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.
What is infrastructure resilience?
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.
This applies to physical infrastructure assets, and to the wider system that these assets are part of including the natural environment, the organisations that own and operate these systems, and the humans who make decisions across the value chains for these systems.
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. Read more about the resilience value chain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How is the Resilience Shift 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.
We have made strategic partnerships to enable us to create change at scale as a network of networks:
- with Resilience First focusing on business-led resilience for its global membership base, and in its role as a Race to Resilience Partner.
- with the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure focusing on engineering-led change, and in its role as a Race to Resilience partner.
- with the Navigating a Changing Climate Coalition focusing on change across the water-borne transport sector as part of the Marrakech Partnership.
We were also part of an unprecedented collaboration, as one of three managing partners steering the first ever Resilience Hub at a UNFCCC Conference of Parties that involved 80 event partners, 176 participating organisations, delivering 150+ events over the two weeks of COP26.
How is the Resilience Shift governed and managed?
The Resilience Shift Programme Board is composed of independent representatives.
- Michael Bruno (Chair) - Provost 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
- Jo da Silva, Arup Fellow and Global Director Sustainable Development, Arup, has joined the Board in 2020.
Mahadev Raman - Arup Fellow and Director of Arup University, Arup, has stepped down from the Board in 2020.
We hold Board meetings quarterly.
The programme direction is as follows:
Juliet Mian is Executive Director and Technical Director
Xavier Aldea Borruel is Head of Operations
Helen Civil is Head of Communications
Amy Leitch is Head of Partnerships
Jan Reier-Huse is Lloyd's Group liaison.
How will you further ensure independence?
We appointed Cambridge University Technical Services (CUTS) as our Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and ‘critical friend’ for the initial years of operation.
They provided independent technical advice that informed the strategic direction of the programme and reviewed the quality of approach and outputs. They provided scrutiny of and advice on the programme through critiquing the quality and value of the approach and outputs. They also provided a conduit to a wider knowledge base from academia and within industry.
We continue to work closely with them on various initiatives.
How can we work with you?
In addition to Arup, and Lloyd's Register Foundation, we have worked with or are working with a number of partners.
Partners can be identified via different mechanisms, including:
- Open call for proposals / competitions
- Directly appointed (as strategic partners)
- Connecting as editorial or knowledge dissemination partners
The decision on which mechanism is used is a strategic decision and varies from activity to activity under the work streams and we ensure that any procurement process is transparent, robust and fair.
If you are interested in working with us, you can get in touch with us by emailing [email protected]. All requests will be evaluated by The Resilience Shift's leadership team.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What sorts of methodologies are you using?
- We award grants, and also act as a think tank and convening organisation. We aim to influence policy, shape practice and share learning through our work.
- In the first year, we developed a methodology for industry consultation to understand current practice. We conducted an online survey, focus groups in the UK and US, and 1-to-1 consultation with senior leaders.
- We also commission different kinds of research to clarify our understanding of critical infrastructure, infrastructure interdependencies and resilience engineering through a combination of Resilience Shift grants and partner funding. The outputs from this research are 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 evolved into our tools and approaches project.
- We are using round-table events and a focus on resilience value to test our thinking and ensure that we deliver the impact and outcomes we seek.
Whose work has inspired the programme?
- We initiatially 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 were also originally inspired by the following thought leaders: