UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Engaging with the political spaces of adaptation and risk management

06 December 2022, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

Mark Pelling

Risk reduction is about making the future. But who decides what the future might be? Join Professor Mark Pelling at his inaugural lecture, where he considers what role science could play to support both political and technical transitions.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







IRDR – UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


School of Pharmacy 104 John Hanbury Lecture Theatre
29-39 Brunswick Square
United Kingdom

Risk reduction or climate adaptation policies and technologies have future preferences implicit within them, they shape who is at risk and what kind of risk is tolerated. As risk reduction becomes increasingly recognised as a component of everyday infrastructure and social policy planning so the visioning of desired futures becomes a site for political as well and technical choices.

This seminar presents recent work in Istanbul, Nairobi, Kathmandu and Quito that has opened discursive space for diverse stakeholders to jointly surface future visions and consider what role science could play to supporting both political and technical transitions – bringing the future into a space for action today.   

About the speaker

Mark Pelling is Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction at UCL’s Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. His research focuses on social and political aspects of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, mainly in urban contexts and often in Low and Middle Income Countries. Increasingly, he is interested in working across global South-North contexts. His work aims at impact and so is designed and implemented in close partnership with research users from community based organisations to humanitarian NGOs and government or intergovernmental organisations. Mark has been a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th and 6th Assessment Report and its Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. International service also includes the Development Team of the International Science Council RISK Knowledge Action Network and acting as UK representative on the UNDRR European Science and Technology Advisory Group.

This seminar is open to UCL students and the public. IRDR Master's students do not need to book a place.

This seminar will be livestreamed and recorded on the IRDR YouTube channel.