With increasingly extreme weather, building resilient communities is a top priority across the nation. However, the factors that make a community or ecosystem resilient are often extremely complex, and require an interdisciplinary approach to understand and cultivate. Further, barriers like public perception of natural infrastructure, how city planners and practitioners value the co-benefits of natural infrastructure when planning, and policies on conventional vs. natural infrastructure in the insurance sector can all contribute to increased vulnerability.
In the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration to overcome these vulnerabilities, the Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems (IRIS), invited representatives from insurance company AXA XL to give a talk about how the insurance sector can influence and promote a more resilient world in coordination with academic groups like IRIS.
Brett Stewart, AXA XL Manager of Loss Prevention and Education, and Staci Brinson, Risk Management and Education Specialist, spoke to the importance of tackling the issue of resilience with interdisciplinary teams.
As Stewart put it, “The key to tackling climate change is a cross-disciplinary approach where multiple markets must come together and collaborate in a way that has never been done before. The insurance industry has a key role to play along with finance, government, NGOs, private industry and leading academic institutions like the University of Georgia.”
Brinson also spoke to how groups like IRIS can develop research that shapes the work insurance companies are able to do.
“The politics are going to change,” Brinson said, “But if the science is there then insurance can push the policies. A partnership between IRIS and AXA XL is an opportunity to integrate policy and science to promote resilient solutions.”
The vulnerabilities created by climate change are complex and multi-faceted; it follows that their solutions would require interdisciplinary teams, with expertise ranging from engineering to insurance–and everything in between. We’re very excited for future opportunities to work with AXA XL in shaping a more resilient future.