[SE28-DRR] Adapted Technologies for Early Warning Systems: Playing with Uncertainty

DAY 1 – Wednesday 27 June – 3:30pm-5:00pm

Swiss Tech | Room 1B | Level Garden

Session Leaders


Carolina Garcia,

Geological Society of Colombia, Colombia cargalon@gmail.com

Carolina Garcia is a risk manager with interdisciplinary focus. She has participated in several multi-disciplinary projects on risk management, sustainable development, territorial planning and climate change in Latin America and Europe. She has worked in the academy, NGO’s and the regional government. She is currently a Lecturer at different Universities in Colombia and also works as a consultant on disaster risk reduction with an ecosystem based approach. Her aim is to integrate natural and social sciences to generate useful risk reduction products for multiple stakeholders and to reduce the human impact on natural ecosystems.

Carina Fearnley,

University College London


Carina Fearnley is Lecturer at the Department of Science and Technology Studies, focusing on the role of understanding and communicating uncertainty, risk, and complexity to develop resilience to environmental hazards. This research focuses on the need to reconceptualise natural hazard early warning systems by using interdisciplinary approaches to develop better integration of the physical and social sciences involved. This has lead to innovative perspectives and understandings of how warning systems operate. Carina enjoys public engagement activities including BBC radio and TV, Art/Science collaborations including ‘The Other Volcano’ with Nelly Ben Hayoun, and ‘Beside the Ocean of Time’ with Anne Bevan, and she is a frequent guest at the Natural History Museum.




Early Warning Systems – EWS for disasters risk management are fundamental tools to reduce the loss of life when a disasters strikes. That was evident during the 2017 hurricane season that left great amount of damages but few deaths in the Caribbean and North America, greatly due to the implementation of high tech EWS. However, during the same season, similar phenomenon caused thousands of deaths in several countries of South Asia. This happened despite the early warning.

EWS are more than a timely warning; they are composed of four integrated components: risk knowledge, monitoring & warning, communication & dissemination and response capacity. If any of the components fails, the system is meant to fail, even when some of the components are strong.

During this session, participants will be part of a role-playing game on EWS, with different scenarios of economic development, stakeholders’ participation, technology and uncertainty. The game pretends to illustrate the complexity of decision making on EWS and the need of integrating all its components, while assuring the constant participation of all the stakeholders.