Joint global partnership launched by the sustainable markets initiative, howden and resilient cities network


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The partnership will address urban climate change vulnerabilities and explore how insurance can be incorporated into climate resilience solutions to support city resiliency

Insurance professionals will be seconded into city leadership teams in Melaka, Surat, Miami, Glasgow and The Hague as the first cohort of the Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship gets underway  

London, England - The Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), Howden, a leading international insurance group, and Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities), the world’s leading city-led network on urban resilience, today announced the first of its kind top talent secondment programme that this year will place five insurance professionals into five cities’ leadership teams for three to six months each. This pioneering ‘Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship’ programme underlines the power of insurance to de-risk and accelerate resilience-building activities and as an essential tool in addressing the world’s transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future.  

The first cohort of insurance professionals under the Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship, from Howden and Beazley, will be seconded this month to Melaka (Malaysia), Surat (India), Miami-Dade County (United States), Glasgow (United Kingdom), and The Hague (The Netherlands).  The challenges the Fellows will address include managing the impact of extreme weather such as flood and heat, the energy transition and reduction of carbon emissions, and online cyber and supply chain disruption. 

The Fellowship, launched last year at the COP27 Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Terra Carta Action Forum, brings together the collective expertise of the insurance industry and wider private sector, city leadership officials, including Chief Resilience Officers, and the broader network of Sustainable Markets Initiative members. This programme will help develop innovative solutions that truly respond to cities’ vulnerabilities and unlock urban resilience solutions.  

Lauren Sorkin, Executive Director, Resilient Cities Network said: “As climate change continues to exacerbate the shocks and stresses in our cities, a complete understanding of the risks a city faces is a critical step in building resilience. By identifying and mapping future risks, our cities are empowered to make holistic, informed decisions and better allocate finances. We look forward to sharing the knowledge that will come out of this public and private sector collaboration.”

David Howden, Chief Executive Officer, Howden, and member of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Insurance Task Force said: “Today over 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050.  By working in partnership with those who are at the frontline of building urban resilience, the insurance industry has a real opportunity to be a powerful force in delivering a more sustainable future for all. I wish the Fellows the best of luck and I am excited to watch this partnership evolve.”

John Neal, Chief Executive Officer, Lloyd’s, and Chair of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Insurance Task Force said: “Building resilience is central to the insurance industry’s role of helping businesses, government and society manage risk. But resilience isn’t only achieved by sharing risk, it also comes from knowledge transfer, collaboration and working together towards a common goal. This first of a kind fellowship, led by Howden and made possible by the collective effort of the Insurance Task Force, will pair the risk expertise of the global insurance industry, with those at the front lines of making our cities and society more resilient, creating a more sustainable future for all.” 

The ambition for the programme is to deploy an additional 20 secondees to cities in the coming three to five years, with the next cohort of Fellows starting in early 2024 across six continents.