This one-day workshop investigates the underlying mechanisms driving extreme risks in a number of different areas. It is organised around six keynote presentations by internationally well-renowned guest speakers from various disciplines.
The notion of extreme risk and the resulting extreme events that might arise from these risks is a theme that runs through several of the physical and social sciences. Prominent examples include earthquake modeling, modeling of forest fires, floods or extreme stock market risks.
Events such as these have the potential to cause catastrophic damage to human society and hence an integrative understanding of the nature and origin of such risks is likely to provide substantial benefits in designing better and more efficient risk management systems to anticipate and cope with these risks and to develop resilience strategies.
Our approach would be to understand the common themes that cut across the various disciplines and are expected to revolve around power laws in understanding extreme risks in both physical and social sciences.
One of the major issues we hope to analyse would be the origin of power laws in these various phenomena such as the ones mentioned earlier.
There have been a few attempts to provide unified explanations for the origin of these power laws in the statistical physics and economics but overall there are different viewpoints in the various disciplines and an integrative viewpoint could yield new insights. For example in the context of forest fires and earthquakes one major issue seems to be whether a self-organised criticality perspective or a phase transition viewpoint is more appropriate.
In the context of stock markets there is also a debate about the internal pricing mechanisms that could lead to power laws and more generally understanding the determinants of extreme stock market risk.