Hugo Marynissen (born 1966) is a Belgian expert in crisis governance, senior partner at PM•Risk Crisis Change, postdoc researcher at University of Antwerp, and associate professor at Antwerp Management School. The focus of his current research is on team dynamics in crisis teams, safety leadership within so-called “High-Reliability Organizations”, normal chaos, and the role of crisis governance as a way to anticipate extreme events.
He is the president of CIP Institute, a non-profit organization that brings together scientists and practitioners from various disciplines in an inspiring and innovative platform to exchange and develop knowledge about the Complex and Interactive Processes (CIP) in the field of crisis. Since November 2020, he has been appointed as an expert to the Special Parliamentary Commission investigating the COVID-19 approach in Belgium.
Hugo Marynissen studied change management at Saïd Business School (Green Templeton College, University of Oxford) and HEC Paris, where he received his Master Degree in 2009. At Cranfield University, School of Management, he received in 2014 his degree Doctor of Business Administration with a thesis entitled “A constitutive view on risk communication in organisations managing high-risk processes: Towards a conceptual framework” advised by Donna Ladkin, David Denyer and Collin Pilbeam.
After his graduation, Marynissen was appointed the Academic Director of the first Executive PhD program in Belgium (Antwerp Management School). In this function Hugo was responsible for the program design and content, selection of faculty, and the support and follow-up of PhD candidates. During this period (2015-2019), he successfully launched collaborations with Lingnan (University) College, a division of the Sun Yat-sen University in the People’s Republic of China, and with Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) in Austria. Additionally, he has been an invited Professor at Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Management Center Innsbruck (Austria) and Lingnan (Univeristy) College. He also acts as the Academic Director and professor at the “Crisis Communication Module” in the Post Graduate Program Disaster Management at Campus Vesta.
As an associate professor and postdoc researcher Marynissen is in charge of a four-year research project on the future of firefighting (on behalf of the Antwerp fire brigade) and safety networks in the Port of Antwerp.
Marynissen is senior partner at PM • Risk Crisis Change, a Belgian agency specialized in risk and crisis management. Since 2008 he has provided regular coaching and consultancy services in the field of risk and crisis management. During the terror attacks in Brussels (March 22, 2016), he and his team advised Belgium’s Prime Minister on the crisis communication strategy. Together with his colleague Stijn Pieters he developed the Crisis Communication Work Process (CCWP), an evidence-based method for crisis communication. The CCWP revolves around four challenges, which communication teams must overcome. First, they must claim a mandate; second, they must provide strategic advice based on enriched information; third, they must work on the notion that crisis communication is only effective if it interfaces with the mental thinking patterns or mental models adopted by those with whom they need to communicate; and finally, they must approach crisis communication as a separate discipline with various specializations.