to apply. If an award is made, the case study will be published and shared.