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The eyes of football fans everywhere will be focussed on Russia over the next month as the World Cup showcases the best teams and talent from around the world. In this article Paul Kudray muses on the possibility of a ‘World Cup of Resilience’ where world class professionals from each country come together to push boundaries.

Risk and reward

It’s the football (soccer) World Cup time again, starting on the 14th June in Russia. All the qualifying nations competing will be representing their country with pride, passion, flair, skill, ability, desire, hopes, dreams, and ambitions. On the pitch, players will use their experience but also take some innovative risks, to try and get their rewards; both in defence and going forward.

Now there will be a huge percentage of people around the world who won’t be remotely interested. A great deal won’t have access to watch the matches or, even be bothered by it in the first place.

And of course, there will be those who are really excited about it, buy into it, and their daily routines and patterns will be adjusted over the next month or so to ensure everything is planned around the matches.

Sport finds a way to connect; we find a way.

What could be

It got me thinking, just how amazing would it be if there was a World Cup of Resilience? Where the world class professionals from each country, came together and ‘competed’ against each other to win games of risk, resilience, emergency planning, crisis management and even business continuity management?

Can you imagine it? Why couldn’t it happen? It’s not as ridiculous, as it seems.

What is

Building resilience in each country, city, town, place or area, is an essential element to the health, welfare, environment and the security of the people who live there. Resilience helps businesses to be stronger and more prepared for the challenges of disruption they may face in the future. As people, we want to be resilient in life. We want and need it for ourselves, but equally, we want and need it for our families and future generations. Resilience is a life essential.

Social media and today’s technologies resonate the hazards, risks and threats around the world. Emergencies are not what we want, but the reality is, they happen; and they will happen. Across the world, school education helps children learn how to be resilient in life. Its an essential life skill.

Resilience professionals around the world are experienced and wise mentors. They help people and businesses, public and private sectors, to have the guidance and confidence to be better prepared for disaster.

It’s fact; it happens. Risk assessments, planning, training and exercising, to help get the right people, in the right place, at the right time and with the right resources, goes on. Social media now allows the responders and volunteers to communicate with the mass public as to what and how we practice helping to save lives and work together. It reassures. As members of the public, we want, and we need them to do so.

It’s complicated, but why not?

Each country has its own challenges in respect of resilience. Each country has its own capability and levels of infrastructure. And each country has its own supply of expert, resilience mentors, who can help to give the real heroes (the people and their businesses) the magical gifts of knowledge, belief, pride, passion, flair, skill, ability, desire, hopes, dreams and ambitions. They can use their experience and some innovative risks, to try help you get your long-term goals and rewards; both in defence and going forward.

Imagine if you will, all of the world’s best resilience players, coming together for a World Cup of Resilience; not to win individual glory, but to ‘compete’ in an ethical and moral way, to truly demonstrate the very best innovation, technical skill, attitude and opportunity to make the world a better, more resilient place for the future? A better safer world, where ever we travel to or live. Isn’t that what you want too?

How amazing it would be for all nations to have the opportunity to showcase their skills and share their experiences, to come together, to connect for the people?

But, there’s a but… there’s always a but!

Across the world today, as resilience takes place behind closed doors, or the selected highlights are communicated on social media, there will be opportunities to identify lessons from tragic incidents and events. It is part of the cycle of learning and enhancing capabilities for the future.

The resilience profession is vast, and the resilience economy grows exponentially. There are, as in all professions, big organizations and there are big ego’s. Existing award ceremonies are in situ across all regions of the world. And rightly so; recognising innovation and talent, achievement and future potential.

So how would such establishments and the profession feel about the concept of a World Cup of Resilience? There will be some sharp intake of breaths and tut tuts, no doubt. Never! Ridiculous notion? What purpose and value would such an event have for the profession?

Erm, hello…resilience isn’t about the profession, it’s about making the world (the real heroes), better prepared and safer. Besides, who will win the World Cup of Resilience? Who would sponsor it…?


Just for one moment in time, if we had the opportunity to collectively come together, on a neutral playing field, to work together more closely, to meet skilled people and to face difficult challenges together; to help find solutions to existing and future problems around the world, wouldn’t that be a wow moment?

If we believe in resilience for all, if we do have the skills and experience and attitude, and we want to help to educate people to the true, life-long benefits of resilience, then we can find a way to bring it to the world. We should never give up. I won’t give up.

The concept of a World Cup of Resilience isn’t as far fetched as first thought. In history, we can demonstrate we have achieved what was once thought to be impossible. Look at what you’re reading this article on right now.

The future is in our hands

In just over 18 months’ time, Expo 2020 Dubai will take place when the world showcases innovation and sustainability. The theme is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. Wow, how beautifully simple is that, but just how challenging will that be also? But I believe they can do it and I believe they will. The attitude is there; you can feel it.

I am not sure just what opportunities are already in place to showcase world-wide resilience as opposed to individual country resilience, but I do know that they all have and need resilience. And I do know that in the future, resilience will be an expected requirement by all. I know we can help to shape that further.

Our vision and our passion need to match our ambition, and this is shaped by our attitude. A World Cup of Resilience is not about a sporting event or a showcase event like we will see across emergency services, demonstrating the best technical rescue etc to take home a trophy.

A World Cup of Resilience is about THE future global event, that does not yet exist, but surely can, and is one that is not constrained by establishment boundaries and personalities. However, it is about taking and sharing the best resilience, to the people of the world. Never give up believing. I won’t.

Next steps

If you’ve been inspired by the article and think that the idea of a World Cup of Resilience is worth exploring, contact the author using the details below or email

The author

An international leader in business resilience consultancy, training and exercising; Paul Kudray, MSc FICPEM MAICP CBCI, Fellow of the EPC, is an ex-emergency service commander who finished an exemplary 32-year career in the UK healthcare sector, as a Director of Resilience. In 2014, he founded his own consultancy and he is an excellent forward-thinking, resilience innovator and blogger. He is a Lead Auditor for ISO 22301, working with clients across the world. He is known as the ‘resilient maverick’ for his unique approach and style to making resilience more accessible and available for all. Paul’s company is KCL Contact Paul at or via

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