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1st Risk Summit

Back to Risk Summits

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.

Introductions from the Centre for Risk Studies

Welcome and introductions

Professor Daniel Ralph, Cambridge Judge Business School

Introduction to the Cambridge Complexity Consortium

Michelle Tuveson, Lockheed Martin

Introduction to the Centre for Risk Studies

Andrew Coburn, RMS

Introduction to the Centre for Science and Policy

David Cleevely, University of Cambridge

Plenary Session One: Science around Risk

Catastrophic Failures in Networked Systems

Jon Crowcroft, University of Cambridge

Robust Networks

Sanjeev Goyal, University of Cambridge

Catastrophe Insurance Risk

Hemant Shah, RMS

Plenary Session Two: Real-world Examples of Catastrophic Failures

Failure Mechanisms in Modern Telecommunication Systems

Nick Kingsbury, University of Cambridge

Catastrophic Failures in Biological Systems

Steve Oliver, University of Cambridge

Risk Provisioning and Government Policy

Jim Norton, UK POST

Risk Analysis of Complex Systems: From Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster to Detection of Illicit Nuclear Materials Entering Ports

Siddhartha Dalal, Rand Corporation

Visualisation and Presentation of Risk in Decision Making

David Spiegelhalter, University of Cambridge

Environmental Risks

Rowan Douglas, Willis

Facilitated Meeting Discussion

What Are the High Emerging Risks?

Introduction by Andrew Coburn, RMS
Facilitator: Trevor Maynard, Lloyd’s

Meeting Summary

Julian Hunt, University of Cambridge

Speaker list

  • Daniel Ralph, Cambridge Judge Business School
  • Michelle Tuveson, Lockheed Martin
  • Andrew Coburn, RMS
  • David Cleevely, University of Cambridge
  • Jon Crowcroft, University of Cambridge
  • Sanjeev Goyal, University of Cambridge
  • Hemant Shah, RMS
  • Nick Kingsbury, University of Cambridge
  • Steve Oliver, University of Cambridge
  • Jim Norton, UK POST
  • Siddhartha Dalal, Rand Corporation
  • David Spiegelhalter, University of Cambridge
  • Rowan Douglas, Willis
  • Trevor Maynard, Lloyd’s
  • Julian Hunt, University of Cambridge