Systemic Risk and Resilience (SYRR) aims to assess and support the management of systemic anthropogenic and environmental risks.

The SYRR research group analyses the increasingly systemic socio-ecological risks associated with global and local change, and with policy, practice and civil society co-generates options for building resilience. 

Global change through rising physical and social interdependencies is leading to increasingly systemic and existential risks that lead to cascading impacts and potentially intolerable burdens on communities and societies across the world.

SYRR develops and applies agile systems science to address social-ecological risks that are embedded in complex systems and characterised by potentially cascading, irreversible and existential consequences. We identify risk drivers, model network interactions, assess probabilistic outcomes and co-develop stakeholder-driven options with policy, practice and civil society that are applicable across scales. Our approach for addressing existential and systemic risk combines advanced quantitative modeling and qualitative research with empirical assessment and soft systems analysis.  

Studying systemic risk and resilience in this context includes:  

  • Taking a systems approach for understanding and modelling the interconnected drivers of multiple and compound risks across scales.
  • Utilizing a network perspective for studying complexity in socio-ecological systems.
  • Analysing failure and limits of conventional risk management and adaptation in complex, dynamic and adaptive systems.
  • Developing and carrying out empirical and process-based resilience measurement for addressing key risks.
  • Generating systemic resilience in relevant local to global socio-ecological systems through co-generating effective and applicable policy options that address risks as well as create developmental co-benefits. 

We focus, inter alia, on risk and resilience associated with climate change, disasters, food webs, finance and pandemics. SYRR work builds on activities and experience gained from the previous IIASA programs on Risk and Resilience (RISK) as well as Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) and Evolution and Ecology (EEP).

Models, tools, datasets

Flooded fields

Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC)



Smart Policy Support for Integrated Climate Risk Management (SMARTSUPPORT)


Mia Landauer profile picture

Mia Landauer

Guest Research Scholar (SYRR, CAT)

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Tapio Palokangas

Guest Research Scholar (SYRR)

Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler profile picture

Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler

Senior Research Scholar (SYRR)

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Mario Salgado‐Gálvez

Guest Research Scholar (SYRR)


CSER Researchers at the IIASA workshop

14 July 2023

People and Patterns: IIASA-CSER joint consultation on mitigating the global risks

Researchers from Cambridge University’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) visited the IIASA on 11th and 12th July to explore tools that take a whole systems approach to the global risks we face.  
Hand of young woman

07 December 2022

Reinhard Mechler joins Advisory Committee on Climate Resilience of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)

CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people, especially women, through financial inclusion.
Aerial view of flooding, devastation after natural disaster

09 November 2022

Urgent need to address climate-related losses and damages

With COP27 underway in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the subject of climate-related losses and damages is once again expected to take center stage. IIASA contributed to a new policy brief by the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, of which IIASA is a member, which provides important facts, figures, and context that outline just how vital it is that progress is made on this issue.


Colorful paper-people cutouts holding hands

19 September 2023

Engaging communities in resilience planning: Insights from the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance learning event

IIASA researchers Teresa Deubelli-Hwang and Jung Hee Hyun share insights from a decade of collaborating on fostering flood resilience in communities around the world following a recent Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance learning event.  

28 June 2023

Analyzing the impact of ecosystem services in coastal Brazil

Options Magazine, Summer 2023: IIASA researchers have developed a model to measure the economic value of ecosystem services in Ubatuba, Brazil, emphasizing the need for population control and measures to protect these services.
Americas- Regional Impact
Flag of Nicaragua pinned in world map

19 June 2023

A community-driven flood resilience information platform for Nicaragua

IIASA researchers and colleagues from Plan International are using modern digital tools to enhance community-driven flood resilience in rural flood-prone communities in Nicaragua.