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Catastrophe & systemic change: Learning from the Grenfell Tower fire and other disasters

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  • UserBennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge World_link
  • ClockTuesday 15 June 2021, 17:00-18:00
  • HouseOnline Event on Zoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Rebecca Leam.

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Four years on from the tragic event, former Grenfell Tower resident, Gill Kernick, will talk about her new book, ‘Catastrophe & Systemic Change’ Learning from the Grenfell Tower Fire and Other Disasters, her work helping high hazard industries prevent major accidents, and calls for systemic change to prevent future catastrophes.

She will be joined by Jill Rutter, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government, to talk about why it’s so hard to implement policy lessons from catastrophes, what it would take to enable real systemic change, and what is most pressing.

There will be the opportunity to ask your questions to the guest speakers.

Chaired by Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy, this is a must-attend event for anyone interested in change management, leadership, policy-making, law, housing, construction and public safety.

Guest speakers

Gill Kernick works with senior executives in high hazard industries to develop the culture and leadership to prevent catastrophic events. She lived on the 21st floor of Grenfell Tower from 2011 to 2014. Seven of her former neighbours died. Gill writes and speaks to bring the thinking of major accident prevention to Grenfell. She edits “The Grenfell Enquirer” dedicated to learning and preventing such events.

Jill Rutter is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government. She directed the Institute’s work on better policy making and arm’s-length government, and Brexit. She is an experienced former senior civil servant, having worked in HM Treasury, Number 10 and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).


Professor Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. She co-directs the Bennett Institute where she heads research under the themes of progress and productivity, and has been a government adviser on economic policy, including throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Image credit: Grenfell Tower protest – Whitehall – by Alan Denney is licensed under CC BY 2 .0

This talk is part of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy series.

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