FROM IDEAS TO ACTION AND FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Our project plans reflect the types of things we have said we will do:

  • Do, and support others to do, work that would accelerate the uptake of research into practice and that would promote best practice and drive innovation.
  • Fund research, education, and collaborative projects.
  • Leverage others' knowledge, efforts, and money.
  • Raise awareness, specifically by supporting the pioneers and by fostering a global network of resilience leaders.
  • Build and share a knowledge base to inform and encourage resilience in practice.

 

Through research conducted in our first year of the Resilience Shift, we identified three opportunity areas, now maturing into work streams, each supporting a set of activities.

Work stream 1: Ways to make resilience tangible, practical and relevant

This opportunity to create value comes by equipping experts and decision makers with the tools, approaches, technology, and educational practices needed to put resilience into practice. This requires clarity on the key concepts that matter to professionals, be they designers, engineers, asset owners, investors, or regulators.

They need to know what to do differently on Monday morning if they want to enhance resilience of their work and with their work, whether on projects, investments or operations.

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Workstream 2: Incentivising resilience

This workstream acknowledges the extent to which what a client asks for and what their supply chain can do depends strongly on incentives emerging from standards setting bodies, public policy including regulation, as well as from insurance and the finance industries, and the views of the public.

We are framing this work from the perspective of those whose job it is to plan, design, deliver, operate and maintain critical infrastructure, and the barriers they experience in trying to do so using a resilience lens. This framework is a simple three-box model: we need to know what to do (see Work stream 1); we need to know what resilience is worth and to whom (and, how do we know); and we need to be able to scale up application of new ways of doing and new ways of valuing resilience.

Understanding how the different actors involved in critical infrastructure would respond to those three questions will inform future work in collaboration with those whose job is (or should be) to incentivise resilience.

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Work stream 3: Applying resilience practice within and between critical infrastructure sectors

The third area of work applies resilience in practice in different sectors with sector leaders.

Working with sector experts will allow us to test ideas about design and engineering to protect, provide and connect, rather than to build and operate a specific asset. It will allow us to explore the challenges to and impact of considering sector infrastructure as part of a larger system and to explore how dependencies with other assets and sectors affects resilience.

We have selected the water sector for the first theory-to-practice partnership because of the momentum created by facts on the ground – of water shortages, catastrophic flooding, sanitation crises and because of the global policy and funding opportunities open by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris climate agreement, and related implementation work. Moreover, there are pockets of ‘best in class’ practice in the water sector, leading the way to understanding water through a resilience lens.

The deep dive with the water sector will allow us to learn when and how to overcome barriers to broader system analysis in infrastructure design and operations.

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We are exploring in 2018 candidates for the next theory to practice partnership, looking for the same kind of urgency, momentum, and leadership we found in the water sector. We will identify where we can transfer knowledge and practice between sectors to move towards a more common understanding of resilience in practice.