Is the 21st Century’s Risk Thermostat still similar?

Shima Beigi, Colin Taylor

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstractpeer-review


Various infrastructure scholars share their concerns on the need for developing:
1. Better approaches to risk management.
2. More effective vulnerability analysis.
3. Transparent resilient-focused frameworks.
To respond to these concerns, for better analysis of the interconnections between technical systems and exploration of the interdependencies between social systems and critical infrastructure systems, Complexity Analysis, Network Science, System Dynamics (SD), and Agent Based Modelling (ABM) were developed in recent years. However, these novel approaches mostly capture the technical aspects of interconnections (e.g. Redundancy and interoperability) and leave the qualitative elements (e.g. Social cohesion, communities’ adaptive capacity, the degree of stakeholders’ awareness of shared risks and the degree of the observed degrees of complexities) widely unexplored. In this article, we focus on the later in three phases. In the first phase, we provide a critical review of these approaches to social and technical interdependencies. In the second phase, we investigate how increases in the rate of systemic complexities and the pace of social-technical interdependencies can modify the ‘Risk Thermostat Model’. In the third phase, we explore how the two forces of complexity and interdependency influence the dynamics of this model’s elements including: stakeholders’ propensities to take risks, corporate rewards, shared accidents, balancing behaviours and shared perceived dangers. We conclude that the balance of ‘Risk Thermostat’ is globally shared and observed by different stakeholders. Thus, developing a culture of collaboration and a resilient mode of thinking have to be on the forefront of infrastructure resilience vision.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusIn preparation - 7 Jul 2015
EventThe 2015 International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure- Washington DC- Modelling and Simulation Track - Washington DC, Washington DC, United States
Duration: 14 Sept 201515 Sept 2015


ConferenceThe 2015 International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure- Washington DC- Modelling and Simulation Track
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington DC


  • Resilience
  • Risk communication
  • Infrastructure planning


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