Day One

Living in the era of the unexpected

It is widely accepted that surprise is the ‘new normal’ and, as the UNDRR’s Global Assessment Report states: “The era of hazard-by-hazard reduction is over… We need to reflect on the systemic nature of risk and how we deal with it.” This day will look at the stressors that are building into tipping points, with a focus on today’s crises and the consequences of systemic failure – with climate as the greatest threat multiplier of all.

10:00 – 12:00

Climate: Living in the era of the unexpected

Climate is the greatest threat multiplier of our times, affecting each and every person on the planet, magnifying existing hazards and bringing about new, cascading threats. This session will examine the particular challenges of one country on the frontline of climate disruption. It will also explore the link between climate and security issues, and examine why we often still fail to respond to obvious but neglected major threats – grey rhinos – and focussing too much on identifying black swans.

  • Australia, living on the frontline of climate crisis
  • Climate risks – the expected, the unexpected and the wild cards
  • Black Swans and Grey Rhinos, an excuse to do nothing?
12:00 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:30

Today’s crises, tomorrow’s catastrophes

This session will take a closer look at leadership and governance in today’s turbulent times, and examine the threats, opportunities, risks and hazards – as well as all the different disciplines that need to be engaged and working with each other, in order to achieve genuine transdisciplinary co-operation.

  • UN Global Assessment Report, an overview
  • Today’s Crises – threats, opportunities, risks and hazards.
  • Leadership and governance in today’s turbulent times.
15:20 – 15:40

Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:20

Consequences: Refugees, forced displacement and migration

An examination of the most evident effects of geopolitical and climate related crises – people being displaced from their homes. How to ensure that the needs of refugees and IDPs are met with dignity and understanding, at all levels of society? What are the projections for the future, under increased climate disruption?


Day Two

How we approach the era of the unexpected

Given the changing nature and growing frequency of disasters and the complexity of humanitarian response, what actions should we be taking now? How can we ensure and maintain trust in aid and response organisations? How do we ensure the transdisciplinary, multi-sectoral decision-making that is so vital in the crises of tomorrow? Will our attitudes have to change? And how can we embrace the burgeoning of technology to improve assessment, prevention and response?

10:00 – 12:00

Collective action: the changing landscape of global aid

As discussed on day one of the summit, we are likely to witness global crises on a scale and frequency never previously experienced. And all this at a time when trust, manipulation and propaganda are seeking to influence public opinion. How is the global aid landscape changing? How can we shape it to deal with these threats? How do we ensure that affected communities are genuinely placed at the centre of assistance? What issues need working upon and are new partners and working relationships are required?

12:00 – 13:30


13:30 – 15:30

Beyond our wildest dreams, how technical innovation can help us to confront future humanitarian and disaster events

Data, data, data… Data can help to shape assessment, mitigation, prevention, response and rebuilding. But how to cope with the often overwhelming amounts of data? How to ensure that the tools used to collect this data are ethical and acceptable to all? What can new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, add to these leaps in technology? This session will bring together representatives from leading humanitarian agencies, as well as some of the biggest names in technology, to discuss what is being done now, and to imagine the future.

15:20 – 15:40

Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:20

Reputation: The unexpected, building & maintaining trust

Public trust in many institutions is eroding, and this has consequences for reputation and the delivery of assistance – both vitally important in crises for communities, and humanitarian and disaster response organisations. How to conduct internal and external investigations to demonstrate ethics and transparency? How important is reputational risk? How to ensure accountability, while making sure that affected communities have a voice and are listened to?


*Agenda correct as of 02.09.2019. Subject to change.