Dr. Ian I. Mitroff (Senior Research Associate, CCRM & Professor Emeritus, USC)

Dr. Rune Storesund, P.E., G.E. (Executive Director, CCRM)


Essentially, there are five different and basic kinds of Inquiry/Knowledge Systems (IS). Each IS determines a characteristically different way of performing a Risk Assessment (RA):
1.            Expert Consensus
2.            Scientific Modeling
3.            Multiple Models
4.            Conflict
5.            Systems Thinking.

Risk Assessment (RA) is not done in a knowledge vacuum. Every RA presupposes an underlying IS that dictates how it will be performed. An IS specifies: (1) what are the system’s Fundamental Elements into which it can be broken apart, (2) what are the appropriate Input Data to collect with regard to the Fundamental Elements upon which the Risks will be determined, (3) how the Input Data should be Operated on (Treated) in order to transform it into Valid Determinations of the Risks in the system under investigation.

In general, each IS yields a very different RA of a system.

The ISs that are typically used for conducting “normal business, engineering operations, and scientific inquiry” (Expert Consensus and Scientific Modeling) are not necessarily well suited for RA and Crisis Management (CM). Indeed, RA and CM require ISs that are not commonly understood and hence not used (Multiple Models, Conflict, and Systems Thinking).


Ian I. Mitroff is a Senior Investigator in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, University of California, Berkeley. He is Professor Emeritus from the Annenberg School of Communication and the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, where he was the Harold Quinton Distinguished Professor of Business Policy. He is the President of the consulting firm Mitroff Crisis Management. He is regarded as the founder of the discipline of Crisis Management. He was the founder and director of the USC Center for Crisis Management. Known for his thinking and writing on a wide range of business and societal issues, Dr. Mitroff is the author of 31 previous books, including “Swans, Swine, and Swindlers: Coping with the Growing Threat of Mega Messes and Mega Crises,” “Dirty Rotten Strategies: How We Trick Ourselves and Others into Solving the Wrong Problems Precisely,” “A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America,” “Smart Thinking for Crazy Times,” “The Essential Guide to Managing Corporate Crisis,” “The Unbounded Mind” and “Managing Crises Before They Happen.” More recently, he and his wife Donna have written “Fables and the Art of Leadership: Applying the Wisdom of Mister Rogers to the Workplace.

Rune Storesund serves as the Executive Director of CCRM and is a private consulting engineer, focused on risk and reliability of civil systems.  He completed his doctorate of engineering (D.Eng.) at UC Berkeley. His doctoral research examined river restoration from a life-cycle and reliability-based perspective. Rune received a BA from UC Santa Cruz in Anthropology, a BS in Civil Engieering from UC Berkeley, and a MS in Geotechnical Engineering at UC Berkeley. Rune provides consulting services in all aspects of civil, geotechnical, water resources, ecological, restoration, and sustainability engineering projects. His expertise is on the application of reliability and risk-based approaches to engineering projects in order to effectively manage uncertainties. Rune has participated in all aspects of engineering projects; from preliminary reviews to detailed analyses to construction observations and post-project monitoring. He provides expert forensic engineering services for geotechnical and civil infrastructure systems.


Meeting Recording (link coming soon)

Meeting Presentation (link coming soon)

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