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Juliet Mian

Juliet Mian

Infrastructure Advisor

Juliet Mian is the Resilience Shift’s Infrastructure Advisor, alongside her principal role as Associate Director in Arup’s Infrastructure group. A practicing civil engineer with over 20 years experience, Juliet has worked across a broad range of infrastructure sectors.

Her main interests lie in helping organisations develop bespoke solutions to achieve greater resilience of their infrastructure networks to both known and unknown hazards.

You can find Juliet on LinkedIn.

Posts by Juliet Mian

Putting the resilience building blocks in place – every time

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In our asset management decisions, how should we routinely use the building blocks that are already in place to implement resilience thinking?  I presented at the end of Day 3 (themed on resilience) of the Institute of Asset Management’s (IAM) Annual Conference 2018 in Birmingham. It was a really forward looking event, focusing on the future of asset management. The three days over 25-27 June focused on asset management in the context of Growth, Innovation and Transformation, and Resilience.

I followed some great speakers and discussions – including Dr Mark Fletcher, Arup Fellow, who is leading Arup’s work on the City Water Resilience Framework and the Resilience Shift project on City Scale Water Governance.

As I often do, I used the ITRC diagram showing the complexity of the UK’s infrastructure system-of-systems to illustrate why we can’t consider assets or even individual sectors in isolation. Mark made this point much more memorably using a picture of a pizza!

I also put my usual pictures of bridges, energy systems etc. and was completely blown away by Monique Beedles‘ slides which drew heavily on her family history to illustrate different types of assets that boards of directors need to think about. Communication of important issues in a memorable way should never be undervalued – food for thought…

My proposition to the IAM community was that there are many of the building blocks already in place to implement resilience thinking in asset management decisions, but that this is not yet routinely done. At the end of my presentation I put some possible reasons why this is still the case, and I hope to be able to carry on the conversation to truly understand how the Resilience Shift can help asset managers to ‘shift’.

The discussion at the end of the conference was great, and gave me a lot to think about – including a plea for more help in how to implement a systems approach in practice, where most people recognise it as important in theory. We discussed that at a city scale where a city is responsible for all its assets, asset manager are in a better position to make cross sector decisions.

The IAM is about to publish its Subject Specific Guidance (SSG) on resilience and contingency planning, which I look forward to reading.

The slides that I presented are available for viewing below.

Categories: Events

Doing the right things and doing them well

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Juliet Miam

Juliet Mian

A key programme milestone in May was our fourth Programme Board meeting¹. We shared with our board our approach to assessing our impact in a meaningful way, in order to provide us, the board, and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation with assurance that we’re doing the right things, and that we’re doing them well. Our impact framework is proving a valuable tool for determining that our activities (i.e. projects, investments, events, outputs) fit well with our vision and outcomes. It helps us scope and define what we are doing, see where there are gaps, and also supports decisions where we say ‘sorry, not for us…’.

Our mission is to create a shift by accelerating the uptake of theory in practice, and we need to be as sure as we can be that we are investing in work that will actually move the dial. The value chain is another excellent tool for ensuring we think about end-users – who they are, and how our work will help them to do things differently on a Monday morning. Nancy Kete, our Executive Director, tracked down the featured image below – a great example of how we don’t want to measure our work!

(Copyright Jonathan Koomey, 2001. All rights reserved. Used with permission)

Bringing safety to life

On the 9-10 May we attended the Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s International Conference at the IET in London. The conference provided a great opportunity to understand the work of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation grantees, and we were excited to get an opportunity to network with the wider group. We also held a workshop, which you can read more about here. If you couldn’t make the event, don’t worry, Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s YouTube channel provides videos of all talks here.

We passionately believe, along with our funders at Lloyd’s Register Foundation; that life matters, and that life relies on the resilience of critical infrastructure (often referred to as lifeline infrastructure for exactly that reason). Planning, designing, delivering and operating critical infrastructure systems to be resilient will not only create a safer world, but also a better one. Nancy articulated this very convincingly at the conference, along with our areas of focus to achieve this, in the ‘Life Matters: 3 minute pitches that will change the world‘ panel session.

Current activities

Our project to create a repository of tools and approaches – connecting the developers of the tools with the customers, and responding to our finding in our ‘Understanding the Landscape‘ report that while many tools exist, awareness of these, who they are for, and how they add value, is limited – is progressing well. We are very focused on not reinventing any wheels here, which is why we want to work with a number of organisations already active in this space, and build on what has already been done. ‘Tools and approaches’ is certainly not expected to ‘finish’ in 2018, and we’re looking forward to sharing our initial work in this space, and using it to inform our next steps. This work is fundamental to making resilience tangible, practical and relevant to those responsible for financing, planning, designing, constructing, and operating critical infrastructure.

Working in critical infrastructure sectors, to transfer theory to practice, and engage with sector leaders to really understand and influence a shift, started with the water sector. We have projects ongoing in this space, dealing with the challenge of mapping and understanding governance, in order to improve the governance response during ordinary and extraordinary circumstances. Arup and SIWI have been busy running governance workshops, with some great feedback, in the diverse cities of Amman, Miami and Mexico City – with Cape Town and Hull in June.

We’re delighted to have Fred Boltz and Casey Brown working with us to influence the highest levels of government about the importance of resilience-based approaches. The open letter to the UN High Commission, that supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, which Fred discusses in a guest blog, is a great start to this influencing strategy. We’re thinking strategically about which sectors to look at next, and the important focus area of transferring learning between sectors. For me, and my ‘day job’ advising infrastructure clients on their resilience challenges, this is really exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing this work stream gain momentum.

For our followers, potential collaborators and partners

One of our key guiding principles is to be open, and this applies to everything we do. We’re committed to working collaboratively and openly, and sharing all our work publicly. Please get in touch if you have questions, comments, or ideas about our vision and outcomes impact framework, we’d love to hear from you.

We think real stories, particularly success stories, are a great way of influencing critical infrastructure decision makers that there is a need to shift current practice. If you’ve got any to share, then please let us know. As an example, our Programme Board Chair, Michael Bruno, recently shared his views on the relationship between academia and government during the volcanic alerts in Hawai’i.

Things we liked this month

A select few, due to the length of this blog!
The American Society of Civil Engineer’s Annual ‘Infrastructure report card‘, which provides a comprehensive assessment of America’s infrastructure, told us that the US infrastructure stock is ‘Poor, at risk’. This report considers the ‘resilience’ of the infrastructure, and therefore represents an opportunity for us to help improve this situation together.

A short topic insight by David Singleton, Chairman of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) on ‘What are the best infrastructure investments to make? Is it based on economics, or resilience, or both?‘ has considered how the launch of the ISC’s v2.0 of the IS Rating Scheme, which will provide input into how we should best plan, design and operate infrastructure, should look beyond purely the economic value of projects.

In summary, May was another busy and rewarding month for the Resilience Shift team and our partners – we’re busy with interesting, satisfying work, with genuine potential to make a difference, and what more can we ask for?


¹In the spirit of being open, minutes from our Programme Board Meeting will be published on our website shortly.

Categories: News

April saw the start of our project in San Francisco to incentivize resilience

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Juliet Miam

Juliet Mian

April was another busy month for the Resilience Shift. Find out more about our key activities and engagements including the start of our Incentivising Resilience project based in San Francisco.

Our two projects in the water sector are making progress, with field visits and engagement in Amman, Jordan, and preparations for visiting Miami in May as part of the water governance project with SIWI and We Are Telescopic. Our work on influencing the water sector, working with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst has also started – more to follow on both of these.

We had an excellent response to our EoI for our project on tools and approaches, with a wide range of respondents, and our timeline for progressing that will be shared shortly.

We’ve also started scoping our first project under our work stream ‘Incentivising resilience’, working with Ibbi Almufti and Jack Hogan  in Arup’s San Francisco office, and it’s great to expand our network out to West Coast USA. Ibbi and Jack have developed some excellent ideas around helping specific actors across the critical infrastructure value chain to understand ‘What is resilience worth?’. We believe that targeting specific stakeholders in specific industries, although it limits the coverage, will have the greatest potential to ‘move the needle’ in this space. We’re looking ahead as well, as to how to ‘scale it up’ having articulated the value of enhanced resilience – the arena of resilience ratings schemes, best practice guides, codes and standards and other incentives. This is a busy and dynamic space, but essential both in the short and long term to truly embed change in how we approach the resilience of critical infrastructure. We look forward to working with existing and new partners on these projects.

We’re thinking hard, with our colleagues in our Technical Advisory Group about resilience-based education – how to shift theory to practice, and where the Resilience Shift can make an impact in a rapidly changing space.

We’re delighted that our website and presence on social media is starting to generate interest in what we’re doing, and ideas are coming to us, rather than us working in isolation to develop our own ideas – we’ve given some structure to how we manage and progress ideas that we believe are going to contribute to our vision and outcomes, recognising that “in order to get good ideas, first you have to have lots of ideas” (Linus Pauling).

Several of our colleagues attended the Transport Research Arena conference in Vienna – a wide ranging event that covered a lot more than transportation resilience, but reinforced the importance of holistic thinking.

I attended ITRC’s showcase of their current research. This was a thought provoking day, with some very interesting discussions about modelling, visualisation, data and uncertainty. The depth and breadth of work being carried out under the ITRC’s MISTRAL programme is truly impressive.

We’re sorry that we weren’t able to attend the Critical Infrastructure Resilience event in Brussels in April, where the results of the Smart Mature Resilience, Resolute, RESILENS, DARWIN, IMPROVER and Smart Resilience were presented. The collective output of the projects involved has led to the recent publication of a White Paper on Resilience Management . We look forward to following these projects as they develop further.

The team has been working hard setting out our impact framework, enabling us to know that we are doing the right work, and identifying performance metrics that tell us we doing it well. This framework provides a really useful structure across our projects, investments and events with a continual eye on some of our core questions – is this the right thing to do? Who will it help? And how do we know?

We’ve also started developing our knowledge and community workstream, with some invaluable guidance from Faith Wainwright  and Tim Hawley. We’re looking forward to engaging more with the Resilience Shift community and linking up to other networks in the coming months. Stay tuned!

New things we have enjoyed in April include:

– Zurich’s report on ‘Rebuilding Infrastructure: the need for sustainable and resilient solutions

– Ernst & Young’s report, as part of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative discussing ‘Getting real about resilience


Categories: News

Turning theory into practice to kick off 2018

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For us, 2018 is about making things happen. With exciting developments happening in our projects, we are reaching out through workshops and events to work with collaborators across the globe. We are seeking additional partners to develop proposals with through our current call for applications with more to come later this year.

Categories: Featured News

Infrastructure resilience: where do we start?

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In setting out an ambitious programme to catalyse change in terms of how resilient critical infrastructure is planned, procured, delivered and maintained in practice – how do we know where to start, and what we really need to do?

Categories: Events Featured

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