New MOOC: Risk in Modern Society Dr. Marieke Liem of Leiden University is one of the teachers in the MOOC

New MOOC: Risk in Modern Society

Together with the Leiden•Delft•Erasmus alliance, Leiden University created a Massive Open Online Course for students and professionals with a broad interest in the topic of risk and/or safety and security.

On Monday the 29th of January, the brand-new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ‘Risk in Modern Society’ will officially start and you can still enroll. This course was developed by the Centre for Safety and Security of the Leiden•Delft•Erasmus alliance.

Risk has become one of the defining features of our modern society. Whether it concerns our economy, our safety and security, or even our climate, risk (and the avoidance or embracing thereof) has become a key concept that underlines much of our decision-making. It is a cornerstone notion for governments, businesses, organizations, as well as individuals all around the globe.

In recent decades, however, society’s ability to effectively manage risk has come under increasing pressure. Not only have advances in science and technology generated many new and complex forms of risk, such as chemical or nuclear incidents, but the growing influence of globalization has also aggravated many others, significantly increasing their reach and scale. Increasing interdependence of technological systems, for example, now means that many risks are no longer isolated, but can have dramatic cascading effects.

As a result of this changing nature of risks, as well as the context of their appearance, it has become increasingly urgent to develop new and innovative approaches to better understand and deal with risk. This is particularly true in relation to so-called ‘newly emerging risks’, such as data breaches or ransomware attacks, which have the potential to affect many systems on which society depends, including our political, digital, health and industrial infrastructures.

Given the growing transboundary impact of many newly emerging risks, the approaches devised to deal with them will also progressively need to transcend barriers of their own. Going back to the earlier example of ransomware attacks, these types of risks not only present themselves as technical challenges related to the computer software, but also as economic challenges, due to their ability to significantly cripple businesses and governments. In a similar manner then, studying these types of risks requires combining academic knowledge from multiple fields to develop theories, lenses and methods which can help us better understand and respond to their occurrence.

The online course Risk in Modern Society represents one of the first cooperative projects developed towards this purpose. Drawing on the unique expertise available from the Leiden•Delft•Erasmus alliance, this course examines a wide variety of safety and security risks, ranging from terrorism and violent crime, to chemical and natural hazards, cyber security, and infectious diseases and hospital acquired infections. The course covers questions such as: “what is risk?”, “how can we study and deal with risk?”, “does ‘perceived risk’ correspond to 'real' risk?”, and “how should we deal with societal perceptions of risk, safety and security?

This course is aimed at students and professionals with a broad interest in the topic of risk and/or safety and security. Enrollment is still open and does not require any prior knowledge about risk or related topics.

To learn more and to enroll in this free, exciting new course, please click on the following link: Risk in Modern Society