A conference presented by the Centre for Risk Studies, together with the Cambridge Complexity Consortium and the Centre for Science and Policy.
Catastrophic failure in complex systems is difficult to predict but is managed across a wide range of applications. Understanding the threats of high-impact, low-probability events is the area of catastrophe science. It is notoriously difficult because precedents are few and historical observational data contains few signals of the threat of extreme volatility. Shocks to the system are often, after the event, described as unpredictable.
This workshop examined the phenomenon of catastrophe and challenged the assumptions of unpredictability. Wide ranges of potential causes of extreme disruption for society and the economy, as well as the approaches to quantifying and comparing different threats were explored.