IRGC International Conference 2014: Improving Risk Regulation

IRGC International Conference 2014: Improving Risk Regulation

(For Slides and Highlightssee below, under “Agenda”)

New approaches to regulation may be stimulated by careful research and practical experience, but also spurred by crisis events that alter perceptions and spark demand for policy change.  What can we learn from these diverse sources of regulatory change? How can we do a better job in fostering constructive regulatory improvement?

The conference identified, evaluated and discussed the relevance and effectiveness of new approaches to improving risk governance, both as they result from responding to and learning from crises, and as deliberate innovations in how regulatory power is exercised and shared.  It built upon:

  • Work from the OECD Regulatory Policy Division about “Risk and Regulatory Policy – Improving the Governance of Risk” and recommendation about performance- and consumer-based regulation
  • The project on “Recalibrating Risk: Crises, Perceptions and Regulatory Change,” of the Rethinking Regulation program at Duke University, which investigates how regulatory policies and institutions change in response to crisis events, and seeks lessons for the future
  • IRGC’s work on the role of regulatory frameworks and institutional arrangements in the context of risk governance, including mechanisms for adaptive regulation that are able to update in response to new information and contexts.

The conference brought together practitioners of risk governance and regulation from private, public and academic organisations interested in sharing knowledge and enhancing their understanding of crisis and new forms of risk regulation. It was hosted and co-organised by the OECD Regulatory Policy Division, together with the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) and the Rethinking Regulation program at Duke University.  The conference was held at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris.



To download slide presentations, please click on the respective presentation title in the agenda below. For a short summaryof each section, click on “Highlights” next to the session title.


Day 1 – Monday, 13 October 2014


09:00 – 09:30      Session 1.1
Welcome and Introduction to the ConferenceHighlights

Luiz de Mello, OECD Directorate on Public Governance and Territorial Development

Jose-Mariano Gago, Instituto Superior Técnico Lisbon and IRGC Foundation Board

Jonathan Wiener, Duke University and IRGC Scientific & Technical Council
Crises and Regulatory Change


09:30 – 11:00      Session 1.2
Crises and Regulatory Change: Conceptual FrameworksHighlights

This session addressed the key questions of the Recalibrating Risk research project, including:  How do events become framed and understood as crises? When are incidents perceived as ordinary; or as unusual but just unlucky; or as marking a new state of the world that demands action? How do crises influence public and expert perceptions? How do crises influence regulatory change – both its likelihood and its type (e.g. tighter standards, higher penalties, splitting up regulatory bodies, combining regulatory bodies, delegating to non-state actors, etc.)? Why do different types of regulatory change arise after different crises? How (un)successful are regulatory changes arising from crises (including regarding effectiveness, cost, and side effects)? How can regulatory systems be better designed to learn from crises and adopt more successful responses in the future?

Jonathan Wiener, Duke University and IRGC Scientific & Technical Council

Edward Balleisen, Duke University
Trajectories of Crisis-Driven Regulatory Change

Elke Weber, Columbia University
Understanding Public Risk Perception and Responses to Changes in Perceived Risk

Lori Bennear, Duke University
Economic Analyses and Policy Regret

Donald Macrae, Independent policy and regulation consultant
Public Risk as Political Hazard


11:30 – 13:00      Session 1.3
Crisis Case Studies: Energy Crises – Oil Spills and Nuclear AccidentsHighlights

This session examined key case studies of crisis events and regulatory change in the energy sector:  Oil spills in Europe and the USA from the 1970s to the present (including Amoco Cadiz, Exxon Valdez, and BP Deepwater Horizon); and nuclear power accidents in Europe, the USA and Japan from the 1970s to the present (including Three Mile Island 1979, Chernobyl 1986, and Fukushima 2011).

Lori Bennear, Duke University

Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, Stanford University
Reactions to Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima: An Engineer’s Perspective

Marc Eisner, Wesleyan University
Crisis, Policy Learning, and the Emergence of a Regime for Oil Spill Risks

Javier Reig, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency
Nuclear Regulation: The Impact of Operating Experience


14:30 – 16:00      Session 1.4
Crisis Case Studies: Financial CrashesHighlights

This session examined key case studies of crisis events and regulatory change in financial markets, from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the global financial crisis since 2008.

Kimberly Krawiec, Duke University

Youssef Cassis, European University Institute
Regulatory Responses to the Financial Crises of the Great Depression: Britain, France and the United States

Gert Wehinger, OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs
The OECD and its Role in International Regulatory Responses to the Financial Crisis 

Michel Maila, Global Risk Institute and IRGC Advisory Committee
Learning the Right Lessons from a Financial Crisis

Kimberly Krawiec, Duke University
Lessons from Financial Crises


16:30 – 18:00      Session 1.5
Crises, Regulatory Change, and Learning to Improve RegulationHighlights

This session brought together key findings, themes and insights from the preceding sessions. How do crises influence the types of regulatory change? How successful are these regulatory responses? How can we improve the design of regulatory systems to make them more successful at learning from crises and at developing better regulatory responses? Are there specific institutional mechanisms that can be studied and borrowed across issue areas and across countries (e.g., independent inquiry commissions)?

Edward Balleisen, Duke University

Stephane Jacobzone, OECD High Level Risk Forum
Lessons from Crises and Major Events: The Contribution of the OECD High Level Risk Forum

Nick Malyshev, OECD Regulatory Policy Division
Regulatory Enforcement and Inspections: OECD Best Practice Principles

Lori Bennear, Duke University
Role of Independent Investigation Agencies in Crises

Concluding remarks
Jonathan Wiener, Duke University and IRGC Scientific & Technical Council



Day 2 – Tuesday, 14 October 2014


08:30 – 09:00      Session 2.1
Welcome and Introduction to Conference Day 2Highlights

Philippe Gillet, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and IRGC Foundation Board

Nick Malyshev, OECD Regulatory Policy Division
Risk Regulation and the Links to Regulatory Policy

Colin Scott, University College
Parameters of Innovation in Risk Regulation


09:00 – 10:30      Session 2.2
Understanding Behaviours to Regulate Risk – How Behavioural Economics and Science Can Provide Insights and Inform Better Risk Policies and RegulationHighlights

Insights from behavioural economics are nowadays at the forefront of regulatory policy and governance for improving the design of regulation and providing more effective outcome. The key is in working to understand how people behave in reality, without simply assuming that they behave according to pre-established economic and political theories. This session explored how behavioural sciences can inform the design of more robust risk regulation and policies.

Faisal Naru, OECD Regulatory Policy Division

Wandi Bruine de Bruin, Leeds University Business School and IRGC Scientific and Technical Council
Lessons Learned from Behaviour Change Interventions

Serena Pontoglio, European Commission DG Energy
How Energy Efficiency Modelling Can Benefit from Behavioural Sciences: Open Questions and a Research Agenda

Andrew Burgess, UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets
How Regulation Can Address Changes in Behaviour?

Faisal Naru, OECD Regulatory Policy Division
The Use of Behavioural Economics by Governments to Regulate Risk-Related Issues


11:00 – 12:30      Session 2.3
Managing Uncertainty over the Life Cycle of Drug Development and Use: Enhancing Adaptability and Flexibility in Pharmaceuticals RegulationHighlights

This session examined risk regulation in a sector marked by rapid advances in science and technology. Exponential improvements in gene sequencing, gene synthesis and information technology have provided a foundation for revolutionary advances in the biological sciences. These scientific and technical changes are reshaping development processes and products in the pharmaceutical sector. Unlike ordinary consumer products, drugs may not be marketed without advance regulatory approval. Licensing is based on projections of safety, efficacy, and acceptable manufacturing quality, with revisions to the conditions of licenses as safety, efficacy or quality issues arise in use. This panel focused on regulatory initiatives to foster innovation while improving use of pre-market and post-market information. The European Medicines Agency and Food and Drug Administration are developing more adaptive and discriminatory approaches to the management of risks and uncertainty over the full life cycle of drugs.

Ken Oye, MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation and IRGC Scientific & Technical Council

Mark Pearson, OECD, Health Division
Introductory remarks

Hans-Georg Eichler, European Medicines Agency
Recent Developments in Europe

Theresa Mullin, US Food and Drug Administration
Recent Developments in the US

Anton Hoos, M4P (Medicines 4 Patients) Consulting Ltd., London
An Industry and Patients’ Perspective on Recent Developments

Concluding remarks
Ken Oye, MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation and IRGC Scientific & Technical Council


13:30 – 15:00      Session 2.4
What is and can be the role of non-government actors in regulating risk (e.g. via co-regulation, self-regulation, standard setting) across different sectorsHighlights

Non-governmental actors, especially those affiliated—whether directly or indirectly—with the business community, can be involved in delivering or fostering positive regulatory outcomes in risk regulation.  There is a variety of economic and civil society actors that contribute to the information gathering and voluntary standard setting, and thus act to modify the behaviour of specific economic actors, in complement to or sometimes in place of government regulation. For example, some sectors have found that self-regulation (as the decision of an individual firm, industry or market to set its own standards and enforce them) is useful to control their own activity. Public-private regulatory governance includes rule-making and oversight mechanisms.

Nick Malyshev, OECD Regulatory Policy Division

Fabrizio Cafaggi, European University Institute
Private Standards and Transnational Risk Regulation

Terry F. Yosie, World Environment Center
Emerging Strategies for Managing Changing Risks:  An Examination of Business Sector and NGO Initiatives

Kevin McKinley, International Organization for Standardization
International Standards Supporting Public Policies


15:15 – 16:30      Session 2.5
Risk Regulation to Support Technological InnovationHighlights

This policy session debated about how to improve regulation of risk in order that innovation is enhanced. In the field of new technologies for example, it is essential to address potential emerging risks without discouraging healthy risk taking and stifling innovative activities. There are effective ways to manage risk without constraining innovation that this session discussed, including prevention and mitigation of attendant risks, liability issues, provision of appropriate incentives and development of regulatory environments that provide stability as well as flexibility and adaptability.

Granger Morgan, Carnegie Mellon University, IRGC Scientific & Technical Council
Introduction: Flexible Regulation and Technological Innovation: Be Sure You Actually Want What You Ask For

Richard Meads, European Risk Forum
Innovation and the Regulation of Risk

Dirk Pilat, OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation
OECD Work on Innovation and Risk Regulation



Lorenzo Allio (European Risk Forum) will coordinate an IRGC edited publication on Improving Risk Regulation.

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