All your questions answered in one place, about resilient infrastructure, what do we mean by critical infrastructure, what we aim to achieve, how to work with us, our inspirations and more.

What does critical infrastructure do?

Critical infrastructure protects communities from a variety of hazards; provides essential services such as energy and water; and connects communities via transport and communications networks, enabling the flow of goods and information.

Why is critical infrastructure so important?

More people than ever before depend on the critical services provided by infrastructure systems due to the growth of the world’s population and its transition from rural to urban areas. If any of these systems fail, consequences can be catastrophic for public safety and wellbeing, the environment and the economy.

Why do we need our infrastructure to be resilient?

Existing infrastructure systems are increasingly complex and interdependent. These systems are under pressure due to growing demand, and have become fragile due to fragmented governance and a lack of investment in regular maintenance. From climate change to cyber-attacks, infrastructure systems have to operate in an increasingly uncertain future in which we cannot predict or avoid all shocks and stresses.  Therefore, it is essential for infrastructure to be prepared for the threats we can anticipate, and to be able to respond to the unexpected , so that it continues to provide the essential services on which society depends.

What are the biggest opportunities to create resilient infrastructure?

Significant investment is already planned to address infrastructure deficits globally, and to repair and retro-fit existing systems for a changing climate and digital age. Rapid urbanisation in developing countries will require considerable investment in new infrastructure to meet the increasing demand. This creates an enormous opportunity to plan and build infrastructure systems so that they continue to function under many circumstances - and if they fail, they do so safely.

Who can play a role in achieving more resilient infrastructure?

There is an urgent need for a global shift in industry practice that can address these concerns across the whole infrastructure lifecycle. Organisations in charge of infrastructure planning, financing, design, delivery, operation and maintenance, but also end-users of critical infrastructure, are demanding new approaches. All stakeholders have a key role to play, which is why the Resilience Shift is working across the value chain for critical infrastructure.

What is meant by the ‘value chain’ for critical infrastructure?

The Resilience Shift uses a value chain to identify the many stakeholders involved in delivering a service to end-users.  This includes those responsible for planning, financing, designing, delivering, operating and maintaining critical infrastructure systems. Each stakeholder can add resilience value to benefit the resilience of the whole system.

What is resilient infrastructure?

Resilience is the ability to withstand, adapt to changing conditions, and recover positively from shocks and stresses.

Resilient infrastructure will therefore be able to continue to provide essential services, due to its ability to withstand, adapt and recover positively from whatever shocks and stresses it may face now and in the future.

What is the ‘shift’ required?

It is a shift from thinking about infrastructure in terms of what it is, to what it does, focussing on the service it provides and what happens when stresses accumulate, or sudden events occur that disrupt performance.  Instead of creating fail safe systems at specific design thresholds, we need to develop and operate systems so they fail safely with limited consequences and recover quickly.

How is the RS contributing to the acceleration of resilient infrastructure in practice?

The Resilience Shift is contributing to a global community equipped with a body of knowledge and tools needed to drive a global shift towards more resilient critical infrastructure.

We are focusing on tools and approaches to put this shift in resilience thinking into practice, identifying the drivers and enablers for infrastructure resilience, and advancing a common understanding of resilient systems, both within and between critical infrastructure sectors.

Why does resilient infrastructure matter for me?

Infrastructure resilience matters - whether you are in a government developing policy; an investor; an engineer responsible for the design, construction or retrofitting of safe infrastructure; an asset operator ensuring continuity of service; or a business concerned about continuity of a supply chain.  The Resilience Shift is committed to advance best practices across the infrastructure value chain, working collaboratively with leading organisations in critical infrastructure sectors and fostering knowledge transfer between them.

What you can do – call for action

Join the Resilience Shift global community to accelerate an urgent shift towards more resilient infrastructure and create a safer future.

How did the Resilience Shift start?

The Resilience Shift (RS) was established in 2016 to address the recommendations of the Lloyd's Register Foundation's 'Foresight review of resilience engineering'. The initial 5 year programme is supported by Lloyd's Register Foundation, with Arup as host institution.

How is the Resilience Shift governed and managed?

The Resilience Shift Programme Board is composed of independent representatives.

  • Michael Bruno (Chair) - Vice Chancellor for Research and Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa
  • Ruth Boumphrey - Director of Research, Lloyd's Register Foundation
  • Elaine Roberts -  Chief Marketing Officer, Lloyd's Register Group
  • Peter Chamley - Chair Australasia Region, Arup
  • Mahadev Raman - Arup Fellow and Director of Arup University, Arup

We hold Board meetings twice each year.


The programme direction is as follows:

Jo da Silva, Arup Fellow and Director International Development, is overseeing the programme as Acting Director. Nancy Kete stepped down in 2018 as Programme Executive Director, Resilience Shift. More.

Juliet Mian is Technical Director.

Xavier Aldea Borruel is Programme Manager.

Helen Civil is Programme Communications Lead.

Jan Reier-Huse is Lloyd's Group liaison.

How will you further ensure independence?

We have appointed Cambridge University Technical Services (CUTS) as our Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and ‘critical friend’.

They provide independent technical advice that informs the strategic direction of the programme and review the quality of approach and outputs. They provide scrutiny of and advice on the programme through critiquing the quality and value of the approach and outputs. They also provide a conduit to a wider knowledge base from academia and within industry.

Professor Peter Guthrie of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge chairs the TAG supported by Dr Kristen MacAskill.

How can we work with the Resilience Shift?

There are several different ways in which external organisations can collaborate with the Resilience Shift programme, that include:

  • Vendor - They receive 100% of their funding from the Resilience Shift programme. Vendors are not selected from a competitive grant process, and are selected strategically and directly by the Resilience Shift core team and opportunity leads, as they are strategic partners for the development of the programme.
  • Grantee fully funded - They receive 100% of the funding from the RS programme. They are appointed after a competitive grant process involving issuing a Terms of Reference (ToR), proposal submission, proposal review by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and final selection.
  • Grantee partially funded - They receive funding from the RS programme but only partially. They should find other ways of funding the remaining budget either using their own funding or leveraging other funds. They are also appointed following a competitive grant process.
  • Partner - They do not receive funding from the RS programme. They will provide their own funding and the outputs will be co-branded.
  • Equity partner - They will provide funding to the Resilience Shift programme activities and effectively become a key part of the programme delivery. These should be strategic investments to increase the spread or scope of the programme activities and should only be appointed following a strategic decision.

How big are the grants you are awarding, and what is their duration?

Our working model allows a lot of flexibility in this respect. We are not committing all of our funding in one go, as this wouldn't give us any freedom to change direction as we progress. Over 40 grants have been awarded to date.

Who else is involved and how do you select your partner organisations?

In addition to Arup, and the Lloyd's Register Foundation, we have worked with or are working with a number of collaborators.

RS collaborators can be identified via different mechanisms, including:

  • Open call for proposals / competitions
  • Directly appointed (as strategic partners)

The decision on which mechanism is used is a strategic decision and varies from activity to activity under the work streams. The TAG is responsible for ensuring that the procurement process is robust and fair.

If you are interested in collaborating with us, you can also propose funding for a particular activity using this template which should be emailed to [email protected]. All requests will be evaluated by the Resilience Shift's leadership team.

When is the next call for proposals?

We will be issuing a number of Expression of Interests (EOIs) and grants throughout the project. Please keep an eye on our blog (never miss a blog by signing up here) and our social media channels on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest news.

I've got an idea that aligns to the Resilience Shift's outcome statements, how can the Resilience Shift help me?

We are very receptive to new ideas, wherever they come from, and we have a clear process for capturing, reviewing and processing ideas. If you have an idea, we'd invite you to Get in touch and view our Got an idea? page.

How do you propose to build upon the work of others?

One of our core principles is to focus on the 'supply side'. By which we mean produce outputs that are needed by infrastructure practitioners. We don't want to reinvent the wheel, and where we see that others are working in a similar area to us, we'd be keen to have a conversation about how we can best catalyse change.

How have you identified your areas of focus?

Please see our Approach section for more details and for how we use the value chain concept.

In 2017, in addition to other research that we commissioned, we also conducted a scoping survey with our findings presented in our Understanding the Landscape report.

What are your key criteria for partner organisations?

All outputs funded by the Resilience Shift are intended for the public good, and will be required to go into the public domain. We are therefore unable to support activities that create commercial advantage to any individual stakeholders. This includes Arup as host institution.

I can only see a certain number of activities defined, what are your plans for 2019 and beyond?

Our plans are updated on a quarterly basis. We are adopting a 'learning by doing' approach, and we will seek to review and challenge what we are doing regularly depending on our findings.

What’s your philosophy?

To be successful the Resilience Shift must provoke a substantial change in mind-set and practices connected with critical infrastructure, and become a self-sustaining movement.

This is as much about how we do it as what we do. Our approach is through learning by doing in collaboration with others, as well as by sharing knowledge and fostering a global community. We want to create value or benefit for those we are seeking to influence – maximising the impact for society.

Where can I find your terms and conditions?

Our terms and conditions are available here and include a section on our data privacy policy. Please contact [email protected] with your queries.

What sorts of methodologies are you using?

  • In the first year, we developed a methodology for industry consultation to understand current practice. We conducted an online survey with Arup staff, focus groups in the UK and US, and 1-to-1 consultation with senior leaders. We also commissioned research to clarify our understanding of critical infrastructure, infrastructure interdependencies and resilience engineering through a combination of Resilience Shift grants and Arup’s in-house research funding. The outputs from this research is published here.
  • An initial literature scan was conducted to identify various tools and approaches identified that the programme might leverage including SURE, REDi, HAZUR, and RVR (resilience value realisation). This work has now evolved into our tools and approaches project.
  • We are using round-table events and a focus on resilience value to ensure that we deliver the impact and outcomes we seek.

Whose work has inspired the programme?

  • We worked with Roland Kupers consultancy to explore the relationship between complexity and resilience and sustainability and resilience.
  • Our CVP (customer value proposition) approach was developed using templates designed by Strategyzer to help us develop a Mission Model Canvas modified for our purposes by Marcela Ruibal of ValueLab.
  • We also worked with Mark Foden of Foden Grealy Ltd to explore ideas around an influence and outreach strategy to help us to explore how best to create a movement around the Resilience Shift.

We have also been inspired by the following thought leaders:

Erik Hollnagel | Donella Meadows | Peter Senge | Professor Brian Walker | David Woods

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