53rd ESReDA Seminar on Enhancing Safety: the Challenge of Foresight (14-15 November 2017, Ispra, Italy)
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On the 14-15 November 2017, ESReDA (European Safety, Reliability & Data Association) in collaboration with the European Commission Joint Research Centre organized the 53rd ESReDA Seminar entitled Enhancing Safety: the Challenge of Foresight in Ispra, Italy.

We are now living in a world where advancement in technology coupled with human’s creative and innovative mind has led to the design of safer and better performing infrastructures (nuclear power plants, chemical process plants, high speed trains, spaceplanes, etc.), which are necessary for modern society. However, due to the interconnected socio-economic and technological landscape that is rapidly evolving, safety continues to have many new challenges (unknown unknowns, unknown knowns) that add onto changed variants of the old challenges (e.g. modified knowns). Additionally, governance and legislation can be slow to catch up with this dynamic pace of change. At times, overregulation can occur, resulting in a significant resource investment towards compliance for existing infrastructure operators or for aspiring start-ups that would like to enter the market, but end up struggling or even abandoning the sector.

Inspired by this background, the 53rd ESReDA seminar launched an open dialogue with stakeholders in the safety arena to present their experiences from different sectors in foresight approaches, with a view to see, e.g. how foresight could be mainstreamed into safety practice in a more consistent manner, amongst others.

The seminar offered a technical programme with four keynote speeches from:

  • Fabiana Scapolo, European Commision Joint Reserach Centre, Belgium;
  • Ana Afonso, European Food Safety Authority, Parma, Italy;
  • Antonio d’Agostino, European Union Agency for Railways, Valenciennes, France;
  • Lorenzo Fiamma, European Maritime Safety Agency, Lisbon, Portugal.


There were also 23 other presentations made by stakeholders from universities, research centres, industry, government service and safety authorities. They topics addressed were foresight related from various perspectives: safety, risk assessment, scenarios, resilience, horizon scanning, early warning signals, database management, whistle-blowers, knowledge management, big data, data visualisation, etc., and from various industries: nuclear, chemical, electricity, food, maritime, railroad and aviation. These presentations were grouped in nine sessions as follows:

  • Transferring foresight approaches to the safety domain
  • Foresight challenges in safety management
  • Foresight and technology
  • From risk analysis as input to foresight
  • Tools and methodologies
  • Foresight for safety management
  • Early warning signs: Understanding threats through monitoring
  • Learning from experience to improve foresight in safety
  • From database management to foresight


There were 57 participants from 15 countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States).

Some photos have been taken during the seminar, which can be seen in the (Gallery) section of the website.

More information about seminar is available here:


Presentations of the 53rd ESReDA Seminar Speakers will soon be available for download.

The final proceedings of the 53rd ESReDA Seminar will also soon be available for download, in compliance with ESReDA politics of free dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge.