Friday, August 2, 2013

Vulnerability and Resilience of Supply Chains

Resilience is a theme that resonates among researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers. Michael Batty, in his editorial,  Resilient cities, networks, and disruption,  in the latest issue of Environmental & Planning B, argues that: Resilience is a more precise term than sustainability and, although it has some rather ill-defined properties, resilience can be defined relatively unambiguously, making it somewhateasier to apply to complex systems like cities.

I would argue that sustainability is a key building block of resiliency whether it comes to cities or supply chains, which span our globe and, interestingly, my paper, "Design of sustainable supply chains for sustainable cities," is now in press in Environment & Planning B.

I have written a lot on network vulnerability, including that of supply chains, as well as robustness and synergies associated with partnerships and teaming and even mergers and acquisitions. So, when the invitation to attend the ETH Risk Center Workshop on Vulnerability and Resilience of Supply Chains -- see information below came -- I was very intrigued and accepted to speak.

I am honored to be in such a great lineup and I am sure that there will be many stimulating presentations and discussion!

The talk that I am preparing for this workshop is: Networks Against Time: From Food to Pharma. I will discuss some o fthe major methodologies, models, and applications in our latest book Networks Against Time: Supply Chain Analytics for Perishable Products.

Hope that some of you can join us in Zurich, Switzerland for the workshop next month! 

Risk Center: Vulnerability and resilience of supply chains

Workshop 2013 - ETH Risk Center: Vulnerability and resilience of supply chains

ETH Zurich (Switzerland), September 12-13, 2013


  • Supply chains as economic networks and “critical infrastructures”
  • Response to external shocks and inherent instabilities
  • Risk reduction, disaster response management, and insurance issues
The following questions will be addressed:
  • What kinds of hazards are there? What are the challenges?
  • What does the interaction of regulators and the industry look like during a critical event?
  • What are the critical parts in supply chains seen from the different perspectives? How can one identify them, what could be improved?



The workshop will run for two days, with an evening dinner cruise on Lake Zurich after the first day. Two sessions each day will consist of talks by invited speakers and there will be a panel discussion at the end of each day.

Poster session

The poster session offers an opportunity for an interactive presentation of your work.
If you want to present a poster, please submit a pdf file of it (max. 5 megabytes) to The best posters will be selected for the poster exhibition by the program committee. The submission deadline is July 31.


Please click here for your registration to the workshop. There is a participation fee of 200 CHF. Note: The number of participants is limited.

Organizing Committee

Organizing Team

The workshop is sponsored by the ETH Risk Center and the Zurich Insurance Group.