How we work

The earth’s ecological systems and humanity face escalating, interconnected, systemic risks. The Accelerator for Systemic Risk Assessment (ASRA) is a global initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the urgent need to anticipate and manage these critical threats, and accelerating the development of practical tools that decision-makers need to inform their actions.

The problem.

Systemic risks are multiplying and intensifying—from emerging technological risks, geopolitical conflict, and the erosion of democracy to hunger, pandemics, biodiversity loss, ecological degradation, climate change, inequity, and more. All of these risks pose the threat of irreversible harm. Yet, the mainstream frameworks, methodologies, data, and tools we use to assess and respond to risks today are insufficient to effectively grapple with the complex and dynamic reality of the interrelated nature of these risks.

Our response.

Systemic risks pose fundamentally different challenges compared to risk assessment of any single problem. We are therefore mobilizing a global network of transdisciplinary experts and practitioners, including the next generation, to radically rethink risk in this context and work together to speed up the development of the tools, methods, and strategies that decision-makers need in order to effectively respond to complex, interconnected, and cascading crises. We may not be able to anticipate the next great global shock, but we can take action now to assess and transform our systems, making them more resilient, equitable, and sustainable today.

Our approach.

  • We take a principles- and evidence-based approach to enable collaboration, guide our thinking, and inform our actions wherever decisions about the future of the earth’s ecological systems and humanity are taken. 
  • We ground our work in systems-thinking to acknowledge the complexity and uncertainty of the polycrisis, examining feedback loops, systemic interrelationships, dynamics and drivers, and tipping points. 
  • We amplify narratives that challenge, reframe, and shift the underlying inertia that holds back urgent and ambitious action. 
  • We proactively seek out solution pathways that are context-sensitive, robust, and evidence-based with the potential to accelerate systems transformation. 

ASRA is an independent, not-for-profit initiative hosted by the United Nations Foundation.