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How Cascading Risks from Technology, Geopolitics, and Ecology Accumulate and How to Mitigate Them
Please confirm the time and date of the webinar at cisac.fsi.stanford.edu/cisac-events as dates and times may change.

Systemic risks derive from a mix of economic, technological, socio political, and ecological factors. Inherently interdisciplinary, the study of systemic risk draws on financial shock models, operations research, global health, foresight, management, military strategy, risk assessment, risk sociology, disaster research, security studies, science and technology studies, existential risk research, as well as the AI risk and biorisk communities. Pulling together core insights from those fields, the talk presents the argument that even mid-range (meso level) risks may become systemic, and so might contribute to catastrophic or even existential outcomes, depending on the order and magnitude of the interaction effects between them. However, the study of systemic risk requires developing transdisciplinary tools that can better integrate the insights drawn from these disparate fields despite high uncertainty. Nevertheless, apart from a tiny literature on risk assessment of rare events (black/grey swans), and embryonic efforts at the the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) at a high level of abstraction, there is still no overarching framework specifically formulated for systemic risks beyond economics.

This talk seeks to promote the integrated study of systemic risk by offering a snapshot of five risk scenarios for 2075 (in video format), a custom-created board game, a transdisciplinary approach, conceptual clarifications, risk factor identification heuristics, and early results from an ongoing survey. The talk includes a novel attempt to structure and visualize systemic risk factors. It also sketches a notation that enables a simple way to annotate relationships between systemic risks and the cascading effects and relationships between them. Lastly, the case is made that we need a dual notation (scientific and lay) for any scenario

Apr 4, 2023 01:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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