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Humor & risk: An exploration of case studies

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At its most fundamental level, managing risks is, at its core, about noticing and confronting the gap between what is and what could be. Humor is also about noticing, confronting, and in particular, highlighting this gap. While humor is not something that readily exists in the climate and disaster risk management field, this exploration sought to identify why humor can be useful, and more specifically, document cases where humor has worked effectively. This exploration of humor in the context of DRM has revealed the humor can be used as a risk communication and engagement tool, supporting the following:

  1. Humor engages the audience, breaking through resistance and boredom
  2. Humor enables new ideas to emerge
  3. Humor invites us to open our minds and change our frames of reference
  4. Humor creates a safe space to be candid and think outside the box
  5. Humor helps us envision how things can go wrong, and how things could be changed