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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment


The Centre for Geopolitics has been hosting a series of online panels, alongside a new, global “conversations” website to foster discussion between the academic community and practitioners about the many ways the world order will be changed by the coronavirus crisis. 

As part of this series, FIBE PhD student, Jennifer Ward George, was invited to speak as part of a panel discussing the Politics of Emergency Shelter. The rest of the panel included: Sanj Srikanthan, CEO of ShelterBox and former Senior Vice President (Europe) and Executive Director (UK) of International Rescue Committee; Tom Newby, Associate Director at BuroHappold Engineering and former Head of Humanitarian and Policy Director at CARE International UK; and Dr Mark E Breeze, Director of Studies in Architecture at St. John’s College, University of Cambridge.

In her opening remarks, Jennifer spoke about the well-known need to view shelter as a process, rather than an object, and the impact this has on the politics of crisis management. She went on to discuss the complexities of understanding a crisis and the difficulties of the resulting decision-making and coordination of response. Jennifer also discussed the role of an effective crisis narrative, the complications of managing accountability, and the potential to learn lessons which enable reform. It is possible to watch the full panel discussion here:

In addition to this panel, Jennifer started a global “conversation” on the new Centre for Geopolitics website. This conversation outlines the difficulties facing refugees and those otherwise displaced as the world tackles the Covid-19 outbreak. To read or join the discussion, “Could you #ShelterinPlace in only 3.5m2?” :


Picture: Department for International Development / Russell Watkins