In this talk, Emiliano Rodriguez Nuesch will present tips and tools to navigate the waves of risk. Topics will include four lenses: ● The Innovation Lenses Tools like systems-thinking to map inter-relations between risk and hazards and define where to make interventions. ● The Risk Perception Lenses Understanding how people and different cultures perceive multi-hazard risk. (Example from Easter Island and Polynesia)
● The Science of Emotions Lenses What are the emotions that we need to tap into to communicate multi-hazard risk so that people engage in a positive and sustainable way? (Example from uses of music and storytelling) ● The Behavioral Lenses What are the nudges and interventions we can make to reduce risk and help communities better prepare? (Examples from New Zealand).
Emiliano Rodriguez Nuesch
Risk communications and behavioral science specialist. Director of Pacifico Risk Communications, with projects deployed in more than 50 countries, using non conventional tools to tackle risk posed by natural hazards. Creative Director of the Disaster Fighters campaign. Producer of the Tsunami Ladies documentary series, a Sendai Framework commitment. His work on risk communications with Greenpeace was awarded a Gold Lion at Cannes Festival of Creativity. His work was presented at UNDRR, Harvard, MIT, US Geological Survey, Natural History Museum in Los Angeles and SXSW in Austin. Bachelor in Science in Multimedia Computing. University of West London. Masters of Behavioral Science candidate at the London School of Economics.
Today we are living the midst of a climate change crisis with an unprecedented number of disasters happening around the world. At the same time, we live in a rapidly changing world where rapid advances in science and technology are transforming all aspects of human society, and the field of disaster management is no different. This rate of innovation and technical integration was never seen before in history. Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones, robots and internet of things are providing new innovative solutions to address disaster preparedness, prevention, response, mitigation and recovery.
UNEP’s Representative at the Focus Group on AI for Natural Disaster Management United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Paula PADRINO VILELA is presently leading UNEP’s activities related to Modern Technologies in Disaster Management in her capacity as Project Coordinator within the Disasters and Conflicts Branch. She is also UNEP’s representative at the joint ITU/WMO/UNEP Focus Group on AI for Natural Disaster Management. Paula has previous professional experience in the humanitarian and human rights fields, working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and NATO. She possesses an LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the Geneva Academy and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the Universidad Europea de Madrid.
After 4 years, the Understanding Risk Global Forum is back in person bringing the energy that only in-person interactions can offer. At UR conferences, we seek to provide an inclusive, creative and fun space for meaningful risk knowledge exchange, encouraging collaboration among disaster risk experts and practitioners from all over the world and between global and regional organizations. We aim to spur innovation and spark lasting partnerships.
The UR22 theme, “Riding the waves of risk,” focuses on climate and disaster risks in a multi-hazard world. To better understand risk, prevent disasters from happening, and build resilience, UR22 will explore the space where these multi-hazards collide and how disaster impacts cascade in unpredictable ways. The main hub location in Florianopolis offers an exceptional opportunity for the world to learn from Brazil and vice versa and strengthen the sustainable development agenda, moving from understanding risk to action on disaster resilience.
DO LOOK UP – An Aerial Aacrobatics Performance for Understanding Risk
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to fall from 20 feet just relying on one person to catch you? Or being lifted in the air with no control of external forces? Circus arts and acrobatics bring a deep connection between risk, trust, anticipation, and performance. Like pilots in the civil aviation sector, circus artists are remarkably talented at understanding, foreseeing, and managing what can go wrong: They look up and actually go there, where magic happens. Circus artists straddle fine lines in mitigating without eliminating risk, using the risk itself as a medium for community engagement and inspiration. Can we, as risk practitioners, learn from their talent and creativity?
The Circocan International School of Circus brings a tailor-made, live performance to UR2022 in Florianópolis. Depicting the preparation and development process of an acrobatic creation, this performance conveys how a risky, life-threatening situation can be managed through listening, connecting, trusting and relying on your surrounding community. The goal: inspire thinking and transformative action on how we perceive, communicate, and address risk.
Direction: Nickolle Abreu Concept: Nickolle Abreu, Alan (Alby) Lee, Pedro Mello e Cruz, and Pablo Suarez Performers: Circocan International School of Circus Original soundtrack: Nico Cassinelli, Nickolle Abreu, and Pablo Suarez
Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist / World Bank, GFDRR
Joaquín Toro is the regional coordinator for disaster risk management in Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank. He joined the Bank in 2003 in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region and helped setting up the LAC and Europe and Central Asia DRM Teams. He is part of the founders of Understanding Risk Community and Forums. He has more than 20 years of disaster risk management experience and holds a master’s degree in engineering management and systems engineering from George Washington University.
Artist in Residence / National University of Singapore. Lloyd’s Register Foundation Institute for the Public Understanding of Risk
Dr Pablo Suarez is a researcher turned humanitarian worker and innovator. He is artist in residence at the Institute for the Public Understanding of Risk at the National University of Singapore, visiting researcher at Cambridge University, and innovation lead at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre. Pablo has consulted for the World Bank, Oxfam, and about twenty other humanitarian and development organizations, working from rural Zambia to the White House in more than 60 countries. His creative approaches to risk management range from new financial instruments to collaboration with aerial acrobats to inspire thinking and action.
Floods and wildfires are some of the most common and deadly natural disasters on the planet. Every year, they affect hundreds of millions of people, cause thousands of fatalities and cost billions in economic damages. Google’s AI Research teams are passionate and committed to developing new early warning systems and crisis management solutions that will empower governments, organizations and citizens to take timely actions, limiting damage and loss of life.
The Flood Forecasting initiative aims to provide accurate and actionable flood alerts covering all affected by floods globally. Currently the focus is on riverine floods. In 2022 we established a partnership with the government of Brazil in order to leverage local data and expertise to deliver high quality flood forecasts on Google Search, Maps and on Google’s new dedicated flood info center – the FloodHub.
The Wildfires initiative aims to provide accurate information regarding the boundaries of wildfires in real-time.
Director, Global Partnerships LatAm Google
Newton Neto is a digital business builder and executive with over 20 years experience in the information technology industry. Started as a software developer then got deeply involved in strategic business development on a global basis. Worked on leading international trade organizations such as Amcham-Brazil and US Chamber of Commerce. Had senior positions at Porto Digital, Meantime/C.E.S.A.R and Ediouro Publishing. At Google since 2011, Newton leads strategic partnerships and business development efforts in Latin America for several Google Product Areas such as Search, Maps, Local, Commerce, Ads, Research & Machine Intelligence, Web, Social Impact, and the Assistant.
Engineering Lead for Flood Forecasting and Wildfires Google Research
Sella Nevo leads the Google Flood Forecasting Initiative, which aims to provide high-accuracy flood forecasts and warnings globally, alongside several other humanitarian and environmental efforts at Google. He also teaches Applied Ethics and Information Security at Tel Aviv University, is a Venture Partner at the VC firm First Time which invests in climate startups, and is on the advisory board of ALLFED – the Alliance to Feed the Earth.
In the aftermath of a disaster, someone must pay the bill. Sometimes, the government covers most of the expenses, and sometimes, bills are left unpaid. However, national governments are improving their response to physical and financial risks by learning about the contingent liabilities of disasters in the finance of countries. In this panel, we will explore how governments are getting ready to pay the bills, the financial tools they are using, and the cost of not investing in adaptation to climate change and risk reduction activities.
Participants: Min Finance Honduras, Minister Finance St. Lucia, Director for Poverty Alleviation and Community Empowerment Indonesia
Disaster Risk Management Specialist World Bank, GFDRR
Mirtha Escobar; Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank. She is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist of the Latin American and Caribbean region at the World Bank. Her professional focus is on the implementation of innovative projects and financing mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation of climate change. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management and Climate Change from Virginia Tech University.
Roberto Ramirez Alvarenga
Vice Minister of Public Credit and Public Investment Ministry of Finance. Government of Honduras
Roberto Carlos Ramirez Alvarenga has a degree in Economics from the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) in 2003 and a Master’s in Economic Policy from Williams College University of Massachusetts, United States of America (USA) in 2011. In the professional area Vice Minister Ramírez worked for more than 17 years at the Central Bank of Honduras (BCH), as Head of the Macroeconomic Modeling Section, later he worked as a consultant for different studies on projects and economic impacts. He also worked at the United Nations for UNICEF. Also, it has collaborated with the Economic Commission for Latin America (CEPAL) for the formulation and generation of a Latin American price index, as well as the calculation of prices in purchasing parity, also collaborated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the creation and application of a general equilibrium macroeconomic model for Honduras. In the area of Human Talent training and Academy, he was a trainer of the debt strategy program, financed by Debt Relief International (DRI) of London, England, training personnel from the Central Bank of Nicaragua and the Ministry of Finance, in addition to exercising teaching at the Metropolitan University (UMH) and UNAH in master classes in different subjects related to Economics.
Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Youth Economy. Government of Saint Lucia
Wayne Girard is a Saint Lucian politician who serves as the Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Youth Economy. Wayne earned his undergraduate degree in 2004 from the University of Wales in Business with Law and pursued post-graduate, executive education programmes at Chicago Booth/Oxford Said Business School: Corporate Valuation Programme and Oxford Said Business School: Fintech Programme and is currently pursuing a Certificate in Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Director for Poverty Alleviation and Community Empowerment / Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas). Government of Indonesia
Maliki has been working in the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) for more than 22 years. Since 2019, he has been appointed as the Director for Poverty Alleviation and Community Empowerment. His main task is to design policy planning for developing social protection programs and social empowerment models. He also manages various cross-cutting issues concerning people with vulnerabilities, including navigating the country’s strategy for aging issues and inclusive development. Currently, he is in charge of Indonesia’s Social Protection System Reform roadmap. Two main reform strategies under his coordination are formulating the Adaptive Social Protection scheme and developing the Socio-Economic Registry, which is now being implemented nationally, covering 100% of Indonesian population. These two strategies ensure that social protection in Indonesia is more inclusive and effective in preventing poverty and deprivation.
Risk in the Era of Digital Platforms (no recording)
(Due to technical difficulties, this session had no audio), In our current world, social media is part of our daily lives. We check the news, get the new dancing moves, and follow our favourite teams, politicians, and idols. Undoubtedly, social media is here to stay. But how can we better leverage these platforms in the disaster risk reduction, resilience, and development sector? In this panel, we will discuss best practices and tools to improve our social media presence, and hear how key players are to taking advantage of the different applications.
Global Partnerships and Innovation Manager Twitter
Lauren Devoll advises some of the most influential and innovative policymakers, government agencies, and members of civil society as a Global Innovation Partnerships Manager at Twitter. Together they design content strategies that create impact, contribute to product changes, and support philanthropic efforts. She is a frequently-requested public speaker at engagements around the world including those hosted by the United Nations, the International Federation of the Red Cross, and the Government Social Media network. Previous to her tenure at Twitter, she built and executed original social, e-commerce, and creative programs at the RNC and NRCC. Before her ten years in Washington, she earned a Bachelor’s in Public Relations with an emphasis in Leadership Analysis from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Public Policy Manager, Spanish Speaking Latin America TikTok
Tom Lehmann joined TikTok’s Public Policy team in late 2019 and works with public stakeholders across Latin America and the Caribbean on topics ranging from safety to platform regulation. Tom was previously the Development Manager at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he led relations with external partners and assisted in the planning and implementation of the Technology and International Affairs Program. Prior to this, spent two years in rural China serving at risk and under resourced youth as a Fellow with Teach for China. Tom has also been a farmer, landscaper, and outdoor trip leader. Tom graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s in Chinese Studies and Black Studies.
Head of Advisory / BBC Media Action
Lisa Robinson is Head of Advisory at BBC Media Action where she advises on creative media and communication strategies to influence change at scale. Her work focuses on disaster risk reduction, climate change and emergency response. She leads a team of Senior Advisors covering media ecosystems, information disorder, governance, social cohesion, economic development, health, and diversity and inclusion. Their work supports teams across 20 low- and middle-income countries and reached over 130 million people last year.
With an extensive curriculum and a life dedicated to public safety, Araújo Gomes accumulates practical and theoretical knowledge in several areas related to public safety and risk management. The military is Colonel of the Santa Catarina Military Police Reserve, having served in the corporation from 1985 to 2020. He is also known for work in strategic level consultancies in the area of public and private security.
Municipal Secretary of Public Security Brazil
Among his main activities, the period in which he served as: Disaster Response Director of the State Department of Civil Defense of Santa Catarina (2004 and 2005); having participated as a member of the Brazilian Delegation in the World Forum on Disasters which produced the UN World Strategy for Disaster Reduction (Marco de Hyogo – Japan, 2005); General Staff Officer in the area of Operations, Training and Doctrine of the Military Police of Santa Catarina (2005 to 2010); and Invited collaborator of the Ministry of Justice in the Organization of the World Social Forum – Liaison Officer (Pará, 2008).
He was also a guest Collaborator of the Ministry of Justice (Liaison Officer and Theme Leader) in the organization and presentation of the Olympic Project – Security Theme to the delegates of the International Olympic Committee (Rio de Janeiro, 2009); Deputy Commander of the Military Police of Santa Catarina (2017); General Commander of the Military Police of Santa Catarina (2018 to 2020); Secretary of State for Public Security of Santa Catarina (2019); International Observer at the International Qualification Exercise in Romania for the FIEP – International Association of Gendarmeries and Police Forces with Military Status (Romania, 2017); President of the Superior Collegiate for Public Security and State Official Expertise (Santa Catarina, 2019); President of the National Council of General Commanders of Fire Brigades and Military Police of Brazil (2019 and 2020), among other experiences.
Nowadays, we must undertake risk assessment studies to make a risk reduction investment. We must collect and sometimes produce hazard, exposure, and vulnerability data; make the necessary calculations for risk; and finally, draw technical and political conclusions and priorities. On average, these studies take months and even years, costing extensive resources. Still, sometimes, when studies are finished, decision-makers have shifted priorities, or administrations have changed. From different perspectives, this panel will explore how to use the available information, find the right balance on the studies needed to act, and innovate around risk assessment for decision-making.
Shanna N. McClain
Disasters Program Manager Global Partnerships & Socioeconomic Assessments Coordinator NASA
Dr. Shanna N. McClain is the Disasters Program Manager for NASA’s Earth Science Applied Sciences Program. She and her team promote the use of Earth observations to support decisions made across the disaster cycle and at the intersection of human-environment-climate dimensions. McClain endeavors to define new and innovative opportunities for applying Earth science information through the development of partnerships and projects in fragile and crisis-affected communities in order to build a more risk-informed global society.
Nico is a Senior Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Specialist at the institute of Geological and Nuclear Science (GNS), based in New-Zealand. He has 20 years of professional experience working for international institutions, academia, government, and private sector. Prior to joining GNS, Nico was a DRM specialist at the World Bank (GFDRR), advising low and middle income countries worldwide in managing disaster risk, with a particular focus on risk assessment, disaster preparedness, and risk financing. He worked also as the lead catastrophe risk specialist for the Bank of England.
Nico trained initially as an earthquake scientist and holds a PhD in Geophysics from the Paris Earth Sciences Institute (IPGP, France).
Hon Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr.
Secretary (Minister) Department of Science and Technology (Republic of the Philippines)
Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. is the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Philippines. He has worked with DOST for the past thirty-eight (38) years and rose from the ranks. He started his professional career at the DOST – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) in 1984 after graduating with a BS in Geology degree from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman in the same year. He served at PHIVOLCS in varying capacities, starting as Science Research Specialist I and became its Director in 2003. He pursued his graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA, earning a MS degree in Geological Sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego (UCSD), obtaining a PhD degree in Earth Sciences.
General Secretary of Honduran Social Investment Fund / Social Investment Fund of Honduras
Executive Secretary Coordination Center for Disaster Prevention in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CEPREDENAC)
First woman to hold the position of Executive Secretary of the Coordination Center for Disaster Prevention in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CEPREDENAC), since 2019. She is from Central America, born in Honduras. She has a bachelor’s in business management and 20 years of experience in Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management. Through the leadership of Secretary Herrera, CEPREDENAC has led the processes for the transformation and strengthening of sustainable development in the region, through the promotion, support and development of emergency management, preparation, mitigation and prevention measures and policies.
Minister of COPECO
His name is Pablo Ramon Soto Bonilla. He is 55 years old. He´s Honduran. He was born in Tocoa, Colon city on the north coast. He studies at The National Autonomous University of Honduras, graduated from agricultural engineering. In his free time, he likes to share with his family, read and listen to music. He is a born leader and work obsessed, he has a vocation of service to citizens, he has experience in administration of personal, risk, social project, political issues management. In his professional life he has worked in the private company. Previously, Soto served as Area Manager at Dinant Corporation. He was twice owner congressman for the department of Colon in the years 2018-2022. During his time as congressman, he carried out works such as street infrastructure for the isolated Garifuna’s communities and the support to the teaching profession with retirement time. Pablo Ramon Soto Bonilla has been sworn as Secretary of State in the National Risk and Contingency Management offices, on February of this year. Soto’s vision is to strengthen community organization and compliance with risk management and international cooperation to meet the needs of people in preparedness and response issues. He also belongs to the Liaison Commission with Civil Society and Community Participation, Agriculture and Livestock Commission.
Chief Executive National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA)
Mr. Anil Pokhrel was appointed as the first Chief Executive of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) to design its organizational structure, prepare Standard Operating Procedures, develop work program and budget, and operationalize Nepal’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management action plan. He also serves as the Member Secretary of the National Executive Committee headed by Hon. Minister of Home Affairs and the National Council for DRRM headed by Rt. Hon. Prime Minister.
Civil Defense Santa Catarina
Graduated in Oceanology from FURG (2001), specialization in Remote Sensing from INPE (2002) and master’s degree in Geography from UFSC (2005). He has been a Ciram / Epagri researcher since 2008 and has been available to the Civil Defense of the State of Santa Catarina (DCSC) since 2011 as Monitoring and Alert Coordinator. He works in the area of risk and disaster management, water resources management and monitoring and alert systems.
When it comes to extreme hazard events, the overwhelming focus is on catastrophe and destruction. Yet the goal of disaster risk management is precisely to ensure that society continues to function – and even thrive – despite shocks arising from natural or human actions; in short, to ensure that “nothing happens” in the face of extreme events. This challenge creates a dilemma for recognizing and incentivizing important investments to reduce risk since these investments go unnoticed precisely because they are successful.
Yet the innumerable successful risk reduction interventions implemented in communities worldwide represent a critical data-set from which learnings may be drawn, to assist disaster risk management professionals and communities in replicating, adapting, and scaling similar disaster-prevention activities where they are further needed. This is only possible if these successes are identified, analyzed, and celebrated. In the session, we present the “Averted Disaster Award” (ADA), created to recognise, highlight and celebrate disaster risk reduction initiatives around the world that are often invisible by the very nature of their success. We also highlight the development and use of probabilistic counterfactual analysis to identify and quantify successful risk reduction interventions, and how this has led to the creation of the Averted Disaster Award. Launched in 2022, the Averted Disaster Award received nominations from around the world, and highlighted amazing narratives of lives saved and avoided loss in the face of earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and more. We are excited to announce the winners of the 2022 Averted Disaster Award, and share a video feature of the winning nomination.
And that’s not all! We’re also happy to announce the opening of the 2023 Averted Disaster Award nomination period, and invite you all to nominate projects that are having significant risk reduction impacts, often not recognized, for communities.
Assistant Professor Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University
Prof. Lallemant joined the NTU faculty from Stanford University, where he was a researcher and founder of the Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative. He holds a PhD from Stanford University (2015), master’s degree from UC Berkeley (2010) and a bachelor’s degree from MIT (2007). His academic background is in earthquake sciences and engineering, predictive modeling, geostatistics, reliability analysis and others, used to conduct novel and impactful research to promote resilient societies.
Prof. Lallemant is also active in post-disaster response and recovery, which forms the basis for his research on post-disaster assessment and community resilience. He worked for two years in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and has been involved with the response and recovery following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and 2015 earthquake in Nepal. He regularly consults for the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).
His awards include the 2018 National Research Foundation Fellowship ($3M grant for 5-year research), the Shah Family Fellowship on Catastrophic Risk, the John A. Blume Fellowship in Earthquake Engineering, the Development Impact Award and the World Bank Vice Presidential Unit Award (for work conducted in Haiti).
PhD Candidate Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University
Maricar Rabonza is a final-year PhD candidate at the Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), working under Asst. Professor David Lallemant. The working title of her thesis is “Dynamic urban risk modelling for long-term disaster risk reduction.” Her current projects involve policy-related modelling of future risk of cities, counterfactual risk analysis (i.e. imagining the ‘what-ifs’ in disaster risk), and calibrating hazard models using geostatistics. Maricar holds an MSc in Civil-Geotechnical Engineering from University of the Philippines Diliman. Prior to that, she spent 5 years as a senior modeller to support capacity-building of remote communities in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, and to develop nationwide landslide susceptibility maps. She is now a recipient of scholarship funding from the National Research Foundation Fellowship and Earth Observatory of Singapore.
Head Anticipation Hub
Kara Siahaan is the Berlin-based Head of the Anticipation Hub, a platform to facilitate learning, guidance, exchange and advocacy on anticipatory action. An initiative of the German Red Cross, the International Federation Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, the Hub brings together more than 100 partner organizations across the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, universities, research institutes, NGOs, UN agencies, governments, donors, and network initiatives. An Indonesian national, Kara has over 15 years of experience in leading, programme management, technical assistance, partnership and policy roles in the areas of humanitarian response, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. She co-led the development of the first-ever global funding mechanism at IFRC attached to its Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) that enables fast and systematic release of funds to implement early action based on weather forecasts to reduce the impacts of predictable disasters. Kara holds a business degree in marketing from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master´s degree in development studies from Technische Universität Darmstadt and Institut d’urbanisme de Grenoble.