Capacity Maintenance during Global Disruptions: Security, resilience and incentives matter

Paul Gardner-Stephen, Kelsie Nabben

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


In an interconnected world, the challenge of maintaining interdependent systems during disasters and disruptive events, such as pandemics, bushfires, cyber-attacks and trade wars is imperative. The critical infrastructure capabilities to be sustained during disasters are many. COVID-19 has demonstrated how a public health threat can fracture the supply chains, including those that underpin digital systems, and degrade the capacity of software and hardware companies. Society must plan for such digital disruptions if it is to survive such shocks.We explore some of the reasons why this is necessary, including the issue of cascading failures, and examines how and in what form more resilient systems might take. This includes consideration of issues such as the need for incentives in order to drive and maintain adoption of resilient technologies, and how such incentives can be created as a natural property of well-conceived systems.We also briefly examine two initiatives that seek to solve some of the harder problems, including security, trustability, independence from energy and communications infrastructure, and the ability to sustain digital capabilities when digital supply chains fail. This remains an open area requiring attention, if society is to improve its resilience to significant shocks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728173887
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event10th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2020 - Virtual, Seattle, United States
Duration: 29 Oct 20201 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference
ISSN (Electronic)2377-6919


Conference10th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Seattle


  • public health
  • digital systems
  • technologies
  • security
  • cyber-attacks


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