Exploring Risk Governance: Assessing and Managing Complexity, Uncertainty and Interdependence in Critical Infrastructure

The workshop occurred October 30th, 2009. To download an audio recording of Suki Wong’s (Public Safety Canada) keynote address, please visit out audio video section. You can also read about the event in the Fall 2009 edition of the CIP Exchange.

Rationale for the Workshop

Critical Infrastructure Protection – activities that enhance the physical and cyber-security of key public and private assets is garnering increased attention among governments and industry stakeholders largely due to the complexity and interdependence of the sometimes fragile systems upon which we rely. Failure in one system can have a cascading effect; it can cause multiple, simultaneous failures, across industries and sectors. There is no single authority to take a binding risk management decision; instead the nature of the risk often requires collaboration and coordination between different stakeholders. The challenge is not merely a technical one. There are many social, legal, business and environmental obstacles that impede successful management of critical assets. These challenges require imaginative solutions that take a broad approach to understanding and managing risk.

Goals of the Workshop

  • Create a cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional space in which participants can access and share diverse and expert perspectives on protecting the critical infrastructure, exploring technical as well as managerial issues.
  • Employ the recent Renn Risk Governance framework to provide a coherent structure to the workshop while at the same time examine and test the utility of this new framework. (The framework was reviewed in the Spring 2008 edition of the CIP Exchange. Read the review and learn more about the framework here.)
  • Focus on understanding the nature and characteristics of different risks and threats to critical infrastructure and examine distinct and appropriate approaches to managing them.
  • Consider future prospects for shared dialogue and collaboration on this subject.


The workshop will be a combination of keynote speakers and interactive sessions led by specialists.

Target Audience

The audience at the workshop will include academics, as well as public and private sector representatives that have an interest in and responsibility for managing and securing critical infrastructure.


For more information please contact: School of Public Administration Dalhousie University (902) 494-3742 Or send an e-mail to cip@dal.ca