International Air Transport Association (IATA) and BeST (Be-Strategic Solutions) to Offer New War-Gaming Computerized Platform called Scenario.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and BeST (Be-Strategic Solutions) signed an agreement on 5th July to collaborate for the purpose of generating customized Simulations for the Aviation Industry using a computer-based program called SCENARIO.

SCENARIO is intended to immerse participants in simulated and interactive scenarios and help organizations to:

  • Effectively map out and evaluate risks by simulating unpredicted factors
  • Improve the efficiency of risk management by regular rehearsal of crisis response plans

SCENARIO – presents a unique opportunity for organizations to enhance their decision-making process and evaluate preparedness.  Participants in the gaming process operate in a virtual surrounding, which simulates unexpected challenges. The game reflects prevailing operational procedures designed to confront critical strategic dilemmas. The players represent competitors, suppliers, rivals, experts, government authorities, media outlets, etc. The unique interactive nature of the strategic gaming simulation creates a dynamic learning experience, accessible from multiple locations, providing a cost effective and modular solution.

 

IATA Chief Information Officer Pascal Buchner commented, “Every crisis, though rare, is different. That is why constant preparation and regular rehearsals of the crisis plans are essential. This collaboration with BeST will provide airlines with additional tools to enhance their crisis response by simulating various scenarios, practicing their plans, and identifying any weaknesses that need to be addressed.”

 

SCENARIO is designed to prepare individuals and businesses to deal with any crisis by refining decision-making processes and confronting critical strategic dilemmas.” says BeST Co-CEO Mr. Dotan Sagi. We welcome the opportunity to work with IATA to increase the effectiveness of crises management in the Aviation industry.

About IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) represents some 275 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic. IATA’s mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry.

About BeST

BeST brings together professionals in the Aviation sector together with Crisis Management experts as well as the world of Academia to create a system that focuses on decision makers and the processes they go through while dealing with different events. Together, our team has been able to build specific algorithms that analyze performance in real time and allow quick de-briefings presenting the decision-making process graphically with unique insights.

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Coming Soon – Game Prototype Page

In today’s quickly-evolving, fast-paced world, we know that few of our clients have enough time on their hands to build their own games from scratch. Chances are- no matter where in the world you are located-  that your staff is overworked, your budgets are constrained and your operations are overloaded.

Fortunately for all of us, building games is what we do; it is our lifeblood.

We recently decided to add another page to our website where you will find a network of pre-designed, prototypical games that are widely applicable to organizations of all shapes, sizes and interests.

On this page, you will find games focusing on the most relevant and credible scenarios that we know interest you the most, including cyber events, natural disasters, aviation emergencies and financial crisis-related scenarios that are ready to be taken off the shelf and applied to your own businesses.

Each game is built according to a specific interest and enhances participants’ literacy in at least one of the following concepts: safety, cyber, business continuity and operational viability.

We are excited to begin sharing our prototypical games with you all and in a few weeks we will start to roll out the different games.

 

The Emergency Alert System Dilemma: How can authorities leverage technological advancements to aid (and not diminish) strategic disaster risk reduction endeavors?

People across the globe have come to rely heavily on technology, which has proven to be an exceedingly effective tool for wireless emergency alert systems. Wireless emergency alert systems can take a number of forms, but primarily use cell tower and Internet pathways to notify the public on a variety of emergency situations by sending text alerts to mobile phones.

During the wildfire outbreak in California in December, 2017, authorities sent emergency alerts to over 22 million cellphones.

During Hurricane Irma in September 2017 and Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, emergency alerts informed millions of people on changes to the storms’ strengths and trajectories.

The efficacy of emergency alert systems is generally acknowledged yet not without scrutiny.

On Saturday, January 13, 2018, a false alert sent to cellphones across Hawaii sent hundreds of thousands of people into panic as they mistakenly received an alert that read “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” As it was, Hawaiians had already been on high emotional alert as a result of escalating tensions between the US and North Korea.

Officials stated that the alert was mistakenly sent as a result of human error, not the workings of hackers or a foreign government. Senator Brian Schats of Hawaii wrote on Twitter: “This system failed miserably and we need to start over”.

The strongest argument against emergency alert systems is their ability to create unwarranted panic in populations facing no threats. So, we pose the question to you- our readers- are emergency alert systems innovative advancements that can save lives? Are they invasive technological-overkill that generate false panic? Or do they fall somewhere in between? How can authorities leverage technological advancements to aid (and not diminish) strategic disaster risk reduction endeavors?

Congrats to Dr. Carmit Rapaport and Professor Avi Kirschenbaum

All of us at BeST are proud to congratulate Dr. Carmit Rapaport and Professor Avi Kirschenbaum on being part of the group selected to join the National Emergency Management Authority and the Ministry of Science and Technology in a collaborative project called The National Knowledge Center for Disaster Preparedness.

At the 10th Anniversary conference of the National Emergency Management Authority this week, the National Knowledge Center for Disaster Preparedness was launched with the goal of optimizing public and the economic preparedness for every possible crisis scenario.

The new research center developed from the understanding that Israel, as a high-tech state that produces the most cutting-edge technological innovations and that is well aware of the reality of emergencies, embodies a close connection between science and advancement in the field of emergency preparedness.

Can we reconcile realistic war-games with insightful facilitation?

Written by Chelsea Zfaz and Dr. Carmit Rapaport
The Methodology of War-games

Contemporary approaches to war-games and tabletop exercises offer a process-focused Good Better Best Dice Representing Ratingsreview of an organization or company’s crisis response capacity. A proven method to enhance a team’s ability to manage a crisis, war-gaming challenges personnel to communicate and collaborate during various simulated scenarios in order to reveal the people and processes that elicit the actual resolution of the crisis.

The pervasive challenge of designing and facilitating effective war-games is simulating realistic scenarios that the participants actually learn to manage while identifying and reporting insights about how and why people think and act the way they do.

The Dilemma

In order to understand the thought-processes and behaviors of participants, simulations are often paused to open space for reflective discussion. Yet this freezing of the crisis management simulation is by no means a realistic step in the management process, it actually directly detracts from the realism of the simulation.

So how can we, as war-game developers, extract insights during war-games that don’t damage the genuine process of crisis management simulations? How can we ensure that the value of the lessons learned while stopping the simulation justifies the cost of the interference?

Is there an Ideal Solution?

In our experience, opening space for exploring the motives of participants lends incredible understanding to outcomes of simulations. A question as simple as “why did you decide to do x/y/z?” can provoke explanations that not only shed light on the causative factors behind people’s reasoning and decision-making but also on the perceptions that players have of themselves and their roles in the larger context of the management scheme. Such reflection on tacit personal and group cognitive processes allows for a better understanding of the entire organizational workflow, and helps in the identification of fundamental gaps in crisis management.

Yet the fact remains that pausing a simulation, even in the name of the most formative discussion, does not reflect what its actually like to deal with crises in reality.

BeST has developed a way to circumvent this dilemma. We’ve created a questionnaire template that players in simulations can use to design inquiries to elicit specific information from other players. Players can ask anything imaginable of other players, and can include as many answer options as desired (open answers present challenges for analysis and therefore are not currently included in the questionnaires).

While these questionnaires do not offer the same level of open discussion as an actual mediated conversation could provide, they’re significantly less intrusive than the alternative. Though facilitating the active questioning of players by players has proven to extract information effectively and non-intrusively, there exists no better method of understanding how and why people think and act the way they do than through open communication. Furthermore, this information can serve as a valuable dataset for further fine-tuning of the crisis management process as well as for other organizational inquiries relating to the daily operational functioning.

So we pose the question to you- how can we, as war-gamers, optimize the extraction of insights while maintaining the realism of our simulations?

BeST extends a warm welcome to Dr. Carmit Rapaport!!

We at BeST at thrilled to announce that Dr. Carmit Rapaport will be joining our team!

Dr. Rapaport is the Director of the NIRED – the Institute for Regulation of Emergencies and Disasters. She is also the Academic Coordinator of the Master’s programs in Coping with Disasters and Fire Studies at the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Haifa.

Recently, Dr. Rapaport has been nominated for the Academic Advisor to the Israeli National Center for Resilience of the Israeli NEMA (National Emergency Management Authority) and IDF’s Home Front Command.

Dr. Rapaport received her Ph.D.  From the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 2011. Her areas of expertise include business continuity, crisis leadership, preparedness, social resilience and population behavior during emergencies.

We are delighted to see Dr. Rapaport join our team as BeST continues to evolve into the unique War-Gaming tool that it is today. Our ability today to provide immediate insights and lessons learned is unparalleled in the War-Gaming community and Dr. Rapaport’s research will enable BeST to continue growing and continue providing the level of excellence our customers have come to rely on.

BeST is in the UK!!

BeST are delighted to announce that we are partnering with Monte Alto Solutions in the UK for the provision of our services.

Monte Alto Solutions will work with BeST as our strategic partner across a number of functional areas including, initial request for information, demonstration, client business development, sales and marketing, consultancy, ongoing client relationship management and implementation.

Following closely from BeST’s recent agreement with IATA – the agreement with Monte Alto demonstrates further expansion, into Europe as BeST’s products and services continue to evolve.

Partnering with Monte Alto solutions represents another step forward for BeST as we grow our market share in the European arena. The partnership enables both organisations to provide a more comprehensive, surround service to benefit our customers.

The Monte Alto team will support BeST management in business development and client relationship management, while the BeST management team remains at the heart of our service provision. Both organisations will ensure that the service is tailored to the specific needs of our clients – from designing and building to service delivery and onward through the long-term relationship. This will also allow our Clients to develop new scenarios and challenges for the future – to get the very best out of our products.

We fully believe that the service will be more comprehensive and encompassing – but also more intimate, focusing on the specific client need.

The Monte Alto team will work seamlessly with BeST. They will visit client offices and, supported by our on-line team, will create the right solution/ war game / business continuity test for the clients.

Julian Knott CEO of Monte Alto Solutions said “BeST provides a valuable, and possibly unique business tool for clients that want to test their business continuity and contingency plans at a strategic and operational level. We are proud and honoured to be a business partner across the UK and Europe for such a dynamic organisation.”

The management of BeST and Monte Alto Solutions share common business values and methodologies. Both organisations are highly client-focused and believe that world class service is the cornerstone of customer care.

The BeST “war game” is more than gamification or simulation, it is a unique interactive business tool that tests and records the way a business manages a real-life situation in real time. The ability to track and record decisions and responses and provide instantaneous feedback and reports through an easy to use management dashboard – gives control to the client.

The power of the management tool is that it can measure operational performance and strategic governance and risk.  This forms the basis for cost saving and cost efficiency. However, of even greater value is the protection of the business operation, people, customers and stakeholders. Business reputation and brand integrity is also more assured by a thorough examination of processes and policy, security, and business systems.

For more information contact Monte Alto Solutions:

 julianknott@montealto.co.uk

Richardmowat@montealto.co.uk

Professor Alan (Avi) Kirschenbaum has joined the BeST team!!

We are very pleased to announce that Professor Alan (Avi) Kirschenbaum has joined the BeST team!!

Dr. Alan(Avi) Kirschenbaum31Professor Kirschenbaum brings with him a wealth of experience in the field of disaster management and has served as a Senior Research Fellow at the Neaman Institute for National Policy Research at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and as the initiator and coordinator of The BEMOSA consortium, a 15 partner Europe-wide research project aimed at improving security in airports. He was also a participating partner in PsyCris, an EU project dealing with mass disasters and its psychosocial consequences, during which his focus was on contingency planning.
Professor Kirschenbaum is also a member of the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE) Workgroup for Safety and Security. In addition to authoring numerous scientific journal articles and book chapters, he has served on the editorial boards of leading international journals, on executive boards of international research committees, international academic associations and was a past director of research of the Population Behavior Section, Israel’s Home Front Command.

 

Professor Kirschenbaum remarked “I am very excited to join BeST, whose management and employees reflect the highest level of work ethic and performance in a wide area of disciplines. My decision to join reflects my belief in extrapolating applied research in the behavioral sciences to provide innovative and cutting-edge products that has become an integral part of BeST’s service platform”.

 

“We are happy to see Professor Kirschenbaum join our team, as we see the immense added value that will be provided to our clients as BeST continues in its never-ending pursuit of providing a unique system set apart from solutions on the market by its ability to not only identify gaps in organizations’ policies and practices but also to explore the causative factors behind such gaps” says BeST Co-CEO Mr. Dotan Sagi

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