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February 25, 2016

National Workshop: Understanding Vulnerability within the Water Sector: Enabling Resilience

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National Workshop – Nov.13, 2016, Toronto, ON
Understanding Vulnerability within the Water Sector: Enabling Resilience
Workshop leader: Dr. Anthony Masys, Defence Research and Development Canada
Today, nations face an uncertain and complex security landscape in which threats impact/target the physical, social, economic and cyber domains. Threats to national security, such as that against critical infrastructures not only stem from man-made acts but also from natural hazards. The Canada/US Blackout (2003), Hurricane Katrina (2005), Fukushima (2011) and Hurricane Sandy (2012) are examples highlighting the vulnerability of critical infrastructures to natural hazards and the crippling effect they have on the social and economic well-being of a community and a nation. 
With man-made and natural hazard threats to critical infrastructure, such as the water sector, policy makers, emergency planners and managers find themselves with problems that are complex, interdependent and dynamic. Actions and interventions associated with this complex problem space can have highly unpredictable and unintended consequences.  Moving towards the development of solutions to these complex problem spaces depends on the lens we use to examine them and how we frame the problem. Systems Thinking, Soft Operations Research and network analysis have had great success in contributing to the management of complexity. 
This workshop will help stakeholders within the water sector and greater CI community examine their vulnerabilities through the application of systems thinking and soft operations research methods. Through facilitated exercises, attendees will learn how to apply systems thinking to support both vulnerability analysis and resilience. In particular the workshop will focus on:
  • Systems Thinking
  • Scenario Planning
  • Structured Argumentation
  • Red Teaming
  • Assumption based Planning
  • Network Analysis

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