• News

MMI, Schumacher Institute and Dr Igor Linkov appointed to work with us

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We are delighted to announce that we have appointed three grantees to work with us on our ‘Tools and approaches’ project, contributing to our ‘Ways to make resilience tangible, practical and relevant’ workstream. We had a lot of very high quality, interesting responses to our call for expression of interest and had a tough time choosing partners.

We wanted to explain a bit more of our decision-making process so everyone could see how we got to where we are.

From the 35 responses we received we shortlisted 8, based on the following criteria:

  • Depth of their domain knowledge
  • Breadth of knowledge in terms of number of sectors covered
  • Their geographic and social reach – how many geographic locations do they cover and had they worked with the informal sector?
  • Experience of framework assessment
  • Convening power
  • Evidence of their influence
  • Evidence of their collaboration

The assessors for this were from the Resilience Shift team, and an external assessment was made by our Technical Advisory Group.

We interviewed our shortlist over the phone regarding their interest and capability to work in this area. All of the interviewees were outstanding and we felt they brought different strengths to the table.

Our selected grantees are:

  • MMI Engineering who bring expertise on the Value Chain concept and experience of using different tools and approaches to assess resilience across the world;
  • The Schumacher Institute who will advise on human-centred design, implementation science and will facilitate workshops; and
  • Dr Igor Linkov, risk and decision scientist at the US Army Corps of Engineers, Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon and consultant at Factor Social, who will provide technical expertise.

We also plan to use our shortlist to appoint conveners for workshops in this project. We would like to reiterate our thanks to everyone who has taken the time to apply to our EOI. We will actively look for ways to engage with those applicants that we felt could contribute to our work going forward.

Please get in touch if you have any questions relating to this project.

Categories: Community News

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

Bringing Safety to Life at the Lloyd’s Register Foundation conference

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On the 9 and 10 May 2018 Lloyd’s Register foundation hosted their second international conference at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in London. Richard Clegg’s opening address described the purpose of the conference as to pull together the Lloyd’s Register Foundation grants community to interact and forge collaborations. On day two, the Resilience Shift hosted a high energy workshop with that objective in mind.

Our interactive exercise used a value chain approach to explore how tools, approaches and frameworks can create opportunities to deliver resilience value for critical infrastructure, drawing on the fresh perspectives and insights of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation grants community.

We asked participants to think about the services delivered by critical infrastructure, the shocks and stresses it might be exposed to and its vulnerabilities. We then asked for suggested frameworks, tools and approaches that could be used by various actors to influence decision makers towards a more resilient outcome. Participants focused on critical infrastructure in terms of the services that they help to deliver – as opposed to the physical assets themselves.

The feedback session at the end of the exercise revealed the following ideas about how we might approach critical infrastructure from diagnosis through to service provision:

  • A ‘servicization’ approach should be used where the service provided is tested for resilience at each stage of the value chain, this means asking what the user is attempting to achieve through the critical infrastructure which may result in an alternative infrastructure solution
  • Consideration of both ‘soft path’ – behavioural change, as well as ‘hard path’ – physical infrastructure when determining infrastructure solutions
  • Considering natural systems as a key part of infrastructure, leading to greater overall resilience
  • Adopting a ‘whole systems’ approach
  • Using simulations and scenario techniques to test critical infrastructure service resilience
  • Engaging widely with institutions and governance organisations who may not be directly responsible for commissioning the physical infrastructure but who may be an indirect stakeholder
  • Actively seeking diverse solutions that maximise redundancy within the system
  • Introducing investment/financing models and incentivising green over grey infrastructure
  • Adopting ‘upstream thinking’ through novel economic measures e.g. Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) which would drive consideration of the wider systems impacted by infrastructure users
  • Consideration of the internet of things (IOT) as part of maintenance and monitoring plans

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the workshop, your inputs and ideas are greatly appreciated and will be considered by the team leading our work on Ways to make resilience tangible, practical and relevant.

Register with us here to keep in touch about our latest developments and opportunities – we’d love to hear your thoughts.


Note: Defining Critical Infrastructure Services

Our research suggests that critical infrastructure is a common term used broadly by different organisations and countries, thereby reinforcing the significance of infrastructure in society. A clear majority of the critical infrastructure definitions focus on the services that are enabled by critical infrastructure, highlighting that they are considered critical based on the consequence of its failure, which would create a significant impact to human life, economic activity and/or national security. A failure in this context should be understood as a system which is prevented from continuing to perform its function – as opposed to the failure of a physical asset, which is understood as a damage or loss.

Categories: Events News

April update

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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

EOI Response – Thank you!

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Savina Carluccio

We were excited to receive 35 expressions of interest, in response to our recent call for partners to work with us to create a repository of tools and approaches related to infrastructure resilience.

On behalf of the Resilience Shift team, I’d like to thank all those that responded. Responses represented an excellent mix of academia, non-profit, SMEs and larger commercial organisations.

We are in the process of reviewing and assessing these, and we’ll be following up with respondents soon.  We’re exploring different modes of engagement with those who responded, in order to make the most of this great community of practice.

Thanks again for your interest in the Resilience Shift.



p.s. This won’t represent the only opportunity to work with us in 2018, or beyond. Please keep an eye out on our website and/or social media streams for future opportunities.


Categories: News

Global collaboration to drive resilience policy adoption

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Guest blogger Dr. Fred Boltz shares the global water and development community’s joint position statement to the UN – a positive step towards driving global policy adoption of resilience across the water agenda as a vehicle for achieving the 2030 Agenda.

I’m very pleased to share a terrific outcome from our multi-stakeholder dialogue. Our joint position statement to the UN – ‘Building a resilient future through water’ – advances resilience as a key tenet of water management and fulfillment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is an open letter to the High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development from multi-stakeholder representatives of the water and development community.

I’m particularly pleased with the great response of this distinguished and diverse community of public, private, academic and civil society leaders representing organizations from every corner of the world. For instance, the Global Water Partnership (GWP) represents more than 3,000 organizations in 183 countries, and the International Water Association (IWA) more than 10,000 water professionals.

I’m honored to represent The Resilience Shift as a signatory and co-lead of this effort with our partner the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

Thanks for your great support!

Building Resilience through Water

In a Resilience Shift partnership with the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dr. Fred Boltz leads the Resilience Shift initiative – ‘Building Resilience through Water’. One core objective of this project is to drive global policy adoption of resilience as a vehicle for achieving the 2030 Agenda, anchoring on the water agenda and its connectivity across critical infrastructure and the SDGs.

This is a great first step for us towards that goal. The signatories on this letter represent the entire spectrum of the global water and development community – multilateral organisations, civil society, the private sector and academia – united in the position that resilience offers us a means of progressing the SDGs and the wider 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

This multi-stakeholder position, along with pledges to joint action and investment to build resilience, will be presented as part of the UN High Level Political Forum in July when the UN will take stock of progress on SDG6, and build partnerships and mobilize resources to take more resolute action.

Dr. Boltz is Adjunct Professor in the Hydrosystems Group at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Prior to this, he served as Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation, directing the Environment Program from 2013-2017.


Signatories are listed below.

Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director | Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

Fred Boltz, CEO | Resolute Development Solutions | The Resilience Shift

Torkil Jonch Clausen, Chair | Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management

Stefan Uhlenbrook, Coordinator and Director World Water Assessment Programme | UNESCO

Blanca Jimenez Cisneros, Director of the Division of Water Sciences | UNESCO

Jennifer Sara, Director, Water Global Practice | The World Bank Group

Oyun Sanjaasuren, Chair | Global Water Partnership

Betsy Otto, Global Director, Water Program | World Resources Institute (WRI)

Ben Braga, President | World Water Council

Johan Rockström, Director | Stockholm Resilience Centre

Mark Fletcher, Director, Global Water Business Leader| Arup

Cate Lamb, Head of Water Security | CDP

Casey Brown, Professor | University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, President Women for Water | Women for Water Partnership (WfWP)

Beverly Bucur, Director of Advocacy |Soroptimist International

John Matthews, Coordinator | Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA)

Claudia Sadoff, Director General | International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Kala Vairavamoorthy, Director | International Water Association (IWA)

Alex Mung, Head of Global Water Initiative | World Economic Forum (WEF)


For more information please contact:

Maggie White, Manager, International Policy and AGWA Co-Chair: maggie.white@siwi.org



Categories: News

Resilience to extreme events – Hawai’i’s response to the Kilauea eruption

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When a volcano erupts, constant communication between leading scientists and emergency responders and planners is absolutely essential. Guest blogger, Michael S. Bruno, from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, shares his thoughts on the response of Hawai‘i in terms of resilience to the current events.

O’ahu is far enough away from the Big Island that we have been relatively unaffected with just some smoke when the wind shifts from that direction. The residents of the region around the volcano however are going through a very difficult time. For our university’s campus in Hilo (close to the volcano), this is a very nervous time as students are in the midst of final exams, and many of them and their families live in the vicinity of the volcano.

Our faculty is very active in the response to the eruption. Our research program in this domain of science is one of the best in the world and the State of Hawaii’s State Volcanologist is one of our senior faculty, Professor Bruce Houghton.

Professor Houghton and his research team have been on the volcano since the very early stages of the eruption, and they monitored the underground lava flows that eventually led to the fissures and damaging lava flows many km from the volcano summit. They are still there today, trying to ascertain the volcano’s next move. For the latest news from local sources see Hawaii News Now, or Vox.

In addition to our volcano experts, we have teams of meteorologists and atmospheric modellers working closely with Federal and State of Hawaii officials to predict the possible movement of dangerous sulphur dioxide gases from the eruption. The movement can change dramatically with the frequent wind shifts we see in the area, and so the danger to surrounding communities can elevate over a timespan of only minutes.

This is certainly a time when the constant communication between teams of leading scientists and emergency responders and planners is absolutely essential.

When I arrived at the University of Hawaii I was struck by the very close relationship between the university and the State. This event is demonstrating the value of the trusted relationship that has developed over years of working together. It has resulted in a well-informed response to the event, including advance evacuations from the community before the roads became impassable, and ongoing, real-time planning for further action should the conditions change or worsen.

Michael is on the Resilience Shift Board as well as being the University of Hawai‘i’s Vice Chancellor for Research, and Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Images below show shots Michael took of the volcano last year. Featured image is copyright National Parks Service Hawai’i  (nps.gov) and shows surface flows on the coastal plain.

Categories: Featured 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

Shaping the water governance of the future

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Are you interested in water governance? To kick off an exciting new project, The Resilience Shift recently hosted a workshop to frame the resilience opportunity in partnership with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Arup Water, the City Water Resilience Framework (supported by the Rockefeller Foundation) and We Are Telescopic. Together, our aim is to support key players in the water cycle to mobilise and drive collective action to improve resilience.

Categories: Events News

Expression of interest: Apply by 18 April 2018 (Deadline extended)

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Help us to make resilience practical, tangible and relevant. You can apply to become a partner/grantee of the Resilence Shift. The deadline for this application round is 16 April 2018. Interested applicants should note that this is not the only opportunity to work with us through 2018 and beyond.


Categories: News