Strategic partnerships & collaborative relationships
We believe developing key strategic partnerships affords new opportunities to create mutual value and facilitates the development of additional knowledge, experience and capabilities for those involved and, ultimately, enables us to offer new and enhanced benefits to the clients, organisations and groups we work with.
We welcome approaches from other organisations and companies interested in exploring partnership ideas, whether for a single project or with a view to developing a long term collaborative relationship; please get in touch with us via contact (at) disasterfutures.com.
UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction
UCL IRDR leads research and teaching in risk and disaster reduction at University College London, with at least 70 academics across 12 departments and seven faculties involved in world-class research and practice in the field. It has a rapidly growing interdisciplinary PhD research centre and offers integrative masters teaching, provides a programme of public events and partnerships with humanitarian, financial, research and civil protection organisations, and achieves leadership in risk and disaster reduction both in the UK and internationally.
UCL IRDR will act as academic partner to disasterfutures, working with us to provide guidance on the latest research and new thinking in the field, facilitate access to recognised subject-matter expertise and explore how futures approaches and perspectives can beneficially be incorporated into post-graduate student learning and teaching practice, enhance research methods and contribute to the Institute’s various outreach activities. Additionally, we will seek to identify key emerging issues and trends related to disasters with a view to co-developing new research projects.
UCL IRDR is recognised as a world-leading academic and research institution in the risk, disasters and disaster risk reduction fields, engaging with a comprehensive range of active research themes including risk perceptions, natural hazards, space weather, climate change, health risks and pandemics, technological hazards, disaster engineering and disaster management
We have worked with UCL IRDR on previous projects, specifically related to the Institute’s ongoing Arctic Risks programme. We have an established and active relationship with the Institute, its staff and students and have been invited to teach and take part in a variety of their research outreach and public education activities, including introducing and facilitating futures approaches in their themed risk workshops
Building from current success, IRDR launched the Humanitarian Institute in 2017, aiming to mobilise UCL’s research, expertise, teaching and the student body to impact global humanitarian challenges
The Institute has international research partnerships with Russian, Bolivian, Japanese, Greek, Norwegian, New Zealand, Italian, and Indian partners
Knowledge exchange and making impact are key parts of IRDR’s mission and this ethos underpins the Institute’s approach of co-designing and co-producing research directly with those who can benefit from the findings.
Beyond its established capabilities in Masters and PhD teaching, IRDR:
Actively contributes to the wider academic field and published over 70 papers and book chapters in 2016-17
Engages in a wide variety of international field work, undertaking, in 2016-17, projects in Italy, Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Nigeria, New Zealand, Mexico and Chile
Undertakes independent consultancy assignments and projects, via UCL Enterprise, and also in partnership with others
Develops continuing professional development and bespoke training courses, particularly for the international audience as part of UCL’s commitment to Lifelong Learning. Previous examples include a Disaster Risk Assessment programme (co-developed with Ambiental), delivered to the World Bank
Organises and promotes an ongoing Outreach programme which includes meetings, lectures and symposia open to both the UCL community and the general public and also participates in external public engagement events and outreach activities
Simplexity Analysis are a UK based company specialising in context brokering and analysis and apply this emerging data discovery and information management methodology across a wide range of research problems and market research exercises, having previously undertaken futures-related projects with the UK Ministry of Defence’s Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Map Aid.
Simplexity Analysis will act as a technical partner to disasterfutures, working with us to provide context brokering capabilities for our projects and offering their expertise with data and research process design and data searching, modelling and mapping, including making data sets available for distributed online use and offering a range of data visualisation and manipulation options for clients.
Please visit out Context Brokering page to find out more.
Simplexity Analysis have worked on significant futures projects in the past and retain a high level of awareness of the futures and strategic foresight field and its practices and methodologies
Simplexity Analysis and disasterfutures have worked closely together on previous projects in different areas and, as such, have an established and active relationship which includes ongoing knowledge sharing and idea and service co-development
Simplexity Analysis and disasterfutures are currently developing a context brokering workshop exploring the ‘Future of Disasters’ and, the data gathered and experience gained, will enhance both our horizon scanning service (adnasjur) and enable us to test, refine and improve the workshop approach as an effective way of introducing context brokering to clients interested in incorporating it into their futures projects
Simplexity Analysis applies the following tools and techniques to better understand future trends and complex research problems:
Machine learning – bespoke machine reading and machine learning algorithms are applied to sort data into different classifications enabling large problems to be prioritised and sampled
Software development – experience in the design of software solutions that provide cutting edge analytics and data storage, combining techniques such as context brokering and blockchain technologies
Data Visualisation – development of bespoke scripts and tools for visualising and mapping different information and data requirements. An in depth awareness of a wide range of software solutions to improve analysis processes for busy decision makers.
Market intelligence – a wide range of open source intelligence collection – crawlers and internet searching to gather, structure and manage large scale open source data collection
The Cynefin Centre for Applied Complexity
Complexity Science partner
The Cynefin Centre for Applied Complexity is a transdisciplinary research and development hub which pioneers the application of complexity science to public policy, social issues and academic research.
The Cynefin Centre exists to inform change; to orchestrate a paradigm shift that can radically transform the way we approach intractable issues within the world. By applying the principles of complexity science, the centre believes we can increase citizen engagement, provide a novel approach to policy and governance, and ultimately create new perspectives and ways of acting, not just in the UK but across the globe.
The Cynefin Centre will act as Complexity Science partner to disaster futures, working with us to develop a model of sense making geared towards disaster and crisis related issues. Making use of a highly participatory distributed ethnographic method called SenseMaker®, the partnership will specifically explore the role of human-sensor networks and how crowd-sourced perceptions can contribute to disaster relief.
The centre is open to discussing collaborations with other interested parties.
The Cynefin Centre, through Cognitive Edge, has used the proprietary SenseMaker® software in a variety of foresight and futures settings, particularly in risk assessment and horizon scanning. Previous projects have included engaging conference attendees and digital users in developing micro-scenario assessments of topical affairs including the Greece referendum, Brexit and the North Korea conflict
The Centre seeks to embed a complexity-based approach at the core of foresight and futures work through the application of the widely-used Cynefin framework developed by Dave Snowden, and has been experimenting with various exploratory methods and research initiatives to further develop this approach
SenseMaker® is a narrative-based research methodology that enables the capture and analysis of a large quantity of stories in order to understand complex vector change and measure dispositional states over time. The approach offers a methodological breakthrough for recognising patterns and trends in perceptions, behaviours and relationships
Using SenseMaker®, the Centre promotes a distributed ethnographic approach, which is highly participatory, directly enables individuals to contribute to futures research projects in an inclusive and equal way and which reduces cultural biases in the research process
The Centre applies the following tools and techniques to better understand future trends and complex research problems:
Complex Facilitation Techniques – a collection of workshop-based group methods that allows facilitators to elicit less biased or directed responses, based on principles in complexity
SenseMaker® Collector – this web-based data collection services offers mass capture of large volumes of data on digital app platforms. Offline capture is also available where wifi or mobile coverage are less than ideal
SenseMaker® Analyst – this web-based data visualisation tool provides users with a live dashboard of their SenseMaker® data, which can also be exported in raw formats for use in third-party apps such as Tableau and R
Our ‘3-H’ appeal
Simply put, help us to help ShelterBox to help those who’s lives have been impacted by disasters…
Our ambition for disasterfutures is to help others benefit from strategically thinking about longer-term issues, with a view to understanding how they can develop and implement actions ‘in the present’ which may reduce the detrimental human impacts of disasters, extreme-events and crises within changing future contexts and environments. However, we recognise many are effected by disasters today and so, where possible, we aim to develop practical ways in which we can more directly support both disaster prevention and relief activity.
We have ‘adopted’ ShelterBox as one of our charity partners and aspire to include appropriate and respectful fundraising opportunities as a key component within our future planned activities and also as a means to promote wider awareness of the disaster relief work the organisation undertakes.
ShelterBox are a UK-based charity dedicated to delivering the essentials people need to begin rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of a disaster:
“ShelterBox is made up of people who believe in shelter as a human right – that shelter from the chaos of disaster and conflict is vital. No ifs. No buts. When people are plunged into crisis, normality is suspended. But good, quality shelter can cut through the chaos. This is why we provide the tools that enable people to rebuild homes and transform their lives“
Shelterbox provide aid in the form of ShelterBoxes and ShelterKits:
ShelterBoxes contain family-sized tents specially designed to withstand the elements and provide people with temporary shelter until they are able to start the process of rebuilding a home, and include items that help transform a shelter into a home, like cooking sets, solar lights and activity sets for children
ShelterKits contain a selection of materials, including toolkits, ropes, fixings and heavy-duty tarpaulins, that can be used to make emergency shelters, repair damaged buildings and create the foundations for new homes