Unthinkable is not un-educable: New mindset for training preparedness

Ossi Heino, Annina Takala, Vesa Huotari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


The increasing complexity of critical infrastructure subjects it to problems that are even more wicked, unexpected, and unthinkable than the ones faced before. Hence, the lessons that are drawn from the previous experiences and absorbed into preparedness schemes and planning may well become part of the problem rather than core elements in their effective resolution. This article scrutinizes the potential for the emergence of such a mismatch in the case of a severe disruption to critical infrastructure. As a remedy, we suggest a more encompassing approach to learning, and essentially, a new mindset for training preparedness that would better equip emergency response actors when they come face-to-face with the unthinkable. Based on research, it is advisable to be cautious of relying too much on what is known with certainty. In addition, this study raises doubts as to whether training inevitably improves the ability to act in exceptional situations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102470
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Critical infrastructure
  • Emergency response
  • Exceptional situations
  • Exercises and training
  • Learning

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Unthinkable is not un-educable: New mindset for training preparedness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this