What, Where And When Is Risk In System Design?

Johan Bergström (Lund University)
Operations, Mission City Ballroom
Average rating: ****.
(4.44, 189 ratings)

Johan Bergström, Associate Professor at Lund University, Sweden, will introduce the notion of risk in system design. Following up on Richard Cook’s highly appreciated talk on safety in complex systems, during last year’s velocity conference, Johan will introduce how our risk management strategies are affected by our very perceptions of risk as a concept. Are we running risks or taking risks? Are we successful when we take risks or when we avoid them? Can risk ever be controlled, contained, mitigated or measured? One risk we might have to take (or run?) is that the lecture will raise more questions than it will suggest answers.

Photo of Johan Bergström

Johan Bergström

Lund University

I’m a researcher and university teacher at Lund University in southern Sweden. I conduct research mainly within the fields of Systems Safety and Cognitive Systems Engineering, but in the spring of 2013 I will begin postdoctoral research on the more grand-scale topic of Societal Resilience. On June 15 2012 I defended my doctoral dissertation entitled: Escalation: Explorative studies of high-risk situations from the theoretical perspectives of complexity and joint cognitive systems. A central aim of the thesis work was to study how an organization adapt to situations that change from normal to non-normal and potentially further on to a state of crisis. The research was conducted in several high-risk domains, such as aviation and shipping, but mainly within health care. The reason is that health care offers a tremendous level of complexity in a rather enclosed space, making it accessible for a PhD candidate to study.

Since January 2012 I am responsible for running the Master Program of Human Factors and Systems Safety from Lund University. The program is a distance-based program involving practitioners from different safety-critical industries and different parts of the world. The different courses are focusing on the new view of human factors and systems safety, accident theory, complexity theory, the ethics of safety, and to prepare the students for their thesis work we also have a course in research design and critical reading of scientific literature.

Apart from the research and teaching activities at the university I have my own company JB Safety Education and Consulting AB. Under the umbrella of this company I offer a great variety of consultancy services, including accident investigation, the development of team training programs, safety culture assessment and oversight of safety management systems. I am often hired as a lecturer for different audiences. I teach accident theory, complexity theory, team performance, resilience engineering and risk management.

I am highly interested in the ethical aspects of safety, including organizational (and societal) responses to failure as well as the governance of risk att all societal levels.

I hope that you will enjoy this blog where I will keep you updated about my working activities and some of the latest news within the research fields of my interest.


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