Banner OECD14


At a glance

Conference flyer
Draft summary agenda

Registration form




Please note: Available places are limited. All new incoming registrations are subject to confirmation.

New approaches to regulation may be stimulated by careful research and practical experience, but also spurred by crisis events that alter perceptions and spark demand for policy change.  What can we learn from these diverse sources of regulatory change? How can we do a better job in fostering constructive regulatory improvement?

This conference will identify, evaluate and discuss the relevance and effectiveness of new approaches to improving risk governance, both as they result from responding to and learning from crises, and as deliberate innovations in how regulatory power is exercised and shared.  It will build upon:

  • Work from the OECD Regulatory Policy Division of the Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate,  about “Risk and Regulatory Policy – Improving the Governance of Risk” and recommendation about performance- and consumer-based regulation. The OECD works to improve the welfare of citizens by providing better protection, more efficient government services and reduced costs for business
  • The project on “Recalibrating Risk: Crises, Perceptions and Regulatory Change,” of the Rethinking Regulation program at Duke University.  This project investigates how regulatory policies and institutions change in response to crisis events, and seeks lessons for the future
  • IRGC’s work on the role of regulatory frameworks and institutional arrangements in the context of risk governance, including mechanisms for adaptive regulation that are able to update in response to new information and contexts

The conference intends to bring together practitioners of risk governance and regulation from private, public and academic organisations interested in sharing knowledge and enhancing their understanding of crisis and new forms of risk regulation. It is hosted and co-organised by the OECD Regulatory Policy Division (of its Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate), together with the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) and the Rethinking Regulation program at Duke University.  The conference will be held at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris.

For more information about agenda, practical details and organising parties, please use the navigation above.

Should you have any questions, please contact Marcel Bürkler at the IRGC Secretariat:





Download the draft summary agenda here (pdf).


Day 1 – Monday, 13 October

Recalibrating Risk: Crises, Perceptions and Regulatory Change

The first day of the conference – organised by the Duke University program on Rethinking Regulation, and its project on “Recalibrating Risk: Crises, Perceptions and Regulatory Change” – will examine how crisis events spur diverse types of regulatory responses, including tightening standards, reorganising government bodies, delegating to non-state actors, and others. Examining a number of case studies from oil spills, nuclear accidents and financial crashes, presentations will consider changes in perceptions, culture, regulatory institutions, innovation, and the characteristics of effective (or ineffective) regulation.

08:00 – 09:00 Registration

Please note: Arrive early; allow at least 30 minutes for the OECD accreditation procedure.

Session 1.1
09:00 – 09:30 Welcome and Introduction

This session will introduce the overall Recalibrating Risk project to study how crises influence subsequent regulatory change, and how regulatory systems can be designed to learn and respond better to crises.

  • Luiz de Mello, OECD, Directorate on Public Governance and Territorial Development
  • Jose-Mariano Gago, IST and IRGC Foundation Board
  • Jonathan Wiener, Duke University and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council

Session 1.2
09:30 – 11:00 Crises and regulatory change: Conceptual frameworks

This session will address the key questions of the Recalibrating Risk research project, including:  How do events become framed and understood as crises? When are incidents perceived as ordinary; or as unusual but just unlucky; or as marking a new state of the world that demands action? How do crises influence public and expert perceptions? How do crises influence regulatory change – both its likelihood and its type (e.g. tighter standards, higher penalties, splitting up regulatory bodies, combining regulatory bodies, delegating to non-state actors, etc.)? Why do different types of regulatory change arise after different crises? How (un)successful are regulatory changes arising from crises (including regarding effectiveness, cost, and side effects)? How can regulatory systems be better designed to learn from crises and adopt more successful responses in the future?

Moderator: Jonathan Wiener, Duke University and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council

  • Edward Balleisen, Duke University
  • Elke Weber, Columbia University
  • Lori Bennear, Duke University
  • Donald Macrae, Independent policy and regulation consultant

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break

Session 1.3
11:30 – 13:00 Crisis case studies: Energy crises – oil spills and nuclear accidents

This session will examine key case studies of crisis events and regulatory change in the energy sector:  Oil spills in Europe and the USA from the 1970s to the present (including Amoco Cadiz, Exxon Valdez, and BP Deepwater Horizon); and nuclear power accidents in Europe, the USA and Japan from the 1970s to the present (including Three Mile Island 1979, Chernobyl 1986, and Fukushima 2011).

Moderator: Lori Bennear, Duke University

  • Ortwin Renn, University of Stuttgart and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council
  • Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, Stanford University
  • Marc Eisner, Wesleyan University
  • (tbc) Thierry Dujardin, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch

Session 1.4
14:30 – 16:00 Crisis case studies:  Financial crashes

This session will examine key case studies of crisis events and regulatory change in financial markets, from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the global financial crisis since 2008.

Moderator: Kimberly Krawiec, Duke University

  • Kimberly Krawiec, Duke University
  • Youssef Cassis, European University Institute
  • Adrian Blundell-Wignall, OECD, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs
  • Michel Maila, Global Risk Institute

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee break

Session 1.5
16:30 – 18:00 Crises, regulatory change, and learning to improve regulation

This session will be a roundtable that brings together key findings, themes and insights from the preceding sessions.  How do crises influence the types of regulatory change?  How successful are these regulatory responses?  How can we improve the design of regulatory systems to make them more successful at learning from crises and at developing better regulatory responses?  Are there specific institutional mechanisms that can be studied and borrowed across issue areas and across countries (e.g., independent inquiry commissions)?

Moderator: Edward Balleisen, Duke University


  • (tbc) Tjibbe Joustra, Dutch Safety Board
  • Stephane Jacobzone, OECD High Level Risk Forum


  • Nick Malyshev, OECD, Regulatory Policy Division
  • Lori Bennear, Duke University
  • Kimberly Krawiec, Duke University
  • Jonathan Wiener, Duke University and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council

Discussion with the audience

This session will be followed by a cocktail reception for all participants.


Day 2 – Tuesday, 14 October

Innovation in risk regulation: Improving regulatory design for more relevant and effective risk governance

The second day will focus on the contribution of new forms of regulatory instruments that can improve regulation of risk governance. It will discuss: (1) Insights from behavioural science to inform better risk policies and regulation, (2) Managing uncertainty over the life cycle of drug development and use : Introducing adaptability and flexibility in pharmaceuticals regulation, and (3) The role of non-government actors in regulating risk (e.g. via co-regulation, self-regulation, standard setting) across different sectors.

Session 2.1
8:30 – 9:00 Introduction

  • Welcome
    Nick Malyshev, OECD, Regulatory Policy Division
    Philippe Gillet, EPFL and IRGC
  • Colin Scott, University College Dublin

Session 2.2
9:00 – 10:30 How behavioural economics and science can provide insights and inform better risk policies and regulation

Insights from behavioural economics are nowadays at the forefront of regulatory policy and governance, for improving the design of regulation and providing more effective outcome. The key is in working to understand how people behave in reality, without simply assuming that they behave according to pre-established economic and political theories. This session will explore how behavioral sciences can inform the design of more robust risk regulation and policies. It will elaborate from experiences in the health sector, but focus in particular on consumer behaviour in the context of energy transition in Europe.

Moderator: Faisal Naru, OECD, Regulatory Policy Division

  • Faisal Naru, OECD, Regulatory Policy Division
  • (tbc) Paul Hodson, European Commission, DG Energy
  • Andrew Burgess, OFGEM (UK)
  • Wandi Bruine de Bruin, Leeds University

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break

Session 2.3
11:00 – 12:30 Managing Uncertainty over the Life Cycle of Drug Development and Use: Enhancing Adaptability and Flexibility in Pharmaceuticals Regulation

This session will examine risk regulation in a sector marked by rapid advances in science and technology. Exponential improvements in gene sequencing, gene synthesis and information technology have provided a foundation for revolutionary advances in the biological sciences. These scientific and technical changes are reshaping development processes and products in the pharmaceuticals sector. Unlike ordinary consumer products, drugs may not be marketed without advance regulatory approval. Licensing is based on projections of safety, efficacy, and acceptable manufacturing quality, with revisions to the conditions of licenses as safety, efficacy or quality issues arise in use. This panel will focus on regulatory initiatives to foster innovation while improving use of pre-market and post-market information. The European Medicines Agency and Food and Drug Administration are developing more adaptive and discriminating approaches to the management of risks and uncertainty over the full life cycle of drugs.

Moderator: Ken Oye, MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council
Introduction: Mark Pearson, OECD, Health Division, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

  • Hans-Georg Eichler, European Medicines Agency
  • Theresa Mullin, US FDA
  • Anton Hoos, M4P Consulting Ltd.
  • Ken Oye, MIT and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

Session 2.4
13:30 – 15:00 What is and can be the role of non-government actors in regulating risk (e.g. via co-regulation, self-regulation, standard setting) across different sectors (e.g. chemical industry, energy efficiency, drug licensing)

Non-governmental actors, especially those affiliated—whether directly or indirectly—with the business community, can be involved in delivering or fostering positive regulatory outcomes in risk regulation.  There is a variety of economic and civil society actors that contribute to the information gathering and voluntary standard setting, and thus act to modify the behaviour of specific economic actors, in complementarity to or sometimes in place of government regulation. For example, some sectors have found that self-regulation (as the decision of an individual firm, industry or market to set its own standards and enforce them) is useful to control their own activity. Public-private regulatory governance includes rule-making and oversight mechanisms.

Moderator: Nick Malyshev, OECD, Regulatory Policy Division

  • William Magwood, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency
  • Fabrizio Cafaggi, European University Institute
  • Terry F. Yosie, World Environment Center
  • Kevin McKinley, ISO

15:00 – 15:15 Coffee break

Session 2.5
15:15 – 16:30 Risk regulation to support technological innovation

This policy session will debate about how to improve regulation of risk in order that innovation is enhanced. In the field of new technologies for example, it is essential to address potential emerging risks without discouraging healthy risk taking and stifling innovative activities. There are effective ways to manage risk without constraining innovation that this session will discuss, including prevention and mitigation of attendant risks, liability issues, provision of appropriate incentives and development of regulatory environments that provide stability as well as flexibility and adaptability.

Facilitation and introduction: Granger Morgan, CMU and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council


  • Richard Meads, European Risk Forum
  • (tbc) OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry

Discussion with the audience



This is a draft agenda and subject to modifications. v09Sept2014.




(in alphabetical order)


106811y_balleisen0002Edward Balleisen  Duke University, USA
Associate Professor of History, Senior Fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics



BennearLori Bennear  Duke University, USA
Associate Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy

Lori Bennear is an Associate Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University.  Her research focuses on evaluating flexible environmental policies including information disclosure regulations, management-based regulations, and demand-side management programs. She has applied these evaluations across a range of environmental domains including toxics, drinking water, and energy.  She received a Ph.D. from Harvard University, an M.A. from Yale and an A.B. from Occidental College. More information


Blundell-WignallAdrian Blundell-Wignall  OECD, France
Director in the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs



IRGC_portraits_02_02Wandi Bruine de Bruin  Leeds University Business School, UK
Professor with Leadership Chair in Behavioural Decision Making



BurgessAndrew Burgess  Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, UK
Associate Partner, Transmission and Distribution Policy



CafaggiFabrizio Cafaggi  European University Institute, Italy
Professor, Director of the Centre for Judicial Cooperation



CassisYoussef Cassis  European University Institute, Italy
Professor of Economic History



EichlerHans-Georg Eichler  European Medicines Agency (EMA), UK
Senior Medical Officer

Hans-Georg Eichler, M.D., M.Sc., is the Senior Medical Officer at the European Medicines Agency in London, United Kingdom, where he is responsible for coordinating activities between the Agency’s scientific committees and giving advice on scientific and public health issues.


EisnerMarc Eisner  Wesleyan University, USA
Professor, Henry Merritt Wriston Chair of Public Policy

Marc Eisner is the Henry Merritt Wriston Chair of Public Policy at Wesleyan University. Eisner is author or coauthor of several books on regulation and political economy.  His current research focuses on regulatory design and the dynamics of regulatory change. More information


Gago2José Mariano Gago  Instituto Superior Técnico, IRGC Foundation Board, Portugal
Professor, Experimental High Energy Physics



IRGC_portraits_04Philippe Gillet  EPFL, IRGC Foundation Board, Switzerland
Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Full Professor



HoosAnton Hoos  M4P (Medicines 4 Patients) Consulting Ltd., UK
Director and Owner

Tony has 24 years of professional experience in the global pharmaceutical industry. He is currently President of M4P (Medicines 4 Patients) Consulting. Tasks include MIT NEWDIGS’ adaptive licensing work and coordination of the Patient – CMO Roundtable for GSK, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer and UCB. Previously he was a Senior Vice-President in GSK’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer. More informaiton


JacobzoneStéphane Jacobzone  OECD, France
Counsellor, Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development



KrawiecKimberly Krawiec  Duke University, USA
Kathrine Robinson Everett Professor of Law



MacraeDonald Macrae  UK
Independent policy and regulation consultant

Following a distinguished career as a government lawyer in the UK, Donald Macrae has been developing a second career as an international consultant in Policy and Regulation, working in regulatory reform and risk-based regulation, mainly with the World Bank.


MagwoodWilliam Magwood  OECD, Nuclear Energy Agency, France




MailaMichel Maila  Global Risk Institute, Canada
President and CEO





Nick Malyshev  OECD, France
Head Regulatory Policy Division, Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development

Nick Malyshev is Head of the OECD Regulatory Policy Division where he directs country reviews of regulatory reform. He has worked extensively on the topic of risk and regulation which resulted in the 2010 publication Risk and Regulatory Policy, Improving the Governance of Risk.


McKinleyKevin McKinley  International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Switzerland
Deputy Secretary-General



MeadsRichard Meads  European Risk Forum, Belgium



De Mello

Luiz de Mello  OECD, France
Deputy Head of Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate




Granger Morgan  Carnegie Mellon University, IRGC S&TC, USA
University and Lord Chair Professor of Engineering

M. Granger Morgan is Professor of Engineering and Public Policy; also Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and in the H. John Heinz III College; Co-Director of the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making; Co-Director of the Electricity Industry Center. His research addresses problems in science, technology and public policy with a particular focus on energy, environmental systems, climate change and risk analysis. More information

MullinTheresa M. Mullin  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA
Director, Office of Strategic Programs

Theresa Mullin Ph.D. is Director of the Office of Strategic Programs of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.  Her current responsibilities include leading FDA patient-focused drug development, leading FDA’s international drug regulatory harmonization work including ICH reform, and establishing a global pharmaceutical quality surveillance capability for FDA. More information


no-profile-man-mediumFaisal Naru  OECD, France
Senior Economic Advisor, Regulatory Policy Division



IRGC_portraits_10Kenneth Oye  MIT, IRGC S&TC, USA
Associate Professor of Political Science and Engineering Systems

Kenneth A. Oye, Ph.D., is Director of the MIT Program on Emerging Technologies and Associate Professor of Political Science and Engineering Systems. He is a faculty associate at the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation and served as a member of the PCAST expert advisory group on pharmaceuticals innovation. More information


Paté-CornellElisabeth Paté-Cornell  Stanford University, USA
Burt and Deedee McMurtry Professor of Engineering, Professor of Management Science and Engineering



PearsonMark Pearson  OECD, France
Deputy Director, Employment Labour and Social Affairs




Ortwin Renn  University of Stuttgart, IRGC S&TC, Germany
Professor for Environmental Sociology and Technology Assessment

Ortwin Renn serves as full professor and Dean of the Economic and Social Sciences Department and as director of the Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies at the University of Stuttgart. He also directs the non-profit environmental policy making research institute DIALOGIK. Renn also serves as Adjunct Professor for “Integrated Risk Analysis” at Stavanger University (Norway) and as Affiliate Professor for “Risk Governance” at Beijing Normal University. Moreover, he co-directs the German Helmholtz-AllianceMore information



Colin Scott  University College Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Principal, UCD College of Human Sciences; Professor of EU Regulation & Governance

Colin Scott is Principal, UCD College of Human Sciences and Professor of EU Regulation & Governance. He studied law at the London School of Economics and at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. Prior to his appointment at UCD in April 2006 he lectured at the University of Warwick and at the London School of Economics.  He is Director of the UCD Centre for Regulation and Governance, established in 2010. He is a co-author of the Irish State Administration Database (2010) and is also a co-editor of Legal Studies. More information


WeberElke Weber  Columbia University, USA
Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business; Professor of Psychology




Jonathan Wiener  Duke University, IRGC S&TC, USA
William R. and Thomas L. Perkins Professor of Law, Professor of Environmental Policy, and Public Policy

Jonathan B. Wiener is a professor, at Duke University, USA, a member of the IRGC, and a University Fellow of Resources for the Future (RFF).  He was President of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) in 2008, and co-chair of the World Congress on Risk in 2012.  His publications include Risk vs. Risk (1995) and The Reality of Precaution: Comparing Risk Regulation in the US and Europe (2011). More information


YosieTerry F. Yosie  World Environment Center (WEC), USA
President and CEO

Terry F. Yosie joined the WEC in October 2006 as the President & CEO. Dr. Yosie has held senior-level management positions in government, corporate and consulting organizations and currently serves on the National Research Council’s Committee on Scientific Tools and Approaches for Sustainability to advise the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  He is the author of more than seventy professional publications (including co-editor of Sustainable Environmental Management) and has lectured at several prestigious universities. He received his Doctorate in Humanities and Social Sciences from CMU in 1981 and received its Alumni Achievement Award in 2013. More information







Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Regulatory Policy Division

logooecd_enThe OECD is an inter-governmental organisation that works to promote policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. It provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. It sets international standards on a wide range of things, from agriculture and tax to the safety of chemicals. The Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development helps countries to implement strategic, evidence-based and innovative policies to strengthen public governance and improve citizens’ trust in government. Regulatory Policy is about achieving government’s objectives through the use of regulations, laws, and other instruments to deliver better economic and social outcomes and thus enhance the life of citizens and business.‌


Rethinking Regulation program
at The Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University; Project Recalibrating Risk

clearrrsubsiteheaderbgThe Duke project “Recalibrating Risk: Crises, Perceptions and Regulatory Change” (forthcoming) examines the diverse types of regulatory responses that might be adopted in response to a crisis, including tightening standards, reorganizing government bodies, delegating to non-state actors, and others. Analysing case studies on oil spills, nuclear power accidents, and financial crashes (each in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and elsewhere), the project looks at changes in perceptions, culture, regulatory institutions, innovation, and the characteristics of effective (or ineffective) regulation. The objective is to understand how and why crises drive different types of policy change, and how we can learn to do better in response to future crises. The project is led by faculty at Duke University, with about twenty chapter authors from the U.S., Europe, and Japan, and from a diverse range of disciplines.


International Risk Governance Council (IRGC)


The International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) is a non-profit and independent foundation whose purpose is to help improve the understanding and governance of systemic risks that have impacts on human health and safety, on the environment, on the economy and on society at large. IRGC’s mission includes developing concepts of risk governance and providing risk governance policy advice to decision-makers on key emerging, ignored or neglected issues. Drawing upon international scientific knowledge and expertise from both the public and private sector to develop fact-based recommendations to improve the design and implementation of risk governance strategies, IRGC operates as an independent think-tank and neutral convening platform with multidisciplinary expertise to help bridge the gaps between science, technological development, policymakers and the public. IRGC meets its objectives by facilitating international collaborative research projects, disseminating results through publications and organising conferences and roundtables focusing on specific risk issues and their governance. With network partners in Asia, North America and Europe, IRGC’s extensive network includes technical and policy experts in universities, government institutes and corporations from around the world. IRGC convenes these leaders on a regular basis to stimulate debate and advance the science and practice of risk governance.


Committees & Sponsors



IRGC committees:

Members of the Foundation Board: Philippe Gillet (Chairman), Vice-president and Provost, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland; Charles Kleiber (Vice-chairman), Former State Secretary for Education and Research, Switzerland; John Drzik, President, Global Risk and Specialties, Marsh LLC, USA; José Mariano Gago, Former Minister for Science Technology and Higher Education, Laboratory for Particle Physics (LIP), Portugal; Christian Mumenthaler, CEO Reinsurance, Swiss Reinsurance Company, Switzerland; Margareta Wahlström, Assistant Secretary-General, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Switzerland; Wang Weizhong, Vice-minister, Ministry of Science and Technology, People’s Republic of China. Full profiles

Members of the Scientific and Technical Council: Prof. M. Granger Morgan (Chairman), Head and Professor, Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, USA; Dr. V. S. Arunachalam, Founder and Chairman, Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), Bangalore, India; Prof. Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Professor of Behavioural Decision Making, Leeds University Business School, UK; Associate Professor of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, USA; Dr. Gérard Escher, Senior Advisor to the President, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland; Dr. John D. Graham, Dean, Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, USA; Prof. Manuel Heitor, Professor, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal; Prof. Janet Hering, Professor of Environmental Biogeochemistry, EPFL; Professor of Environmental Chemistry, ETH Zurich; Director, EAWAG, Switzerland; Prof. Kenneth Oye, Associate Professor of Political Science and Engineering Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA; Prof. Arthur Petersen, Professor of Science, Technology and Public Policy, University College London (UCL), UK; Prof. Ortwin Renn, Professor of Environmental Sociology, University of Stuttgart, Germany; Prof. Jonathan Wiener, Professor of Law, Duke Law School; Professor of Environmental Policy and Public Policy, Duke University, USA; Prof. Xue Lan, Dean and Professor, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, People’s Republic of China. Full profiles


IRGC sponsors:






Recalibrating Risk Project sponsors:









• Crises can trigger changes in institutional design and regulation

The project on “Recalibrating Risk: Crises, Perceptions and Regulatory Responses,” conducted by the “Rethinking Regulation” Group at Duke University, studies how crisis incidents can lead institutions to rethink their regulatory policies and institutional design.  The project features conceptual analyses and case studies including oil spills, nuclear accidents, and financial crashes, over the past several decades around the world.  Crisis-driven regulatory change can be hasty and poorly designed, but with preparation, it can also be thoughtful and successful.

• Regulatory changes often result from multi-stakeholder processes

In several industries (such as the chemical industry, for example), the redesign of a regulatory framework has been the outcome of a multi-stakeholder process, where industry has first engaged in voluntary risk management frameworks, or code of conducts, and then collaborated with government and other actors on official rules. Regulators can also count on reputational and financial issues, to encourage an industry to consider risk management as a serious matter. It is interesting to learn from experiences in various sectors, about the characteristics of effective regulatory frameworks that meet the needs and acknowledge constraints of important affected stakeholders.

• Regulation is also a matter for non-regulators

Risk regulation is a regulator’s responsibility, but it is increasingly also a matter for “non-regulators”, namely the private sector or NGOs, for their expertise in the regulated field and their engagement in effectively supporting and applying regulation. Success or failure of a regulation is often determined by the extent to which it is respectful of constraints and needs of affected stakeholders. To the extent that risk and benefits are often interlinked, risk-based regulation need to consider the upside of risk, i.e. the opportunities that may require risk-taking and the risks that may be worth incurring in order to obtain benefits.

• Risk regulation to support technological innovation

Regulation and innovation can go together. In the field of new technologies for example, where it is essential to stimulate innovation and its deployment, effective regulation, liability issues or the provision of incentives that stimulate effective risk management without constraining innovation can be key factors of success.

• Adaptive regulation is a possible way to deal with risk in rapidly evolving scientific fields

The design of flexible and adaptive regulation is currently the focus of attention in other fields than in the environmental sector, which pioneered work to adapt regulation as feedback from experience and more scientific knowledge was collected. For example, the biotechnology sector is an evolving field where experimentations are currently made, for progressive market authorisation of new pharmaceuticals, with the view to developing progressive licensing and authorisation, as on-going field testing provides empirical data for the refinement of the regulatory framework.

• Finding the right level of variation in regulations

Regulatory cultures and regulatory frameworks may vary between countries (while much borrowing and diffusion of regulatory approaches also occurs across countries). Variation can reflect policies being tailored to local conditions and preferences, i.e. seeking local optimality.  Variation in regulation can also be a source of learning from experience that enables adaptive improvement over time.  Meanwhile, it is also true that variation in regulation can create barriers to trade, and international collaboration is needed to overcome these barriers, especially when different regulatory cultures imply that similar risk issues will be regulated differently across countries. Uncertainty about future regulation can be an obstacle to business development, but business can talk with regulatory authorities, and reflect good practices for regulatory improvement.

• Command-and-control regulatory standards are not the only instruments available for risk regulation

Extensive experience with flexible economic incentive instruments shows that they can be more cost-effective than traditional prescriptive standards.  Other forms of governance can also be considered, in complement to regulation. “Nudging”, for example, is a term given to a process based on understanding consumer behaviour, for the purpose of prompting modified behaviours more adapted to the desired outcome. Nudging can be considered for modifying consumption or behaviour. One approach is to set the default option to encourage what ought to be the optimal choice (e.g., food purchasing, energy use, retirement savings, organ donation), while still offering the option to opt out.



Practical Info



Participants are responsible for arranging their own accommodation in Paris. OECD offers commercial rates for visitors with hotels in the area. More information is available here (pdf).


Participants are responsible for their meals. There are four cafes/restaurants on site. Participants are invited to a cocktail reception following the first conference day on Monday, 13 October.

Conference fees

Participation is free of charge.


For questions or additional information please contact:
Marcel Bürkler, Project & Event Manager, IRGC Secretariat

Dress code

Business casual

How to attend

Conference participation is free of charge.
Prior registration required. Places are limited. Please register here.

Registration on site / Reception desk

Upon arrival, you must register with the OECD reception desk in order to obtain a visitor’s badge. Please bring photo identification with you.
Please noteArrive early; allow for at least 30 minutes for the OECD accreditation procedure, as Monday morning is a particularly busy time.


Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. No travel grants are available.


OECD Conference Centre
2 rue André Pascal, 75116 Paris, France
How to get there



Missing essential information? Please send a message to