The 6th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum took place in Manila, Philippines, and was a place to share lessons and experiences on ‘enabling resilience for all’. Juliet Mian, Resilience Shift Technical Director, discussed (virtually) the role of digital transformation of infrastructure systems in Climate Smart Cities. Further insight into this event and the resilience challenges for this region can be found in this guest blog by Belinda Hewitt.

In Sydney, Australia, Rob Turk, leader of our work on ‘mainstreaming critical infrastructure resilience through policy and standards’, attended the infrastructure resilience session of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s Annual Conference and Awards.

In London, we headed to the Global Engineering Congress (GEC) whose focus was on understanding the role that the engineering community can play to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A report by the University of Oxford-led Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium and UNOPS launched at the GEC stresses that infrastructure is key to unlocking the SDGs, drawing on case studies from UNOPS projects around the world. It highlights the pivotal role that infrastructure has in delivering the SDGs for a sustainable and resilient future.

The Resilience Shift hosted a technical workshop on ‘Making resilience practical, tangible and relevant’. Savina Carluccio introduced our value-based approach, and how this will help us to improve critical infrastructure resilience. George Beane presented an overview of our WaterShare tool, the new name for the web-based tool we are developing in partnership with the City Water Resilience Framework to map resilient water governance.

Presentations were followed by a panel session including John White of 100 Resilient Cities, Kristen MacAskill of Cambridge University and Juliet Mian. We were thrilled to have such lively engagement with the audience, who showed support towards our value-chain approach through recognition of their own challenges.

Later that day, Juliet represented Resilience Shift in a panel session on the topic of ‘Sustainability in an interconnected world’. Fellow panellists included Elspeth Finch MBE (CEO IAND) and Mark Enzer (CTO, Mott MacDonald). The session was chaired by Craig Lucas (Director of Science and Innovation for Climate and Energy Directorate, UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy).

In Washington DC, we were excited to kick-off the first of our workshops on resilience ‘tools and approaches’. These are designed to connect tool developers and potential users to help us understand gaps between what exists and what users need. This first workshop was convened by 100 Resilient Cities on behalf of the Resilience Shift. The stream of tweets with views and quotes from the day gives us a hint of the insight gained by -participants. Our next workshop will be in New Orleans in November convened by Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB).

Resilience round up

In our monthly roundup of new, interesting and relevant things that have come to our attention this month, here are some of the key things we found:

– The Institution of Civil Engineers has published a new book on ‘Critical Infrastructures Resilience: Policy Engineering and Principles’.

– The American Society of Civil Engineers published a new manual of practice on ‘Climate Resilient Infrastructure: Adaptive design and risk management’.

– The World Bank published guidance on ‘Transport Sector Recovery: Opportunities to Build Resilience’.

– In their October edition of ‘Voices on Infrastructure’ series, the Global Infrastructure Initiative by McKinsey and Company published their ‘Future-proofing infrastructure in a fast-changing world report, with insights from organisations including the ASCE and the Centre for Liveable Cities.

– As part of the Autumn Budget statement in the UK, the National Infrastructure Commission has announced a study on the resilience of the UK’s infrastructure systems – the momentum around our topic area continues to grow!

– Arup recently published their report on ‘Making the total value case for investment: In infrastructure and the built environment’.

– Lloyd’s of London published an innovation report on ‘Innovative finance for resilience infrastructure‘. We are reviewing this to see what we can learn for our activities in workstream 2.

– We liked the CIRI webinar on ‘Dynamic resiliency modelling and planning for interdependent critical infrastructures which is relevant to our outcome statement on dynamic performance based design.

Join the Resilience Shift conversation on Twitter or LinkedIn and sign up to our blog so you don’t miss out on posts like these. If you have an idea and want to get involved with the Resilience Shift, then we’d love to hear from you – please see our website.

The ICE’s Global Engineering Congress aim to bring together a worldwide community of engineers to look at how we can create real change and plan how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can be met.

Join the Resilience Shift at the ICE Global Engineering Congress for a 90 minute workshop exploring tools and approaches including a sneak peek at our new resilient water governance tool.

The workshop is on Thursday 25th from 10:30-12:00 and is entitled “Making resilience practical, tangible and relevant”. The Resilience Shift is equipping practitioners and decision makers with the tools, approaches, technology, and educational practices needed to put resilience into practice. What exists already? And what do we need to develop to realise the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals?

Juliet Mian, our Technical Director, is speaking on a panel on the same day from 16:00-17:00. This panel is entitled “Maximising the application of sustainability solutions in an interconnected world”.

The 6th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaption Forum is organised by the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Its theme is “Enabling Resilience for All: Avoiding the Worst Impacts”.

Forum streams include:

•Resilience in human and social systems
•Resilience of Natural ecosystems
•Resilience of industry and the built environment (Arup hosted)
•Resilience of island communities

Juliet Mian, Technical Director Resilience Shift, will join the session on Urban Resilience and Climate-Smart Cities remotely.

The Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum, the flagship event of the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), is the primary regional platform for adaptation practitioners to meet, share their learning and experiences, and work together towards the pertinent outcomes and practical solutions that are needed to address the challenges of climate change.

Louise Ellis, water engineer at the Resilience Shift and Arup, interviewed Amanda Janoo at this August’s Stockholm World Water Week 2018 on alternative economic thinking around the resilience challenges for economic and industrial policy including diversification, intervention, and balance.

Amanda Janoo is an Alternative Economic Policy Expert advising governments and the United Nations.

Her advice on policy has particular reference to issues of diversification, value addition, inequality reduction and employment generation. She specialises in a holistic approach to industrial policy design that considers economic, social and environmental dimensions of development, to ensure context-appropriate and complementary policies which are in line with larger national objectives.

You can see what she suggests will be making a difference in the short interview below.

The value of resilience is a hot topic globally and the Resilience Shift recently debated the value of resilience at our Global Knowledge Exchange event. You can watch the debate here. It raised a number of challenges that begged the question of how to increase the perceived value of resilience in particular with asset owners and funders.

What do you think about the resilience challenges for policy? Do we need to change the prevalent economic thinking to achieve the shift in resilience thinking and practice that we will need to make the world a safer and better place?

Tell us what you think in the comments or by emailing us at [email protected]. Or get involved in the debate on twitter or linkedin.

For more about urban and water resilience, search our blogs for updates from World Water Week.

The Resilience Shift interviewed Katharina Schneider-Roos from Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) on the development and adoption of SuRe® – The Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure.

We recently visited GIB in Basel to discuss the delivery of our project Tools and Approaches. While there, we were interested to learn more about how SuRe® was developed and how it has grown a community of practice around the world.

After three years of continuous development, the first certifiable version of SuRe® – The Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure version 1.0, was released at COP23 in Bonn.

We asked Katharina Schneider-Roos to give us an overview of the SuRe® standard.


SuRe® is the Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure. We started to develop it three years ago and it was published last year. 

SuRe® was based on another tool we did called GIB Grading. We assessed about 200 projects globally with the GIB Grading and we learned that investors were looking more for a third party certified standard as the GIB Grading tool was a self-assessment tool. That’s why we changed it and took the big step of making it into a full standard in ISEAL.


The Resilience Shift is interested in understanding how SuRe® can have a positive impact in embedding sustainability and resilience principles within projects. We are also following keenly the next steps that GIB is taking in ensuring that SuRe® becomes widely adopted.


More about the SuRe® standard

SuRe® is a global voluntary standard which integrates key criteria of sustainability and resilience into infrastructure development and upgrade, through 14 themes covering 61 criteria across governance, social and environmental factors.

It aims to establish a common language and understanding of sustainable and resilient infrastructure projects between project developers, financiers, local authorities; and to provide guidance on how to manage those aspects.

It can be used to leverage both public and private investments in infrastructure in a way that ensures cost-effective access to critical services while strengthening resilience, maximising social benefits and limiting the environmental footprint.

It applies to infrastructure projects across different types of infrastructure and relies on independent verification and certification by third parties. It builds upon existing work advancing sustainability standards.


We asked Katharina Schneider-Roos to explain how they are laying the foundations for wide adoption of the SuRe® standard.


Q: Could you tell me about the community you built around SURE?

KS-R: GIB started off doing summits with about 500 disciplines where we tried to bring together stakeholders who were, at that time in 2011/12, interested in the topic of sustainable and resilient infrastructure that was then pretty new. From that crowd we drew stakeholders for the SuRe stakeholder council and the SuRe standard committee. As we had set up a structure behind SuRe, it was easier for us to start that process as we already had a very big network of stakeholders interested in sustainable and resilient infrastructure, like developers, investors, development banks, city networks and so on.


Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation is a Swiss foundation based in Basel working to promote sustainable and resilient infrastructure through sustainable infrastructure design and financing on a global scale.


Working with us:

GIB is one of the Resilience Shift’s numerous collaborators and we are constantly on the lookout for ideas and suggestions that can help us to shift the thinking and practice of critical infrastructure resilience. You can also subscribe to our blog and Twitter feed to get our updates directly.

What can major projects do to shift their practices? See the report and presentation from Will Goode at the Major Projects Association Annual Conference 2018.

This year’s MPA Conference highlights included Lord Heseltine stressing the importance of a strong pipeline of projects, allowing some to fail and, accepting that, then replacing the failures with new projects and supporting those that succeed. This sounds similar to the 4Ex model that the Resilience Shift has adopted to guide the development of our portfolio of projects over time – see our ideas pipeline.

Claire Durkin from The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) spoke of the importance of UK companies and UK government communicating and working together to address global challenges and global opportunities. There was also a stimulating discussion on the use of professional institutions to communicate news and ideas from research to the practitioner community.

Dr Anita Sengupta (pictured above right) talked about her involvement in start-up Virgin Hyperloop One who have built the world’s first hyperloop test track in the Nevada desert. She also highlighted the importance of flexibility and modularity being built in to prepare for the unexpected. All characteristics of resilient systems.

Will Goode’s workshop session explored the link between major projects and critical infrastructure resilience and how we might shift major project practices to safeguard society’s critical services.

His introduction explained how the Resilience Shift is trying to shift the focus of professionals from infrastructure assets to systems, the challenges of efficiency versus resilience and the importance of resilient systems continuing to deliver critical services in the face of unexpected shocks and stresses.

We define the Resilience Shift as a global initiative to catalyse resilience within and between critical infrastructure sectors and fittingly, Dr Martin Barnes CBE, Former Executive Director of the Major Projects Association also used that term when defining the nature of major projects:

“Major projects are so complex that they require cross-disciplinary collaboration of the highest order – within and between companies and cultures – before they can be implemented successfully.”

The link between resilience and major projects is clear. In one way or another, MPA members contribute to the delivery and successful operation of critical infrastructure systems every day, and we know these systems will be subject to unexpected shocks and stresses.

At the Resilience Shift, we believe that an awareness and understanding of the tools and approaches that can make a resilient approach more practical/tangible/relevant, might be a good thing for all those involved with major projects. Wherever their decisions and actions contribute to the project lifecycle they will have the opportunity to add ‘resilience value‘.

30 MPA Conference delegates participated in an exercise to identify potential drivers of change that might impact major programmes in the short, medium and long term. Participants then committed to a variety of immediate and long term actions to increase resilience in response and captured in an informal wallchart grid.





You can read Will’s presentation here.



That’s a quote from one of the papers in the latest issue of Environment Systems and Decisions, which just published updated versions of a set of research papers the Resilience Shift commissioned in 2017 as part of an initial agenda setting exercise, to get ideas for how to design, deliver and operate for resilience.

What I love about the quote is that it’s from a 1981 monograph by Peter Timmerman commissioned by the Canadian government to help understand how to think about vulnerability, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change. Thirty-seven years later and most societies are still struggling to understand this idea and to operationalize it.

It is also a nice succinct way of describing the remit of the Resilience Shift, with its focus on resilience engineering – i.e. on the professional practices that can ensure engineered structures and infrastructure will be planned, designed, delivered, regulated and operated to serve the communities (provide, protect, and/or connect) under ordinary and extraordinary circumstances.

Here’s the heart of the conundrum: although engineering isn’t the only domain that contributes to the resilience or lack thereof of critical infrastructure, society does call on and rely on engineering for creating and managing resilience, as the paper in this issue by Pearson et al. reminds us. But traditionally, engineers aren’t trained for, expected to, or paid to deliver community – from where resilience emerges and where lack of resilience is felt.

In “Engineering Meets Institutions”, Naderpajoul et al. who found that wonderful quote from Timmerman, look at the challenge and the complexity of managing for resilience. Recognizing that although engineering is a principal domain associated with critical infrastructure, managing critical infrastructure successfully for resilience requires an interdisciplinary approach.

The articles in this issue collectively help make resilience more practical, tangible, and relevant to researchers and practitioners alike. They gamely contribute to a nascent understanding of what “resilience engineering” is, even though much controversy remains over definitions of resilience, more generally.

Please see here for the open access introduction to the special issue –

The whole issue is here – – but, unfortunately, most of the papers are behind a paywall.

And the complete set of original white papers are available on the Resilience Shift website –

Will Goode, Programme Manager of the Resilience Shift, is presenting a session at the Major Projects Association Annual Conference 2018, taking place over 19 and 20 September 2018. Will explains the questions he will be exploring.

In their own words the Major Projects Association is a membership association for organisations engaged in the delivery and the development of major projects, programmes and portfolios. Membership comprises organisations engaged in a wide variety of commercial and public enterprises. They operate in a wide variety of fields including: manufacturing, construction, defence, transportation, IT, government departments, consultancies and law, as well as those engaged in the academic study of major projects.

The desire from members is to hone their skills; to improve best practice; and to investigate innovative solutions for the many problems encountered during major projects, programmes and portfolios.

I first encountered the Major Projects Association while I was working on the HS2 project and took part in their course ‘The Challenge of Major Projects’.

The course was excellent. I was introduced to new perspectives of an industry that I thought I had a good handle on, hearing from a variety of major project professionals and stakeholders including HM Treasury, delivery partners, infrastructure clients, civil servants, management consultants, lawyers and more. All of whom view and understand major projects slightly differently, or put another way, get different types of value from major projects at different points in their value chain.

My big takeaway from the course was the insight that I gained from a brief introduction to the Project Initiation Routemap. This is a tool developed between government and the private sector. It aims to improve the initiation phases of the major projects, primarily in the UK and the highest level messages of which are: assess complexity, assess capability, plan enhancements then deliver enhancements.

I’m delighted to have been invited to speak at this year’s MPA Annual Conference about the link between major projects and critical infrastructure resilience. We’ll be exploring; what can we do at the various stages of major projects to increase resilience, both for the project itself, but most importantly for the asset or system that the project is focussed on delivering? What do we need to consider to be able to do this? and why should we bother at all?

I look forward to exploring these questions with the same variety of people that broadened my horizons on the challenge of Major Projects course a few years ago.

Hosted by the Resilient Cape Town team, this 100 Resilience Cities event will convene City Officials, City Partners, 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) Platform Partners, Subject Matter Advisors, and 100RC staff to drive innovation and thought leadership in response to drought and water security challenges, which are shared by multiple cities in our network and around the world.

Louise Ellis from Resilience Shift will be participating in this event, along with many our collaborators from the Global Knowledge Exchange and in relation to our work on water resilience governance.

Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) helps cities around the world to become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

“If resilience had any real economic and societal value, then decision makers would be implementing it already”

At the Resilience Shift, our aim is a safer and better world through resilient infrastructure. This debate and audience Q&A, at the Global Knowledge Exchange event on 22 August 2018, posed this challenging question in a lively and opinionated discussion.

The views and opinions raised as part of this classic debating format do not represent the panel’s own views or those of any associated organisations.

Chaired by Dr Mark Fletcher, Global Water Leader, Arup, the panel included (pictured from left to right):

  • Trevor Bishop, Director of Strategy and Planning, OFWAT
  • Juliet Mian, Technical Director, Resilience Shift
  • Fred Boltz, CEO Resolute Development Solutions, and Chair, City Water Resilience Framework
  • Dr Mark Fletcher, Global Water Leader, Arup
  • Ruth Boumphrey, Director of Research, Lloyd’s Register Foundation
  • Cayley Green, Senior Resilience Analyst, City of Cape Town
  • Diego Juan Rodriguez, Senior Water Resources Management Specialist, World Bank

The full debate:

The audience Q&A