REA Symposium – a forum for ideas and collaboration

The 8th Resilience Engineering Association (REA) symposium took place in the port city of Kalmar in southern Sweden last week from 24 – 27 June, inviting “practitioners, scholar and innovators to share ideas, discuss approaches and to jointly develop concepts and strategies on how to embrace resilience to prepare today’s society for tomorrow’s challenges”.

The Resilience Shift was represented by the project leader of its work on resilience tools and approaches, Áine Ní Bhreasail, and by the Lloyds Register Foundation’s Jan Reier Huse who presented a paper on the work of the Resilience Shift.

Áine ran a workshop alongside The Schumacher Institute‘s Simon Gill and Mairi McLean that investigated resilience implementation issues.

Attendees to the workshop fed back that “this is what I was looking for when I looked at the conference programme…this gave me valuable feedback on a problem at the front of my mind.” The Action Learning methodology, used in previous workshops for this project, is one method by which resilience implementation issues can be teased out and solutions found.

Participants in the workshop also got an update on the Resilience Shift Toolbox, a useful resource for practitioners who wish to find a tool to incorporate resilience into their infrastructure – whatever stage of the lifecycle it is at, and whatever sector it is in.

Áine said, “The workshops went well and we got great feedback from the people who attended. With small and engaged groups, we were able to focus on and unpick a number of issues successfully within our action learning sets”.

The theme the Resilience Engineering Association chose for the symposium was “Scaling Up and Speeding Up” and examples were presented from a variety of industries that are doing just that. Attendees hailed from construction, energy, water, healthcare, air transport, digital services and many more, but it was clear that they all faced similar issues.

Infrastructure was a central theme across the symposium, with two sessions focused on this topic. Speakers and panellists agreed that resilience was not something that infrastructure has, but rather how it behaves. There is no one silver bullet for practitioners, but skill and care needed to choose the right tool for each situation.

Áine also interviewed Pedro Ferreira (the General Secretary of the Resilience Engineering Association). This interview will be published shortly.

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