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Final Programme




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?

The conference identified, evaluated and discussed 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 built 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 brought 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 was 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 was held at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris.

For more information about agenda, speakers, presentations and organisers , please use the navigation above.

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





Download the final programme here (pdf). In order to download slide presentations, please click on the respective presentation title in the agenda below.


Day 1 – Monday, 13 October 2014


09:00 – 09:30      Session 1.1 Highlights
Welcome and Introduction to the Conference


Luiz de Mello, OECD Directorate on Public Governance and Territorial Development

Jose-Mariano Gago, Instituto Superior Técnico Lisbon and IRGC Foundation Board

Jonathan Wiener, Duke University and IRGC Scientific & Technical Council
Crises and Regulatory Change


09:30 – 11:00      Session 1.2
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?

Jonathan Wiener, Duke University and IRGC Scientific & Technical Council


Edward Balleisen, Duke University
Trajectories of Crisis-Driven Regulatory Change

Elke Weber, Columbia University
Understanding Public Risk Perception and Responses to Changes in Perceived Risk

Lori Bennear, Duke University
Economic Analyses and Policy Regret

Donald Macrae, Independent policy and regulation consultant
Public Risk as Political Hazard


11:00 – 11:30      Coffee Break


11:30 – 13:00      Session 1.3
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).

Lori Bennear, Duke University


Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, Stanford University
Reactions to Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima: An Engineer’s Perspective

Marc Eisner, Wesleyan University
Crisis, Policy Learning, and the Emergence of a Regime for Oil Spill Risks

Javier Reig, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency
Nuclear Regulation: The Impact of Operating Experience


13:00 – 14:30      Lunch Break


14:30 – 16:00      Session 1.4
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.

Kimberly Krawiec, Duke University


Youssef Cassis, European University Institute
Regulatory Responses to the Financial Crises of the Great Depression: Britain, France and the United States

Gert Wehinger, OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs
The OECD and its Role in International Regulatory Responses to the Financial Crisis

Michel Maila, Global Risk Institute and IRGC Advisory Committee
Learning the Right Lessons from a Financial Crisis

Kimberly Krawiec, Duke University
Lessons from Financial Crises


16:00 – 16:30      Coffee Break


16:30 – 18:00      Session 1.5
Crises, Regulatory Change, and Learning to Improve Regulation

This session will bring 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)?

Edward Balleisen, Duke University


Stephane Jacobzone, OECD High Level Risk Forum
Lessons from Crises and Major Events: The Contribution of the OECD High Level Risk Forum

Nick Malyshev, OECD Regulatory Policy Division
Regulatory Enforcement and Inspections: OECD Best Practice Principles

Lori Bennear, Duke University
Role of Independent Investigation Agencies in Crises

Concluding remarks
Jonathan Wiener, Duke University and IRGC Scientific & Technical Council


18:00 – 19:30      Cocktail Reception
All participants are invited to attend a cocktail reception



Day 2 – Tuesday, 14 October 2014


08:30 – 09:00      Session 2.1
Welcome and Introduction to Conference Day 2


Philippe Gillet, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and IRGC Foundation Board

Nick Malyshev, OECD Regulatory Policy Division
Risk Regulation and the Links to Regulatory Policy

Colin Scott, University College
Parameters of Innovation in Risk Regulation


09:00 – 10:30      Session 2.2
Understanding Behaviours to Regulate Risk – 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 behavioural sciences can inform the design of more robust risk regulation and policies.

Faisal Naru, OECD Regulatory Policy Division


Wandi Bruine de Bruin, Leeds University Business School and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council
Lessons Learned from Behaviour Change Interventions

Serena Pontoglio, European Commission DG Energy
How Energy Efficiency Modelling Can Benefit from Behavioural Sciences: Open Questions and a Research Agenda

Andrew Burgess, UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets
How Regulation Can Address Changes in Behaviour?

Faisal Naru, OECD Regulatory Policy Division
The Use of Behavioural Economics by Governments to Regulate Risk-Related Issues


10:30 – 11:00      Coffee Break


11:00 – 12:30      Session 2.3
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 pharmaceutical 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 discriminatory approaches to the management of risks and uncertainty over the full life cycle of drugs.

Ken Oye, MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation and IRGC Scientific & Technical Council

Mark Pearson, OECD, Health Division
Introductory remarks


Hans-Georg Eichler, European Medicines Agency
Recent Developments in Europe

Theresa Mullin, US Food and Drug Administration
Recent Developments in the US

Anton Hoos, M4P (Medicines 4 Patients) Consulting Ltd., London
An Industry and Patients’ Perspective on Recent Developments

Concluding remarks
Ken Oye, MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation and IRGC Scientific & Technical Council


12:30 – 13:30      Lunch Break


13:30 – 15:00      Session 2.4
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

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 complement 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.

Nick Malyshev, OECD Regulatory Policy Division


Fabrizio Cafaggi, European University Institute
Private Standards and Transnational Risk Regulation

Terry F. Yosie, World Environment Center
Emerging Strategies for Managing Changing Risks:  An Examination of Business Sector and NGO Initiatives

Kevin McKinley, International Organization for Standardization
International Standards Supporting Public Policies


15:00 – 15:15      Coffee Break


15:15 – 16:30      Session 2.5
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.

Granger Morgan, Carnegie Mellon University, IRGC Scientific & Technical Council
Introduction: Flexible Regulation and Technological Innovation: Be Sure You Actually Want What You Ask For


Richard Meads, European Risk Forum
Innovation and the Regulation of Risk

Dirk Pilat, OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation
OECD Work on Innovation and Risk Regulation


Following the conference, Claire Mays (Institut Symlog) will prepare conference highlights.
Lorenzo Allio (European Risk Forum) will coordinate an IRGC publication on innovation in risk regulation.



The programme is subject to modifications.





(in alphabetical order)


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

Edward J. Balleisen is Associate Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and Senior Fellow at Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, where he directs the “Rethinking Regulation” project. His most recent essays consider the role (or absence) of historical analysis in regulatory decision-making, the evolution of business self-regulation in the United States, and the policy dynamics of co-regulation. More information

Abstract: Trajectories of Crisis-Driven Regulatory Change
The Duke research project, “Recalibrating Risk” has commissioned several conceptual essays on risk perception, the economics of crisis events, and the social construction of crisis in political discourse.  We have also assembled three clusters of case studies on crisis-driven regulatory policy-making in industrialized democracies, focused on nuclear accidents, offshore oil spills, and global financial meltdowns.   We observe that the varied types of regulatory changes induced by crises consistently turn on perceptions about their likely reoccurrence and their proximity (often geographic, sometimes social or technological).   At the same time, policy changes are mediated by preexisting political and social patterns, such as prevailing ideas about past crises, appropriate regulatory goals and the most effective techniques of governance.  We also find that crisis-driven regulatory policy-making typically plays out over a period of a decade or more, reflecting a cycle of heightened awareness, inquiry into crisis causes, consideration and elaboration of policy alternatives, and reconfiguration of political coalitions and relevant interests.  We are assessing how regulatory systems can best prepare to learn from crises, to avoid either over- or under-reactions while drawing useful lessons for reform.



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

Abstract (1.2): Economic Analyses and Policy Regret
In the wake of a crisis, a common refrain is “Why didn’t we do more to prevent the crisis.” This response, which we refer to as policy regret, implies systematic failure in the regulatory process that hinders implementation of programs and policies that would actually have been welfare enhancing. We argue that some systematic misrepresentations of risk such as ignoring fat tail probabilities and correlated tail risks have contributed to poor analyses and resulted in well-founded policy regret.  However, in other cases the analyses were well conceived and the crisis happened anyway. In such cases there may be nothing objectively regrettable about the prior policy approach although in the case where the crisis reveals new information, policy revision may be warranted.

Abstract (1.5): Role of Independent Investigation Agencies in Crises

Research undertaken at Duke University examines the potential role for permanent, independent investigatory agencies to help the government manage and learn from crises.   One example of an independent investigatory agency that is widely viewed as successful is the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the United States.  In contrast, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) in the United States is not viewed as successful in managing accidents in the chemical industry despite the fact that this Board was modeled on the NTSB.  This presentation will examine the history and function of these two boards, assesses the characteristics associated with success and failure, and provides implications for the potential use of these types of agencies in crisis management beyond transportation and chemicals.

IRGC_portraits_02_02Wandi Bruine de Bruin  Leeds University Business School, UK and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council
Professor with Leadership Chair in Behavioural Decision Making

Wändi Bruine de Bruin is Professor of Behavioural Decision Making at the Leeds University Business School (UK), where she also serves as the co-Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Decision Research. Her research interests include risk perception, risk communication, and individual differences in decision-making competence across the lifespan. More information

Abstract: Lessons Learned from Behaviour Change Interventions
Behaviour change interventions are an essential element of policy making, and have been developed to promote health behaviour, increase retirement savings, and reduce energy use, and so on. In this presentation, I will review some of the key lessons learned from behaviour change research in different domains, while recognizing important challenges that still remain.


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

Andy works across Ofgem’s two network divisions and brings together policy thinking across the different types of energy networks – transmission and distribution in both electricity and gas. He is particularly involved on the distribution side in developing thinking on smarter grids, network innovation connections and stakeholder engagement on gas transmission policy and charging. He is Co-Chair of the CEER (European Regulators) Smart Grids Co-ordination Group and a member of the Bureau of the OECD Network of Economic Regulators.

Abstract: How Regulation can Address Changes in Behaviour
It may be assumed that the main role of economic regulators is to ensure compliance of rules by market players and incentives on monopoly service providers. This may not convey the entire picture. Economic regulators are responsible for making markets work in the interests of consumers. The need to understand behaviour by market players including consumers is critical to be able to be the “referee” and act accordingly to achieve the right outcomes. This presentation will present perspectives from an energy regulator on the use and potential of behavioural approaches in energy markets including on consumer protection and networks.


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

Fabrizio Cafaggi is Professor of Comparative Law at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and Professor of Private Law at the University of Trento, Italy. He is an affiliate of the American Law Institute. He is a founding member of the European Law Institute. He earned his J.D cum laude at University of Rome and his Ph.D. in Law at University of Pisa, Italy. He has been visiting professor at Columbia Law School NYC and at San Andres Law School, B.A. Argentina. More information

Abstract: Private Standards and Transnational Risk Regulation
Global private actors play an ever significant role in transnational risk regulation (TRR). They set standards, monitor their compliance and contribute to their enforcement. They complement the public sphere in the regulatory process and often overcome obstacles to harmonization, unachievable through political processes of states’ negotiation. The transnational private sphere is however a complex world, where conflicting interests translate into different and at times divergent approaches related to both objectives and instruments of risk regulation. Empirical research shows that divergences within the private sphere emerge both in relation to risk assessment and risk management. Identical standards are implemented differently depending on which regulatory instrument is selected, and how inclusive the implementation process is. Unlike the more conventional perspective that looks at legitimacy questions, the presentation will focus on the effectiveness of TRR carried by private actors, in particular civil society organizations (CSO). They perform three main functions: (1) Increase coordination and reduce transaction costs along global supply chain; (2) Reduce and resolve conflicts among private interests (addressing both allocative and distributional conflicts); (3) Stabilize risks by ensuring organizational responses against external shocks. International policies of TRR should not only acknowledge the role of the private sphere but also clearly define power and responsibilities of private actors in transnational regulatory processes.


CassisYoussef Cassis  European University Institute, Italy
Professor of Economic History

Youssef Cassis is Professor of Economic History at the European University Institute. His work mainly focuses on banking and financial history, as well as business history more generally. His latest book, Crises and Opportunities – The Shaping of Modern Finance, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. More information

Abstract: Regulatory Responses to the Financial Crises of the Great Depression: Britain, France and the United States
The regulatory responses to the financial crises of the Great Depression have greatly varied between Britain, France and the United States, the world’s leading financial powers in the interwar year –from extremely severe measures in the United States to belated and milder ones in France, and no regulation at all in Britain. These differences can be attributed to the greater severity of the financial crisis in the United States, and the devastating effects of the war on Britain and France, intensifying the level of state intervention in the European countries’ banking affairs. Everywhere, the ‘lessons’ from the Great Depression must be put in perspective. The regulations which characterized the third quarter of the twentieth century were the result of an exceptional historical period marked by two world wars, a devastating economic crisis, massive political upheavals, and shifts in ideological outlooks –the ‘Thirty Years War’ of the twentieth century.


EichlerHans-Georg Eichler  European Medicines Agency (EMA), London
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.

Abstract: Recent EMA Developments
Dr. Hans-Georg Eichler, Senior Medical Officer of the European Medicines Agency, will present on recent EMA developments including pharmacovigilance legislation,  the EMA/EUnetHTA Post Market Data Plan, and the EMA Adaptive Licensing Pilots.


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

Abstract: Crisis, Policy Learning, and the Emergence of a Regime for Oil Spill Risks
Crisis plays a central role in revealing the inadequacy of existing policies and institutions and creating a window of opportunity for change. If the policy response is sufficient, future crises can be averted or, at the very least, the risk of catastrophic outcomes can be reduced. The presentation explores the policy response to two events separated by twenty years: the Santa Barbara oil spill (1969) and the Exxon Valdez disaster (1989). Over the course of this period, members of the policy community expanded and clarified liability, created mechanisms for funding oil removal and remediation, and emphasized prevention and response preparedness. The resulting regime—the Oil Pollution Act of 1990—was largely successful in reducing the frequency and magnitude of spills.


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

Professor José Mariano Gago is an experimental high energy physicist and a Professor at IST (Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon). He graduated at IST and obtained a PhD in Physics at École Polytechnique and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris. He worked as a researcher at the European Organisation for Nuclear Physics (CERN), Geneva, and in Portugal’s Laboratory for Particle Physics (LIP) that he created and currently chairs. He is also Former Minister of Portugal, in charge of Science and Technology, Information Society and Higher Education (1995-2002 and 2005-2011). More information


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

Philippe Gillet is Vice-president for Academic Affairs and Full Professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, since April 2010. He graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris (Ulm) and obtained his PhD in Geophysics and Geochemistry at Université de Paris VII. He was Director of the Institut des Sciences de l’Univers at CNRS, as well as Director of the Ecole Normale Supérieure at Lyon. Before joining EPFL, Philippe Gillet was Chief of Staff of the French Minister of Higher Education and Research.  More information


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

Abstract: An Industry and Patients’ Perspective on Recent Developments
Dr. Anton Hoos,  Principal of M4P (Medicines4Patients) Consulting will examine recent initiatives in the US and Europe from the perspectives of industry and patients, with attention to sponsor interests in how regulatory reforms mesh with product development realities and to patient interests in access to safe and efficacious medicines.


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

Mr. Jacobzone currently has responsibility for the OECD activities under the High Level Risk Forum (HLRF) as part of the OECD public governance policy cluster. The HLRF led the OECD Recommendation on the Governance of Critical Risks, adopted by the OECD MCM meeting in 2014, and also contributed in 2012 to a G20/OECD framework on Disaster Risk Assessment and Financing. He also co-ordinates the OECD Public Governance Committee, including developing thematic work on strategic agility and trust in government. His experience includes governance of regulatory oversight, the institutional design of economic regulators, multi-level regulatory governance and the future of regulatory policy.

Abstract: Lessons from Crises and Major Events: The Contribution of the OECD High Level Risk Forum
Crises represent critical turning points for public policies. They offer an opportunity to shake up governance and regulatory systems, for the better or the worse. The OECD Recommendation on the governance of critical risks calls for transparency and accountability in risk-related decision making. Effective knowledge sharing from previous events through ex post review is essential towards improved preparedness and resilience planning, guarding against unintended adverse impacts, such as the creation of additional risks or the failure to recognise changes in risks. The presentation will draw from the findings of a recent workshop, sharing tools from post event investigations to mechanisms for policy and organisation learnings, defining feedback loops, and incorporating audits for quality assurance. The focus will be on adaptative capability, strengthening the strategic agility of risk management responses.


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

Kimberly D. Krawiec is Professor of Law at Duke University. She studies risk regulation in financial and other markets, including derivatives regulation and the regulation of trading operations and activities.  Her recent work examines the regulatory process surrounding the Volcker Rule. More information

Abstract: Lessons from Financial Crises
Dozens of major financial panics have occurred since the advent of modern banking, public finance, and corporate securities markets, touching nearly every society that has embraced the basic institutions of capitalism. The Duke research project, “Recalibrating Risk,” has commissioned case studies of regulatory responses to three significant episodes of widespread financial instability: (1) the regulatory response to the great depression by the world’s leading financial powers of the time – Britain, France, and the United States, (2) a series of financial crises during the post-Bretton Woods era from 1973 to 1997, with a focus on the response in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, and (3) the regulatory consequences of the most recent Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, which began in the American mortgage market before spreading to other American debt markets, housing markets in several other countries, and the market for European sovereign debt. This presentation will discuss common themes from these case studies, including the roles of the magnitude and length of crises, the proximity of the crisis, the importance of framing, and the path dependency of regulation.


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.

Abstract: Public Risk as Political Hazard
The UK’s Risk and Regulation Advisory Council (RRAC) (2007 – 2009) studied the phenomenon of regulatory response to heightened public anxiety, especially following a disaster, and offered advice to Ministers in how to avoid feeling forced to adopt bad regulation. It was followed through by the Dutch Risk and Responsibility Programme, which is still current.  This talk will outline the main findings and recommendations of the RRAC and suggest a tool, based on the IRGC Risk Framework, to provide Ministers with a political analysis of the issue, in parallel to a risk analysis, in order that the political pressures can be handled better and reduce the risk of adopting bad regulation.


MailaMichel Maila  Global Risk Institute, Canada, and IRGC Advisory Committee
President and CEO

President and CEO of the Toronto-based Global Risk Institute in Financial Services.  Earlier, he served as VP, Risk Management at the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank. More information

Abstract: Learning the Right Lessons from a Financial Crisis
The presentation will discuss some  “dubious “ lessons from the 2007/2008 period and some “right “ ones from the same period.



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 (link).

Abstract: Enforcement and Inspections Reform: A Greater Focus on Regulatory Delivery
The quality of the regulatory environment and the delivery of regulatory outcomes is not only based on how regulations are designed. Scarce attention has been paid to examining possibilities for improving the way regulations are implemented and enforced. Nonetheless, the delivery of regulatory outcomes cannot be effective without a proper enforcement of regulations. Regulators in many countries are increasingly under pressure to do “more with less”. While demands to better protect environment, health and safety of citizens have increased, the current economic crisis forces governments to reduce spending on public administration, including regulatory enforcement activities. In addition, inspections often create unnecessary burdens both for the state and those inspected. A well‑formulated enforcement strategy, providing correct incentives for regulated subjects can help reduce monitoring efforts and thus the costs for both business and the public sector, while increasing the efficiency and achieving better regulatory goals.


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

Kevin McKinley is Deputy Secretary-General of ISO since November 2003, leading ISO’s strategy development and implementation efforts, and the organization’s core standards policies and activities supporting International Standards. Kevin was previously Director at the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the Crown Corporation responsible for Canada’s National Standards System, and before that with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), having started his career in project engineering and environmental issues at Imperial Oil Canada. Kevin holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and a Bachelor of Science in Kinanthropology from the University of Ottawa.

Abstract: International Standards Supporting Public Policies
The presentation will review the voluntary, global, multi-stakeholder approach taken in ISO to develop pragmatic, authoritative and widely-accepted solutions to global challenges. It will show how many of ISO’s standards support public policies or national/regional technical regulations.


MeadsRichard Meads  European Risk Forum, Belgium

Richard has been involved with regulatory reform and the public management of risk for over 15 years, working with a number of think tanks. A History graduate from Oxford University and a Chartered Accountant, he began his business career with British Petroleum, where he worked in a range of different functions including finance, corporate planning and marketing. For the last two decades, he has worked as a director for Business Decisions Limited, advising national governments, international organisations, major corporations, and business groups on the impact of public policy on the behaviour and performance of private sector enterprises. More information

Conference contribution: Innovation and the Regulation of Risk
For mature economies, innovation is the single most important driver of economic growth. It flourishes when societies create conditions in which investors, managers, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to take risks. Governments have a major role to play in creating a business environment that is supportive of innovation. Regulation of risk, an important focus of public policy for more than two centuries, affects three important aspects of the business environment for innovators and risk-takers: public attitudes to risk acceptance, science, and new technologies; market conditions, including regulatory-induced barriers to market access; and access to knowledge and ideas.


De Mello

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

Luiz de Mello is Deputy Director of the Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate at the OECD. Previously, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff of the OECD Secretary-General. He started his career at the OECD in the Economics Department, where he was the Head of Desk responsible for bilateral surveillance activities with Brazil, Chile and Indonesia before becoming the Economic Counsellor to the Chief Economist. Prior to joining the OECD, Mr. de Mello worked in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund, where he was involved in different projects in the areas of public finances, as well as programme monitoring and policy surveillance, with an emphasis on emerging-market and transition economies in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Mr. de Mello holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Kent, UK. His main areas of interest are open-economy macroeconomics, public finances, and growth and development issues.



Granger Morgan  Carnegie Mellon University, USA and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council
University and Lord Chair Professor of Engineering

Chairman of IRGC’s Scientific and Technical Council, University and Lord Chair Professor of Engineering; Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University; Co-Director of the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making and of the the Electricity Industry Center. More information

Abstract: Flexible Regulation and Technological Innovation: Be Sure You Actually Want What You Ask For
Industry often bemoans the inflexible nature of regulation, calling for more adaptive approaches.  At the same time it prefers known regulatory environments for which it can plan.  This presents a tension. Using examples, including a proposal for a US framework to regulate carbon capture and deep geological sequestration, Morgan will briefly suggest strategies that can be adopted to resolve this potential conflict.


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

Abstract: Recent FDA Developments
Dr. Theresa Mullin, Director of the Office of Strategic Programs of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, will present on recent U.S. developments, including patient-focused drug development, FDA Breakthrough Product Designation, formalized benefit-risk assessment, and use of pharmaceutical quality metrics.


workshopfoto-seite-5-topFaisal Naru  OECD, France
Senior Economic Advisor, Regulatory Policy Division

Mr Faisal Naru is Senior Economic Advisor of the Regulatory Policy Division, OECD, leading work on behavioural economics, regulatory impact assessment and Ex-post evaluation for the OECD Regulatory Policy Committee, and heading the OECD work on regulators. Mr. Naru also heads up the regulatory policy work in Southeast Asia, MENA and Africa and advises on work in Latin America. Mr. Naru is a former member of the UK Cabinet Office and was the Chief Regulatory Advisor with the Government of Viet Nam on economic and regulatory reforms. He graduated with BA and MA from Oxford.

Abstract: The Use of Behavioural Economics by Governments to Regulate Risk-Related Issues
The use of behavioural economics by governments to regulate is a growing trend globally. There is an increase in the application of the inductive scientific method to the study of economic activity that is helping OECD countries to shape regulatory policies based on the actual, and not assumed, behaviour of people. Most notably the United States and United Kingdom have been introducing behaviourally informed policies, but the number of countries has increased considerably. The OECD published in 2013 an overview of experiences in behavioural economic interventions in regulatory policy (link).


IRGC_portraits_10Kenneth Oye  MIT, USA and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council
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

Dr. M. Elisabeth Paté-Cornell’s specialty is engineering risk analysis with application to complex systems. Her research has focused on explicit inclusion of human and organizational factors in the analysis of systems’ failure risks. Her recent work is on the use of game theory in risk analysis with applications that have included counter-terrorism and nuclear counter-proliferation problems. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the French Academie des Technologies and of several boards including Aerospace, Draper Laboratory and InQtel. More information

Abstract: Reactions to Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima: An Engineer’s Perspective
The three main nuclear accidents caused very different reactions, across the world and over time. These reactions of the governments (and their regulatory agencies), the public, and the industry depended on the experience and knowledge about nuclear energy, the attitude towards global climate change, the political atmosphere, and the economic situation -with growing energy demand- at different times. I will describe this evolution and what has been done since then to improve nuclear safety.


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

Mark Pearson is Deputy-Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at OECD. Mr. Pearson joined the Organisation in 1992. He became head of the Social Policy Division from 2000-2008. In 2009 he became Head of the Health Division. Prior to joining the OECD, Mr. Pearson worked for the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, and also as a consultant for the World Bank, the IMF and the European Commission.



Dirk Pilat  OECD, Paris
Deputy Director, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation

Dr. Dirk Pilat is Deputy Director of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation. He joined the OECD in February 1994 and was Head of the Science and Technology Policy Division from 2006 to January 2009, and Head of the Structural Policy Division from February 2009 to December 2012. Before joining the OECD, Mr Pilat was a researcher at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, where he also earned his Ph.D. in Economics. Website

Abstract: OECD Work on Innovation and Risk Regulation
This presentation will briefly set out some of the OECD’s work on innovation and risk regulation, with a focus on biotechnology and nanotechnology. It will provide concrete examples of how policy is seeking to manage the risk of innovation in these areas, and sets out the OECD’s work in these areas. It will also point to some of the challenges ahead.


DSC_2158Serena Pontoglio  European Commission, Brussels
Policy Officer, DG Energy

Serena Pontoglio is Policy Officer on Energy Efficiency at the European Commission, Directorate General for Energy. She holds a PhD on Environmental Policies and Innovation from the Catholic University of Milan. Before joining the EC in 2009, she worked as lecturer and researcher in environmental economics and policies at the Italian National Research Council (CNR CERIS – Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth).

Abstract: How Energy Efficiency Modelling Can Benefit from Behavioural Sciences: Open Questions and a Research Agenda
A better knowledge of consumers’ behaviour will improve the modelling of energy efficiency policies’ impacts assessment and could provide insights to policy measures’ design. The representation of behaviours in energy modelling will benefit from more research and empirical analyses of consumers’ choices and of the disaggregation of consumers in clusters. This is related to the composition of discount rates within energy models and to how discount rates are influenced by energy efficiency measures. Key questions are: How much do market barriers prevent households from reducing consumption of energy and how can these market barriers be removed? How discount rates work in individual decision making? What’s the influence of monetary and non-monetary incentives in individual decision-making?


no-profile-man-mediumJavier Reig, OECD, Nuclear Energy Agency, France
Head of Nuclear Safety Division

Javier Reig is the Head of the NEA nuclear safety division since January 2004. He coordinates all NEA safety and regulatory activities, working with safety authorities, technical support organisations and industry. From 1996 to 2004 he was working in the Spanish nuclear regulatory authority, Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear, as Director for International Relations. From 1994 to 1996, he was coordinating international activities in the NEA safety division, related to severe accident assessment and research and accident analysis

Abstract: Nuclear Regulation: The Impact of Operating Experience
Nuclear regulation, and in particular the nuclear safety element, is evolving with time to reflect good practices, improvement of knowledge and operating experience. Incorporation of operating experience has been included in all the programmes since the very beginning of nuclear power uses, both by industry and regulatory authorities. Any incidents that challenge plant safety obviously deserve special attention from both sides.
Because of this, the international community has established systems to collect, share and learn from any significant event in the world – reflecting the shared belief that “a nuclear accident anywhere is an accident everywhere.‎” The main lessons learnt from major commercial nuclear accidents, e.g., Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima Daiichi (2011) have been incorporated into new regulations and new practices all over the world. The operating experience feedback has also underlined the importance of risk-informed regulations which apply not only to design principles but very much also to operating procedures and managerial strategies.



Ortwin Renn  University of Stuttgart, Germany and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council
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

Abstract: Regulatory Responses to Large-Scale Accidents in Europe: Oil Spills and Nuclear Accidents
Oil spills such as the Deepwater Horizon accident in the US and nuclear accidents such as TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima, have been the cause for major new safety assessments and often new regulatory activities in the European Union as well as among the various European States. The paper will report about regulatory reforms and political actions in the aftermath of these accidents, describe the difference in responses between France and Germany in the nuclear case, and between UK and Norway in the case of the oil spills. One of the research results has been that regulatory action echoes the resonance of these accidents in public opinion and among major stakeholder groups. It is interesting to note that the more severe the regulatory activity, the lesser is the benefit associated with it while perceived seriousness of the risk is only moderately correlated with the regulatory activity.



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

Abstract: Parameters of Innovation in Risk Regulation
The concept of regulatory innovation could be just a fad to repackage the old policy wine in shiny new bottles. However, regulatory innovation could be deployed also in a way to encourage policy makers in the risk sphere to rethink policy solutions, but also how they think about the problems. Following insights from Julia Black and Peter Hall, I distinguish the kind of changes which might be classified as innovations at three levels. I suggest that changing the settings of a regulatory regime, for example by recalibrating the standards is a change but not an innovation. Second order changes, the adoption of new institutional structures or techniques, for example replacing rule based prohibitions with market incentives, have a stronger claim to innovation, and may yield stronger and sometimes unexpected changes in the targeted behaviour. I suggest in this presentation that third level changes, shifts, as Julia Black has it, in the cognitive or normative framework of a regime, present the greatest challenges, but also, perhaps, the greatest potential for tackling apparently intractable problems of risk regulation. Such an approach may involve drawing in the new actors or new techniques of the second order change.  But, beyond that,  third order innovation requires policy makers to lead or participate in the kind of reflexive governance which enables them and other stakeholders to re-think both preferences and problems associated with risks in a way that may eliminate or re-cast the problem, or offer previously unthinkable solutions.


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

Professor Weber works at the intersection of psychology and economics. She is an expert on behavioral models of judgment and decision making under risk, uncertainty, and time delay. Weber is past president of three professional societies: Judgment and Decision Making, Mathematical Psychology, and Neuroeconomics. She founded and codirects the Center for Decision Sciences and the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University. More information

Abstract: Understanding Public Risk Perception and Responses to Changes in Perceived Risk
I will review the psychological literature on the public’s perception of risk and its effect on individual and collective responses to risks and crises. Perceived risk often is a “feeling” (dread, feeling out of control) not closely connected to objective risk statistics.  Feeling at risk motivates action, but this flag goes down when some action has been taken, giving rise to a “single-action bias.” Social, institutional, and cultural processes typically amplify individual responses to triggering events that change risk perception. Different attributions of changes in risk—to a previous failure to accurately assess risk vs. a change in external circumstances—call for different solutions. Trust in regulatory agencies or other groups that can help control risk play an important role.


GerWehingert Wehinger, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, France
Senior Economist, Financial Affairs Division

Dr Gert Wehinger is a Senior Economist at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Paris, France, where he has been holding assignments in the Economics Department (1999-2003) and the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs (since 2003).
Working for the OECD Committee on Financial Markets, he is monitoring and analysing markets’ current events and structural developments as well as regulatory changes. As organiser of the OECD “Financial Roundtables” he is fostering the Committee’s dialogue with the private financial sector.

Abstract: The OECD and its Role in International Regulatory Responses to the Financial Crisis
Based on analyses of underlying causes of the 2008 financial crisis the OECD has provided policy advice designed help restore confidence, put financial systems back to work and to shape a post-crisis financial landscape with the aim of striking a better balance between financial stability and growth. As an active participant to the G20 and the Financial Stability Board, the OECD has advised financial regulators in improving the regulatory framework and has been mandated to participate in a variety of G20 work streams, ranging from financial education and consumer protection to long-term investment and the development of local currency bond markets as well as structural bank reforms. Ever more interconnected, complex and global financial markets and institutions require enhanced international co-operation – in terms of monitoring, supervision and regulation as well as policy responses to crises.



Jonathan Wiener  Duke University, USA and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council
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

Abstract: Crises and Regulatory Change
It is frequently observed that crisis events spur public outcry and thus changes in regulation. But it has been less well studied how different events may shape different types of regulatory changes, with different outcomes (some better than others). This is the question examined by the project on “Recalibrating Risk: Crises, Perceptions and Regulatory Change,” based at Duke University and involving an international team of experts. The project studies a variety of crisis-driven regulatory changes across several case studies, and seeks lessons for how government officials and non-government actors can learn to do better. Related work is ongoing at the IRGC on Emerging Risks, and at the OECD both in the Regulatory Policy Division and the High-Level Risk Forum. A key theme is the value of advance planning and institutional design to prepare to learn from the crises that may occur in the future.


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

Abstract: Emerging Strategies for Managing Changing Risks:  An Examination of Business Sector and NGO Initiatives
Intensifying global megatrends create new sources of risk to public health and the environment, to the effectiveness of existing regulatory processes and to the management of global companies.  Collaboration between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and leading global companies has intensified to better understand and manage these risks at local, regional and global levels.  Such collaboration is yielding insights on the scale of risks, new governance models, opportunities for innovation, and specific risk management strategies that incorporate sustainability.  Discussion of these inter-related issues can yield important information and case studies for the design of future regulatory strategies by:  modifying the scope and locus of decision making; improving scientific tools and methods; identifying opportunities for collaboration across government, NGO and private sector institutions; and developing a future research agenda.






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


The 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 issues, 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. OECD work on Regulatory Policy aims to help government achieve policy 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. IRGC is located and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)


Committees & Sponsors



International Risk Governance Council

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. 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


Duke University, Recalibrating Risk Project

Co-Organisers / Co-Editors of the project and book: Prof. Edward Balleisen, Prof. Lori Bennear, Prof. Kimberly Krawiec, Prof. Jonathan Wiener.










Recalibrating Risk Project









• 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.
Private regulation can be coordinated and integrated with public regulation, i.e. it could be leveraged and harnessed by public regulators in order to better meet the objectives of public law. For example, private standard setting can be harnessed when private standards are put into public regulation.

• 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



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


OECD Conference Centre
2 rue André Pascal, 75116 Paris, France
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