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DRI and University College London to Host One-Day Conference in June

May 5, 2023 Leave a comment DRI Admin

DRI International and the University College London Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR) is proud to announce the speaker lineup for our upcoming one-day, on-campus conference to be held 14 June!

DRI, UCL and other experts in the field will be on hand to delve into the major resilience issues of the day, including global trends, high-impact events, climate risks, and much more. See below for full descriptions of the presentations.

Thank you to Exclusive Sponsor, Fusion Risk Management!


Attendance will require a nominal fee of £100.00 and be free to select UCL students (seniors and graduate students from specifically related fields) and faculty. Additionally, a donation will be made from the DRI Foundation supporting a local charity. Certified Professionals will earn 8 CEAPs for attending.


8:00 AM – Attendee Check In

8:30 AM – Opening Remarks – Welcome, Overview & Agenda
Trevor Murphy, DRI International
Paul Clark, Vice-President (Strategy), UCL
Joanna Faure Walker, Head of Department, UCL IRDR

Paul Clark joined University College London as its first Vice-President (Strategy) in spring 2022. Since 2015, he was Chief Executive of the Higher Education Statistics Agency HESA and has led the agency through a period of significant change, during which it became the first Designated Data Body for higher education in England, led the design, and launched the Graduate Outcomes Survey replacing the DLHE, and brought the Data Futures project on track and continued to deliver it effectively. He was previously Director of Policy at Universities UK, overseeing higher education policy development, and has senior management experience in a number of universities, including the University of Oxford.

 Joanna Faure Walker is Professor of Earthquake Geology and Disaster Risk Reduction. She is Head of Department of the UCL the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. She lectures on natural hazards, vulnerability, risk, and their integration into decision-making. Her primary research is centred around studying faults in the earth’s continental crust and using this to better understand the physical processes controlling earthquake generation, locations, and timing. A related line of research integrates physical science research into risk and disaster reduction, including residents’ risk perception and vulnerability, and resilience during the transitional phase of recovery. She has appeared on national and international television and radio media including BBC News, BBC World News, Sky News, TRT World News, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 Today programme discussing earthquake hazard and risk in the UK, Italy and Mexico and post disaster recovery.

Trevor Murphy is chair of the DRI International Commission and currently works as the Operational Resilience SME for E-Payments based in London. He has over 20 years of business continuity and operational/business resilience experience at organisations such as Etihad Airways, Societe Generale, JP Morgan, RBS and Deutsche Securities, with a total of 19 years’ experience in the financial industry in the UK and Asia. Trevor is a DRI Certified CBCP and is also instructing for DRI Malaysia. Trevor draws from his professional experience to guide participants through all aspects of a holistic BCM program and to apply these practices for their organizations.

8:45 AM – Global Trends in Risk and Resilience
Chloe Demrovsky and Lyndon Bird, DRI International

What are the top risks that worry resilience professionals as we emerge into a post-pandemic world? This session will open the event with an overview of how we, as members of this exciting and evolving profession, prioritize and respond to some of our biggest challenges. Based on DRI’s annual survey of nearly 500 professionals across all industries and sectors, our research shows a variety of major issues such as cyberattacks, natural disasters, and economic uncertainty. With so much to think about, what should resilience professionals focus on? This year’s predictions highlight still more potential threats on the horizon, including divided public opinions on global climate change measures, cyber vulnerabilities among major IT service providers, unprecedented flooding in the developed world, economic uncertainty in China, and much more. With so many risks at play, DRI’s President and CEO Chloe Demrovsky will provide guidance on how we can build a more resilient future together. DRI Chief Knowledge Officer Lyndon Bird will join her to discuss the latest findings on how business continuity professionals are contributing to climate-related disclosure within their organisations.

Chloe Demrovsky is the President and CEO of DRI International, a senior Forbes contributor, and has been featured on CBS News, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg, Sky News, Cheddar, The Associated Press, BBC, USA Today, The Financial Times, ABC News, and others. She has presented at dozens of events across five continents and has conducted on-site briefings for government bodies. She is a professor at NYU, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Crain’s New York 2023 Notable Leader in Sustainability, and a Board Director for United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) ARISE, the DRI Foundation, Bard College at Simon’s Rock Board (Vice-Chair), and Plastic Omnium.

Lyndon Bird is Chief Knowledge Officer for DRI International and chairs the Institute’s Future Vision Committee. He has worked exclusively in business continuity since 1986 as a consultant, presenter, educator, author, and business manager. Bird has spoken at and chaired conferences throughout the world and has contributed features, articles, and interviews to most leading business and specialist publications. He has been interviewed by a wide range of broadcasters, including the BBC, Channel 4, Sky News, Bloomberg TV, and CNBC. He helped found the Business Continuity Institute in 1994 and served as Chairman and International Technical Director. He was a member of the original BS25999 Technical Committee, was voted BCM Consultant of the Year in 2002, and was given the BCM Lifetime Award by Continuity, Insurance & Risk Magazine. Bird is currently Editor of the Journal of Business Continuity and Emergency Planning, a member of the Advisory Board for the Crisis Management Response Journal, and a regular contributor to the U.S.-based Resilience Hub platform.

9:15 AM – Building Community Resilience through Carbon Capture Projects
Jerome Ryan, DRI International
Samuel Burke, Carbonaires

This presentation will discuss the importance of carbon capture projects in increasing community resilience. We will highlight the benefits of these projects and explain how traditional business continuity tools like Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment can be updated to include climate change data. Additionally, we will present a case study on how New Orleans is utilizing blue carbon projects to increase resilience and better protect that community from future hurricanes. This presentation is designed to provide valuable insights and practical tools for individuals and organisations seeking to enhance their resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Jerome Ryan has been a member of the DRI International Board of Directors since 2010 and previously served as Chairman of the Board. He is currently Secretary of the Board and Managing Director of BDO’s Crisis Management and Business Continuity practice. He has 20+ years of experience focused on the domestic and international application of risk management and resiliency. He has a proven track record of successfully combining business continuity and information technology (IT) disaster recovery into holistic resiliency programs, and he has served as the global head of business continuity and crisis management for two Fortune 500 companies. He is a DRI International Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) and Certified Business Continuity Vendor (CBCV).

Samuel Burke is a Business Analyst at Carbonaires, a carbon asset management company that specialises in acquiring, managing, and expanding a portfolio of investments in carbon credit generating projects. With a strong academic background, including a BSc degree in Geography from the University of Leeds and an MSc degree in Climate Change from University College London, Burke possesses exceptional knowledge in environmental and climate-related matters. His studies have equipped him with a deep understanding of the fundamental physical and empirical arguments of climate change, including its impact on the frequency and magnitude of extreme climate events. Additionally, Burke holds extensive knowledge of the various methods employed by governments, businesses, and communities to mitigate and adapt to environmental change.

9:45 AM – Insights From the Abyss: Turning Adversity into an Advantage
Will Scobie, Horizonscan, a DRI UK Licensed Training Provider

This session will outline a case study of a business that found itself at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic without an insurer, a broker, or any risk data. It will explain how they dealt with this situation, the long-term impact on the business, and how they are now turning this situation into a positive by building a roadmap to resilience.

Will Scobie has been at Horizonscan, a DRI UK Licensed Training Provider, since 2015, having previously worked in politics and public affairs. He ran as a parliamentary candidate in South Thanet in 2015 and was a Councilor on Kent County Council and Thanet District Council. He has been a researcher and parliamentary assistant in London and Brussels, and has a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in European Governance. From 2015 until 2020, Will ran Horizonscan as the General Manager. Scobie is now Managing Director, responsible for Strategy, Finance and Business Development at Horizonscan. He was recently elected to Thanet District Council and is now Chair of the Council’s Governance and Audit Committee.

10:15 – Morning Break

10:30 AM – Operational Resilience on a Global Scale
Guy Gryspeerdt, Honeywell International, Inc.

Join Guy Gryspeerdt, Honeywell’s Vice President, Global Business Resilience, as he takes you down a path less traveled, his journey as a resilience professional – one full of meaningful work and meaningful relationships. Whatever the starting point in his journey, one thing is certain, he has ended up everywhere – with global responsibility for operational resilience for a multinational corporation. This session will explore the business imperative for operational resilience, problem solving and thinking models to drive business engagement, as well as how to deliver change using risk- and data-driven decision making.

Guy Gryspeerdt is a senior global risk and resiliency executive who has worked internationally across industry sectors, managing operational risk, business continuity, crisis management, supplier resiliency, technology resiliency, security risk programs and enterprise risk in financial, retail, manufacturing, technology and government sectors – successfully delivering complex cross organizational projects with multiple and diverse stakeholders for leading organizations globally. He has successfully designed, built and implemented global Resilience Programs, and their associated resource models, in Fortune 100 companies to provide a proactive resilient posture for the business operations to deliver for their customers and stakeholders. He is a member of The International Advisory Board of BC Management Inc (CA, USA), a Board Member of the Honeywell Humanitarian Relief Foundation, and a DRI International Commissioner.

11:15 AM – Evolving Resilience: Creating Practical Value From Data Aggregation
Kate Needham-Bennett, Fusion Risk Management, Inc.

Many of us understand the benefits of aggregating data across disciplines to get a more holistic view of an organisation; but how can we make sure that data is put to use and brought to life? How can we ensure resilience programmes add value, rather than being seen as tick-box compliance exercises? This session will explore some of the ways you can utilise resilience data to help you respond quicker in a time of polycrises, direct your investment strategy to ensure critical services remain resilience, push back on any green-washing of risks, and retain knowledge and functionality in an ever-evolving world.

Kate Needham-Bennett is a resilience specialist based in the UK, working with organisations worldwide and exploring how they might develop their risk and resilience programmes with Fusion. To date, she has been working as a practitioner in financial services firms setting up programmes for M&A resilience onboarding, crisis management, and operational resilience to meet the evolving regulations. Needham-Bennett is now focusing on how technology can help make resilience easier, quicker, and more affordable for others, leaving them room to focus on innovations.

11:45 AM – Lunch 

1:00 PM –Riding the Wave: Resilience Strategies for Low Probability, High Impact Events – From Academia to Practice
Gianluca Pescaroli, UCL IRDR
Fatemeh Jalayer, UCL IRDR
Ralph Toumi, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London
Lucie M. Green, Mullar Space Science Laboratory, UCL
Chris Needham-Bennett, Needhams 1834 and UCL IRDR

Low probability, high impact events pose significant challenges to individuals, organisations, and entire communities. These events can range from natural disasters and pandemics to cyberattacks and economic crises that can have huge ripple effects in our increasingly interconnected global economy. In this panel discussion, we bring together experts from academia and practitioners from various fields to explore resilience strategies for dealing with these unpredictable events. Our panelists will share their experiences and insights on how to build resilience and prepare for these increasingly frequent, large-scale crises. They will discuss the latest research and best practices as well as the role of collaboration, innovation, and adaptability in building resilience in the face of uncertainty. Join us for a thought-provoking discussion that will equip you with practical strategies to help you navigate the unpredictable waves of low probability, high impact events.

Dr. Gianluca Pescaroli is Associate Professor in Operational Continuity and Disaster Resilience, UCL IRDR. His research investigates how to build and improve the continuity of operations during disruptive events, how to minimise impacts, and how to increase the resilience of the public and private sectors. This includes managing complex challenges such as cascading risks, critical infrastructure failures, systemic and compound dynamics. His work is impact-oriented, aiming to bridge academia and practice. In 2016, he co-founded the Research Group on Cascading Disasters at UCL. Since then, he contributed to strategic documents such as the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Guidelines on National Risk Assessment and edited reports such as the Guidelines on Cascading Effects of Wide-Area Power Failures in collaboration with London Resilience. He is active in consultancies for local authorities and international organisations on topics such as resilience to cascading scenarios and stress testing. In 2020, he became the Director of University College London’s multi-disciplinary Master programme in Risk, Disaster and Resilience. In 2021, he organised the Masterclass “Stress Testing for Building Infrastructure Resilience” with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction and The Resilience Shift. He recently was appointed scientific lead in a project on low probability/high impact events awarded by Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

Fatemeh Jalayer is a Professor in Geophysical Hazard Risks at the UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction. She pursued her PhD at Stanford University on probabilistic seismic risk assessment. During this time, a paper she co-authored was awarded the 2003 Normal Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). She is the coordinator of the European Tsunami Risk Service (ETRiS) which integrated into the data Portal of the European Plate Observing System (EPOS). Her research is/has been funded by the European Commission (EC), Italian Ministry of Education and Research (MIUR), Italian National Civil Protection (DPC), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Her research focuses on probabilistic methods and computational tools for risk modelling and disaster risk reduction. She is increasingly interested in risk modelling considering the societal context and the complex interactions between human, nature, and the built environment. She believes in the importance of addressing cross-cutting issues in research such as ethics, diversity, equality, inclusion, open science, and FAIR data management. She is dedicated to trans-disciplinary knowledge exchange and the practical implications of research towards rendering a safer, more resilient, and sustainable living environment. 

Prof. Ralph Toumi is Co-Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London. He was awarded his PhD from the University of Cambridge. He was then appointed a temporary lecturer in the Chemistry Department in Cambridge and a Fellow in Physical Chemistry at Christ’s College. In 1994, he moved to the Physics Department at Imperial College as a Lecturer, promoted to Professor of Atmospheric Physics in 2005 and was Head of the Space and Atmospheric Physics Group (2014-2020). Since 2020, he has been the Co-director of the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and Environment. Awards include the Phillip Leverhulme Prize for “scholars of outstanding distinction” (2002), a Merit Award by Imperial College for outstanding achievement in research (2004), a Royal Society Industry Fellowship (2006-2010) and a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship (2009-2012) on adaptation in the energy sector. Significant services to the community were as Co-chair of Adaptation Services in the Climate KIC (2013-2015) and co-authoring and reviewing many international reports such as WMO Ozone Assessments, SPARC and IPCC Reports. He has served on the ESA mission advisory and the European Commission Climate Services Road Map groups. He is advisor to the WMO Asia-Pacific Typhoon Collaborative Research Center and on the board for the Japan typhoon dropsonde program. Commercial interactions include being a founding director of OASIS LMF Ltd. which is promoting open access catastrophe modelling for the insurance sector and others. He is Co-Investigator in the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment. Over his career his research has covered a wide range of topics in climate science, atmospheric chemistry, and physics. He has supervised 34 PhD students and leads the largest research group on tropical cyclones in Europe.

Prof. Lucie M. Green is a Royal Society University Research Fellow based at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory. She is very active in public engagement with science. She regularly gives radio and TV talks and supports her departmental public engagement programme. She is the chair of Governors of the UCL Academy, and the chief star-gazer at the Society for Popular Astronomy. She studies space weather and eruptive activity in the atmosphere of our sun. Her research includes the study of the evolution of the sun’s magnetic field and how it drives solar activity that then leads to space weather at the earth, investigation of new techniques to quantify the amount of magnetic helicity ejected by the sun during coronal mass ejection events.

Dr. Chris Needham-Bennett is Managing Director, Needhams 1834 and Visiting Professor at UCL IRDR. In the last 63 years he has variously been a debt collector (corporate not personal), an iron founder, a ski instructor (Austrian qualified), a paratrooper, and he now naturally runs a risk and resilience management consultancy in London. During this time, he also managed to obtain a doctorate in risk and resilience and is currently also a Visiting Professor at University College London. He specialises in the delivery of strategic level training and exercising, working with teams in all sectors from international investment banks to cheesemakers. His perspectives on risk and resilience are sometimes at odds with convention, and it is his belief that resilience is currently becoming mired in conflation with other distinct and separate disciplines.

2:15 PM – Afternoon Break 

2:30 PM – Climate Risk and Private Sector Resilience
Cedrick Moriggi, Holcim

The private sector is facing a number of new challenges associated with complex scenarios distinguished by cascading effects and concurrencies. As many countries and enterprises now look towards this new normal, it is helpful to reflect on the distance covered so far, and to anticipate what lies ahead starting from the assumption that disruptions will happen. This session will explore the transition from crisis management to the development of a new approach more focused on the strategic role of resilience, including the adoption of new tools and roles, or changes in corporate functions.  It will include considerations on lessons learned on adapting to changing conditions, including aspects such as foresight, flexibility and data-driven decision making.

Cedrick Moriggi is a C-Suite Professional with 20+ years of experience in banking, mining, extractive, building, military, and service sectors. He is an innovator and results-driven leader who has successfully integrated multi-cultural teams and stakeholders to create, improve, transform, and downsize corporate functions and businesses. He is an advisor to the chairman, CEO, members of the executive board, and leaders on the protection (Safety and Security), resilience, and recovery of the company’s most valuable assets (human, physical, digital, and reputation). In his current position, as Holcim is Chief Resilience Officer and Chief Security Officer, he has the overall group resilience responsibility with a secondary focus on the global security and resilience responsibility for identifying, protecting, securing, defending and recovering Holcim’s most valuable assets against internal and external threats. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Management, an EMBA and is an associate Professor at EDHEC Business School. He also served as an officer in the Swiss Army for anti-terrorism, intelligence and military justice as a military judge.

3:30 PM – From Continuity to Operational Resilience in a Transitioning Company and Changing World
Katharine Dickens, bp

The shift from a traditional business continuity approach to operational resilience is challenging in a global multinational which spans high risk operations to trading and treasury functions. bp is transforming at the same time as the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world presents complex interconnected risks. In this session, the speaker will explore the challenges involved in applying operational resilience in bp.

Katharine Dickens is Operational Resilience Senior Manager at bp leading on business continuity and the development and adoption of a global operational resilience framework. She is responsible for leading bp’s preparedness for prolonged digital disruption from cyberattacks and leads on digital strategy for crisis and continuity globally. Dickens joined bp in 2012 and has worked in crisis and continuity management in a number of areas including lubricants, trading, and shipping as well as a role supporting senior executives. She started her career working in the NHS in emergency preparedness, response, and resilience in London. Over the last 18 years of her career, she has responded to a wide range of incidents including CBRN, infectious diseases, planning for the London Olympics 2012, pandemics, supply crises, security incidents, product quality, digital outages, and cyberattacks. She holds a geography degree from Oxford University and an MSc in geophysical hazards from UCL. She has a passion for improving learning from incidents and exercises, and acts as the Learning lead for Intelligence, Security and Crisis & Continuity Management at bp.

4:15 PM – A United Nations Perspective: From Disaster Risk Reduction to Resilience, Enhancing the Role of the Private Sector
Sarah Wade-Apicella, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)

We are approaching the midway point of the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015-2030. As the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda (including the Paris Climate Accord and the Sustainable Development Goals), it provides Member States with concrete actions to protect development gains from the risk of disaster. It advocates for the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries. It recognizes that while the State has the primary role in reducing disaster risk, that responsibility should be shared with local government, the private sector and other stakeholders. This session will discuss the progress with a focus on the support and activities from the private sector including through the ARISE Initiative, UNDRR’s private sector partnership.

Sara Wade-Apicella currently leads the UNDRR Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement Unit with a small team facilitating the co-creation and implementation of the UNDRR Sendai Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism – or SEM, the ARISE Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies, parliamentarian, and youth engagement, among other external partnerships, to support the realization of an all-of-society engagement and implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

She has served at UNDRR in two prior roles: at the UNDRR Global Education and Training Institute (GETI), based in the Republic Korea (2015-2022), where she led national training initiatives, training over 1000 representatives from over 50 countries, the UN, and their stakeholders, to support disaster risk reduction strategic planning in coherence with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change; and as the founding Managing Editor of, the UNDRR global disaster risk reduction community knowledge platform (2007-2015). She was also the coordinator of the Information Management for Disaster Risk Reduction (IKM4DRR) network, and member of the Climate Knowledge Brokers group.

Prior to joining the UN, she was an editorial consultant, director of studies for international adult language learning and communications programmes, and held senior positions in online media strategy and production for Newsweek and Fortune magazines, as well as online start-ups. An American national, she holds a Masters in Organization Development and Change from Penn State University (US) and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Smith College (Northampton, Massachusetts, US) and studied at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She and her husband currently live in Geneva with their Korean cat.

5:00 PM – Closing Remarks
Trevor Murphy, DRI International

5:15 PM – Networking Reception

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