Hélène Schernberg: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2021

Name Dr. Hélène Schernberg
Lehre Management, Technol. u. Ök.
ETH Zürich, SEC D 5
Scheuchzerstrasse 7
8092 Zürich
DepartmentManagement, Technology, and Economics

363-1162-00LResilience in the New Age of Risk3 credits2VH. Schernberg, C. Hölscher, J. Jörin, G. Sansavini
AbstractWith the global increase in interconnectivity, the potential for disruption is everywhere. Modern organisations who build resilience in all systems will respond intelligently to emergent disruptions. This course explores the concept of resilience and its application to socio-technical systems: The resilience of infrastructure systems and how individuals and social groups interact in and with them.
ObjectiveAfter taking this course, you will be able to:
- Discuss the concept of resilience and related frameworks and concepts, and explain their relevance in different contexts (organizations, infrastructure, social groups…).
- Use and discuss key resilience metrics and use them to analyze infrastructure systems.
- Discuss the role of organizational resilience and describe methods to improve it.
- Describe how resilience is applied in practice.
ContentOur increasingly complex and connected systems face continuously emerging disruptions. Resilience constitutes a fundamental departure from the philosophy of risk-management. With resilience, stakeholders adopt risk mitigation strategies aligned to the theories of complex systems.

It is, however, difficult to learn about resilience, since it applies to an extremely large array of systems and contexts. Moreover, the topic of resilience is surprisingly absent from most university curricula. This course fills a gap and walks you through a mode of thinking that is bound to shape the way risks and disasters are dealt with in our increasingly connected society. Hence, tomorrow's risk managers will and shall also be "resilience managers".

This course breaks down the concept of complex systems and their resilience. It introduces some of the different flavors of resilience and provides tools for building it in various socially relevant areas (social resilience, engineered systems resilience, organizational resilience...).

The course is divided in 4 parts.
- Part 1: Foundations of Resilience (4 hours)
- Part 2: Resilience Analysis: Infrastructure Systems (10 hours)
- Part 3: Organizational resilience and sensemaking (6 hours)
- Part 4: Resilience in Practice (4 hours)

Part 1 introduces the concept of resilience, and the framework in which it is applied. The distinction between resilience and risk management is highlighted, as well as how these approaches complement each other. The founding concepts of resilience are explained and illustrated: vulnerability, disruption, absorption, recovery, adaptation, etc.

Part 2 walks you through the analysis of the resilience of infrastructure systems. It introduces the useful metrics of resilience. It provides examples of building resilience into complex systems, by increasing the robustness and recoverability of systems, and reducing vulnerabilities. Finally, students will explore the optimization of infrastructure systems.

Part 3. Every system subject to potential disruptions is managed by a human organization. Sensemaking describes how humans frame the problem. It is a process whereby organizational actors attach meaning to external events to resolve the uncertainty surrounding them. Investing in mindfulness improves personal and organizational resilience and success. Finally, the management of organizational resilience is discussed.

Part 4 will provide examples of the use of resilience by practitioners, with guest speakers from the public and private sector.

This course is aimed at MSc and MAS students, from MTEC and other departments. Ideally, students have a quantitative background and some knowledge of risk management.
LiteratureThe Science and Practice of Resilience, Book by Benjamin D. Trump and Igor Linkov
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course is hybrid (in-person or remote).
Taught competenciesTaught competencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Decision-makingnot assessed
Media and Digital Technologiesnot assessed
Problem-solvingnot assessed
Project Managementnot assessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationnot assessed
Cooperation and Teamworknot assessed
Customer Orientationnot assessed
Leadership and Responsibilitynot assessed
Self-presentation and Social Influence not assessed
Sensitivity to Diversitynot assessed
Negotiationnot assessed
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilitynot assessed
Creative Thinkingnot assessed
Critical Thinkingnot assessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsnot assessed
Self-awareness and Self-reflection not assessed
Self-direction and Self-management not assessed
364-1058-00LRisk Center Seminar Series0 credits2SB. J. Bergmann, D. Basin, A. Bommier, D. N. Bresch, L.‑E. Cederman, P. Cheridito, F. Corman, O. Fink, H. Gersbach, C. Hölscher, K. Paterson, H. Schernberg, F. Schweitzer, D. Sornette, B. Stojadinovic, B. Sudret, J. Teichmann, U. A. Weidmann, S. Wiemer, M. Zeilinger, R. Zenklusen
AbstractThis course is a mixture between a seminar primarily for PhD and postdoc students and a colloquium involving invited speakers. It consists of presentations and subsequent discussions in the area of modeling complex socio-economic systems and crises. Students and other guests are welcome.
ObjectiveParticipants should learn to get an overview of the state of the art in the field, to present it in a well understandable way to an interdisciplinary scientific audience, to develop novel mathematical models for open problems, to analyze them with computers, and to defend their results in response to critical questions. In essence, participants should improve their scientific skills and learn to work scientifically on an internationally competitive level.
ContentThis course is a mixture between a seminar primarily for PhD and postdoc students and a colloquium involving invited speakers. It consists of presentations and subsequent discussions in the area of modeling complex socio-economic systems and crises. For details of the program see the webpage of the colloquium. Students and other guests are welcome.
Lecture notesThere is no script, but a short protocol of the sessions will be sent to all participants who have participated in a particular session. Transparencies of the presentations may be put on the course webpage.
LiteratureLiterature will be provided by the speakers in their respective presentations.
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipants should have relatively good mathematical skills and some experience of how scientific work is performed.