In recent years, the term multi-hazard has been extensively used by agencies interested in studying a multitude of hazards individually. At the INTERFACE institute, we are focused on quantitatively and qualitatively evaluating the interaction between different hazard types on the system- and network-levels. As such, one of the institute’s main goals is to initiate collaborative initiatives from multiple disciplines to identify and evaluate hazard interdependencies, interacting mechanisms and consequences.
We live in complex societies that will continue to interact, both spatially and temporally, and will evolve as mutually interdependent microcosms made up of sophisticated linked systems. This rapidly evolving system complexity has not been met with a comparable understanding of the interdependence between these systems. Without such understanding, the collapse of one system can lead to cascading catastrophic failures of the entire network. The INTERFACE institute is focused on forming unique teams, with in-depth expertise of different natural, built and cyber infrastructure systems to tackle system interdependency grand challenges.
While dealing with multi-hazard requires engineering and natural and medical sciences expertise by necessity, the preparedness and management of the subsequent risk, is by nature a matter of economics and social sciences. As such, by adopting a unique systemic risk approach, the INTERFACE institute is focused on integrating and mobilizing knowledge from different fields to address the most pressing societal problems. In the institute, we constantly create functioning teams from different fields to tackle wicked problems where system interdependence, cascading vulnerabilities and multiple hazard interactions coexist.