Understanding Systemic Risks: Perspectives from a Knowledge Action Network

Organizers: Jana Sillmann, Kai Kornhuber
Format: Online, Evening

This session is organized by the Knowledge Action Network on Emergent Risks and Extreme Events (Risk KAN) to discuss Systemic Risk in the context of sustainable development and climate resilience showcasing a selection of experts that conduct research on different sectors affected or vulnerable to systemic risks. Systemic risk entails that impacts spread within and across interconnected systems and sectors via movements of people, goods, resources, capital, and information within and across countries, even continents to eventually lead to potentially existential impacts and systems collapse. Globalization contributes to systemic risk by enhancing dependencies in social systems affecting people worldwide and COVID-19 currently exemplifies the challenges associated with addressing global systemic risk specifically in coastal urban areas, islands and the global south. Climate change is projected to lead to increasing biophysical dependencies of natural hazard, which, when interacting with socio-economic drivers, will increase systemic climate-related risk. Such critical systems interdependencies amplified by underlying vulnerabilities highlight that there is a growing need to better understand systemic risks, risk governance and societal responses. This includes improving our understanding on how systemic risk emerges in terms of its root causes, including both biophysical and socio-economic aspects, and how resilient social, natural and interlinked systems can be built in response, while embracing key intergovernmental agendas (e.g. the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals). This session will address the most relevant topics regarding climate related systemic risk including in coastal urban areas as well as the Global South, and present how systemic risk assessments may inform transformational adaptation. The session aims to stimulate discussions on the transformation of risks as well as opportunities and knowledge to actions for both researchers and practitioners.

Themes: Sustainable Solutions from the Global South, Integrated Action for the SDGs, Knowledge-to-Action