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Posted on 2 August, 2018 by

Categories: Events, News,

Practising what we preach – how to make things happen

You’re involved in critical infrastructure resilience in practice. How should we help you to make decisions differently so that critical infrastructure continues to function under ordinary and extraordinary circumstances? Find out some of the ways you can get involved below.

We aim to do work, and support others to do work, that will shift the approach to resilience in practice.

To this end, our project leads and grantees continue to be busy scoping and delivering projects through to the end of 2018 and beyond.  At the same time, we are looking towards 2019, and exploring how we transfer learning between sectors, and continue to work towards our outcome statements across all work streams.

Accelerating resilience in practice, sector by sector

We started 2018 with a focus on the water sector. This work stream has been progressing well, over the past month, finalising plans for our forthcoming Global Knowledge Exchange, an event jointly hosted with the City Water Resilience Framework involving stakeholders from our five fieldwork cities – Amman, Mexico City, Cape Town, Hull and Miami. We’ll be sharing our water governance work at World Water Week this August with our partners SIWI and We Are Telescopic. Global collaboration in the water sector also continues following the joint letter to the UN, and our planned participation in the UN’s High Level Programme Forum on “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”.

Partnering with pioneers

At the same time, we know we need to look across other sectors than water, and seek to develop a common understanding globally. One of our key ways of working is to engage with pioneers in the field. The EIS Council has made some truly transformative steps towards raising awareness of black sky hazards, and creating tools, products and guidance, aimed at influencing collaborations between stakeholders to create a shift in resilience. Their 2018 summit showed us how much work there is in this space for us to learn from. The Earth Ex resilience exercise, taking place on 22 August this year has the potential to really unlock interactions and interdependencies between sectors, in a much more powerful way than simply talking about it.

Shifting the needle on resilience practice

How can we shift the needle on resilience practice so that all organisations embed it into their decision-making? We believe that key incentives or other levers exist for all industries and that we must articulate the value that resilience can bring. This month we’ve just put out our latest call for expressions of interest from potential grantees to develop practical, industry-specific primers.

We want to engage directly with industry stakeholders and with those responsible for incentivising resilience for critical infrastructure. Interested collaborators should therefore have existing contacts, both with end-users of the primers and with organizations that incentivise resilience within specific industries.

 Storytelling about resilience value

We are also exploring how stories will help us articulate to those all along the critical infrastructure value chain the value of including resilience in their decisions. We believe that success stories can influence different decision makers, and are a simple but effective means of making resilience tangible, practical and relevant. We started scoping this activity to gather and curate stories in June, so please watch this space, or contact us if you want to help with this.

Such stories are almost inevitably based on ‘now’ or the very recent past.  Given the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous nature of the world that our infrastructure needs to serve, learning from the past, even the recent past, is not enough to create a lasting and effective change in practice. We need to continually be looking to the future as well.  KPMG’s Emerging Trends in Infrastructure 2018 report is one (excellent) example of the many horizon scanning publications that need to inform our work, to ensure that it is, and remains, relevant.

 Other progress to share:

  • We held a framing workshop in June for our work on Tools and Approaches with our appointed grantees.
  • Our team and partners from Arup and SIWI have completed a packed few months of field visits to the five cities we are working with as part of water governance tool work and are now busy processing and evaluating their findings to share at several events this summer.
  • Alexa Bruce and Fred Boltz attended the Water Security conference between 17 and 20 June, hosting a panel session on behalf of the Resilience Shift.
  • Fred continues to represent the Resilience Shift in the global arena attending the UN HLPF to participate and influence the water sector’s global collaboration towards a resilient future.
  • It was interesting to read this report on the insurance industry’s development goals for cities, and consider how the SDGs might change insurance of critical infrastructure.
  • We’re always thinking about impact and how to disseminate and share our work.  Our friends in California shared this useful resource for climate-resilient infrastructure material.
  • Although it was originally posted in March 2018, we only recently stumbled across this very useful list of global and regional initiatives that either have a focus on resilience or cover some aspect of resilience so it deserves a mention now!

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