Our mission is to explore approaches to disaster avoidance, preparedness, response, recovery, reconstruction, and resilience that incorporate observation, technical analysis, social conventions, and human behavior.
The Risk and Policy Institute (RPI) conducts studies and addresses risk and policy issues within four general and cross-cutting subject areas, each representing a topical global challenge or strategic approach. Each subject area has stand-alone opportunities, problems requiring long-term investment, and work requiring continuing support.
Technology and Risk
RPI associates work toward leveraging technology to meet policy ends. RPI focuses on extreme events that cause substantial harm. Such extreme events injure and kill people, destroy property, and disrupt businesses. These intentional and unintentional catastrophes and natural disasters can be divided into three classes. Intentional catastrophes are purposive, non-random acts that include war, acts of terrorism, insurgencies, and large-scale crimes (such as an arsonist lighting a wildfire). Unintentional catastrophes include random human actions or failures of equipment or systems such as industrial accidents, nuclear reactor meltdowns, plane crashes, and sinking ships. Natural disasters consist of hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, floods, volcanoes, pandemics, wildfires, and other usually difficult to predict natural actions that can trigger devastating harm. In each case, the disaster is a function of the intersection of built infrastructure, technology, and the act of destruction. The technology area also focuses on developing methods of improving the safety of built infrastructure, particularly obdurate infrastructure. RPI associates address issues related to the risk and sustainability of the built environment.
Risk and the Environment
RPI associates explore a range of issues connected with the natural environment. These include climate change, including sustainable and renewable energy and fuels, the greening of industrial processes, market-based solutions to environmental problems, and sustainable agriculture.
Education and Risk
RPI associates work toward building effective educational support systems. Education, as an instrument in poverty reduction and economic development, is an important component in almost every policy challenge.
Risk, Response, and Resilience