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Rudolf Agricola School for Sustainable Development
Bringing sustainability science forward

- Risk, Crises and Resilience

The risk landscape has undergone significant changes in recent years. Climate change is just one of the many factors that contribute to the likelihood and severity of global crises and extreme events.

Growing vulnerability to disasters due to increasing complexity

Growing global interconnectedness, increasing complexity, geopolitical risks, expansion of urban development in areas prone to seismic, volcanic and flooding hazards, existing vulnerabilities to weather hazards (heatwaves, wildfires, heavy rains, rising sea levels, drought and floods), strong reliance on technologies, loss of biodiversity: all make disaster risk reduction urgent and necessary.

Prepare for disasters

It is essential that citizens, communities, organizations, and institutional actors prepare for and respond to these risks by anticipating outcomes, mobilizing resources, managing the crisis, and rebuilding the physical and social environment. Effective disaster risk reduction requires a transdisciplinary and multi-level approach that focuses on social vulnerabilities, systemic interdependencies and societal transitions.

Four main challenges

The Risks, Crises and Resilience theme brings together students, scholars and practitioners from different disciplinary perspectives interested in pursuing a problem-based approach to the topic. The Theme at UG aims to foster inter- and trans-disciplinary research, teaching and public engagement in order to contribute to four main challenges

1. Improving understanding of risk awareness by ameliorating coordination between citizens, governments and civil society organizations;

2. Consolidating knowledge about a systemic approach to risks, crises and resilience that can explain non-linear and emergent dynamics (tipping points; vicious cycles; feedback loops);

3. Providing transdisciplinary approaches in which citizens, first responders and policy makers are actively involved in co-creating knowledge on diversity in risk perception, risk preparedness and crisis management;

4. Making research results related to risks, crises and resilience widely accessible and impactful.

Topics covered by the Theme

The activities of the Theme cover a wide range of topics: collective risk perception; interorganizational networks for emergency management; disaster governance; computational models of social resilience and digital twin cities for disaster risk reduction; climate change impact mitigation; societal vulnerability and impact assessment; psychological factors of resilience; social capital and resilient communities.

For more information on the Risk, Crises and Resilience Theme, please contact Theme director dr. Francesca Giardini: f.giardini

Last modified:09 November 2023 1.42 p.m.
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