Understanding, Managing and Communicating Risk ™

We are risk scientists, helping business, civil society, and governments, to better face uncertainty and the unexpected.

Based in Ottawa and Washington D.C., RSI works worldwide to tackle risk in chemical and product safety, public health, food safety and defense, climate change adaptation, agriculture, drug safety, public safety and security, and urban risk and resiliency.

RSI News

QuarterWatch analyzes MedWatch Reports

June 29, 2016
RSI logo in white

This issue of QuarterWatch analyzes MedWatch Reports from the third quarter of 2015. This issue identifies major differences in reports of cancer associated with drugs…

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Climate change modelling for the Bow River watershed

June 29, 2016
RSI logo in white

Developing a suite of watershed-scale climate models.

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QuarterWatch analyzes MedWatch Reports

June 29, 2016
RSI logo in white

This issue of QuarterWatch analyzes MedWatch Reports from the third quarter of 2015. This issue identifies major differences in reports of cancer associated with drugs…

Read News Item

A new initiative by Risk Sciences International

The Global Risk Census is a new public interest initiative conceived by Risk Sciences International. Its goal is to empower people all around the world, to observe local conditions that risk scientists can use to identify risks to people, home, community, country and indeed the entire planet.

RISK

Risk

Understanding Risk

Risk is real. It can appear suddenly, or gradually over decades. Being prepared, and understanding the best course of action is not an option, it is a responsibility.

Managing Risk

Risks do not resolve themselves. Regardless of whether a risk is imminent or long-term, managing risk wisely and rationally is critical. Effective risk management is the key to risk solutions.

Communicating Risk

When people are at risk, what you tell them matters. Knowing what to say, how and when, is as important as gaining their trust with sincerity and evidence. Communication is part of the solution.

Understanding, Managing and Communicating Risk 24/7

In addition to individual services, RSI provides integrated risk retainer options, offering clients the benefits of ongoing, on-call risk expertise.

What is risk?

  1. Is it what we tell children to avoid, before telling them how many die from not wearing seat belts?
  2. Is risk a scientific discipline like epidemiology,  toxicology or clinical science?
  3. Is risk what good leaders factor into all their decisions?

Perhaps risk is all of the above, as well as anything that leads to harm including loss of life, loss of livelihood, loss of commercial viability, even loss of peace.

Can something be done about risk? Can lives and livelihoods really be influenced, even saved, by experts in risk science working with data, models, theories or even expert opinion?

definition

| risk |

{noun}
uncertainty, precariousness, gamble, peril, threat, a situation involving exposure to danger, a situation regarded as likely to turn out well or badly without certainty, a process or strategy lacking sufficient evidence and/or planning

{verb}
endanger, imperil, jeopardize, take a chance with, advance without precaution, act or fail to act in such a way as to avoid something unpleasant, unwelcome or unsafe

{phrases}
'at risk' – exposed to harm or danger, as in: "23 million people in Africa are at risk from starvation." | 'take risks' – to take a chance, as in: "Often in life you have to take risks to make progress."

{antomyms}
safety, certainty, security, preparation, caution, mitigation, comfort, benefit

philosophy

| equilibrium |

{definition}
'equilibrium' is a very simple word that comes from Latin 'aqua' and 'libra' meaning 'equal balance'.

{risk}
a state of zero risk is unachievable and should not be sought. Instead, we must all strive to attain a state of balance, one that affords us control, comfort, and continuity.

{RSI}
rsi strives to deliver solutions that are realistic, solutions that come as close as possible to perfect equilibrium while taking into account the many realities which would otherwise push us away from this balance. In short, we respect the challenges and limitations so as to consistently deliver the absolute best solutions.

{stones}
a pile of stones seems fragile, ready to fall; it is. But a well-constructed pile of stones, one that is well thought through, one that is nurtured, one that is re-adjusted when circumstances warrant it, that pile is sturdy.

{origins}
rsi adopted piled stones as its symbolism, firstly because it fit our vision but also, because we found their real world manifestation. We invite you to watch how John Felice Ceprano became an inspiration to us all.

In the real world, risk is anything and everything that lacks certainty. Every one of us, every parent, every citizen, every company, government or organization lives it every day.

Understanding, Managing and Communicating Risk is more than a tagline, it is at the heart of what RSI does, and how it does it.

For years, Risk Sciences International has laboured to build the best team, keep their knowledge current, challenge them with demanding projects, and keep them grounded in real-world needs. RSI understands that when dealing with risk, there are consequences to poor choices; RSI staff know this and are constantly reminded of it by the very work they perform.

From day one, the challenge RSI set for itself was to understand risk by employing specialized experts able to deliver solutions across sectors. RSI experts hail from multiple sectors ranging from public health, to urban infrastructure, to simulation and modeling, to communication, and more. The company includes both academics and highly technical staff. Its tools are geared to take on any challenge. Whether the project requires the most advanced algorithms, the most thoughtful risk policy analyses, or the most impactful risk messaging, RSI experts understand what is needed.

Risk Sciences International 1Understanding risk, diagnosing, simulating, surveilling... all these are essential, but so too is the ability to accompany a client through the thick of the storm. Beyond understanding, RSI helps manage risk. The company has the operational expertise to guide and work with clients who have no time to waste. The team is both motivated and trained to respond day and night, at a moment's notice. Fortunately, many risk events are not solved by racing against the clock, but because some are, RSI is ready. Whether the project calls for a new risk prevention strategy, a convening of stakeholders, or the development of a technological solution, RSI delivers.

Increasingly, communication is a critical component of a risk response. From the simplest news release to the most complex international campaign or a highly technical communiqué, RSI has the expertise and experience to make a difference. Of note, is RSI's ability to deliver substantive content. Unlike traditional risk communication agencies, RSI's communication experts have the benefit of an in-house scientific team. Using evidence is the foundation of building trust, RSI knows how to gather and use that evidence to advantage.

Understanding
Risk

What does RSI seek to understand about risk, and what tools does it use to do so?

Understanding

What does RSI seek to understand about risk, and what tools does it use to do so?

Understand what?

  • Risk factors
  • Calculated outcomes
  • Best practices
  • Basic science
  • Global trends
  • Stakeholder perspectives
  • Alternatives
  • Risk goals

Understand using:

  • Epidemiology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Engineering
  • Simulation
  • Statistics
  • Surveillance
  • Environmental assessments
  • Experimental studies
  • Observational studies
  • Psychographic profiles
  • Trends analysis
  • Risk modeling

Managing
Risk

What are the methods and means RSI uses to better manage risk?

Managing

What are the methods and means RSI uses to better manage and help respond to risk?

RSI uses multiple methods to help manage risk:

  • Regulatory guidance and guidelines
  • Economic leverage strategies
  • Advisory services
  • Community-based solutions
  • Technological solutions
  • Risk-based decision making
  • Lifecycle analysis
  • Real-time risk assessment and analysis
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • On-site inspections
  • Stress testing
  • Training

The means to enhance risk management include:

  • Alternative assessments
  • Socio-economic analyses
  • Consideration of uncertainty
  • Expert advice
  • Consensus strategies
  • International collaboration
  • Risk management frameworks
  • Risk decision principles
  • Litigation support
  • Emergency response
  • Crisis management

Communicating
Risk

What means and multipliers does RSI use to communicate and enhance perception effectively?

Communicating

What means and multipliers does RSI use to communicate and enhance perception effectively?

RSI uses multiple means to enhance risk perception and communication:

  • Editors
  • Translators
  • Design talent
  • Production facility
  • Perception analysis
  • Communications analysis
  • Communication strategy development
  • Urgent tactical response
  • Training

Multipliers help enhance risk communication:

  • Engagement platforms
  • Local to global campaigns
  • Use of both traditional and new media
  • Media relations
  • Peer and internal relations

Understanding, Managing and Communicating Risk 24/7

Clients seeking ongoing vigilance against risk – beginning with understanding, then managing, and ultimately communicating risk – will benefit from either RSI’s comprehensive or integrated retainer offer.

Understanding, Managing and Communicating Risk 24/7

RSI believes strongly in the added value of building long-term relationships. To this end, RSI has established extended ties with key clients, whereby relevant RSI core services are delivered within the framework agreement of an annual retainer package supplemented, as needed, by individual projects. This annual approach guarantees that RSI is ready-to-respond at a moment’s notice, without the wasted time associated with getting-to-know the client when a project begins.

Combining a retainer with as-needed services is the ultimate form of risk preparedness.

1,000+

publications

1,000+

Over 1,000 peer-reviewed publications published by RSI experts since its founding

100+

reviews

100+

Over 100 systematic and authoritative reviews completed

500+

lectures

500+

Over 500 university lectures in risk science delivered by RSI experts to date

10,000+

participants

10,000+

Over 10,000 participants in risk science and communication master classes

250+

meetings

250+

Over 250 scientific meetings and conferences attended by RSI experts

300+

clients

300+

Over 300 private and public sector clients served by RSI experts

±150

countries

±150

RSI experts have delivered projects in roughly 150 countries

15M+

adverse events

15M+

14,590,339 distinct adverse event reports from FAERS and 776,904 from CVAR

300+

chemical assessments

300+

Over 300 chemical assessments conducted by RSI

150+

micro-biological assessments

150+

Over 150 micro-biological assessments conducted by RSI

More than ever,

More than ever,
risk science matters.

Our world is constantly threatened by natural and climate disasters, public health challenges and pandemics, infrastructure failures, chemical spills or conflicts. There is risk in everything we do as individuals, companies, organizations or governments. It is essential that all those working in the field of risk science – including RSI – intensify their efforts.

In our own lifetime, the Bopal disaster, Chernobyl, 9/11, hurricane Katrina, the Tōhoku earthquake or more recently the COVID-19 outbreak, have all taught us that you can never be too informed, too ready, or too willing to take on the responsibility of mitigating risk.

It is our common duty, to do everything in our power to improve quality of life and life expectancy by better understanding, managing and communicating risk.

Risk Sciences International website banner - white only

Risk Services

RSI's services cover needs before, during, and after a risk event.

RSI is committed to scientific advice on matters of risk

Scientific Advice

Risk Sciences International experts provide independent peer review for scientific research and studies that can lend peace of mind and authority to years of hard work. RSI staff and affiliated experts from around the world have provided peer reviews of corporate risk assessments and scientist productivity for clients who demand the highest standards of...

RSI risk assessment

Risk Assessment

Risk Sciences International has a wealth of experience in risk assessment to enhance public safety, minimize environmental impacts, and promote health and well-being. RSI staff have more than of 100 years of combined experience in human health risk assessment and quantitative microbiological risk assessment. Furthermore, we have...

RSI risk based decision making

Risk-Based Decision Making

Risk Sciences International provides clients with the confidence needed to make important decisions. By identifying all relevant evidence, evaluating its quality, and distilling it into a comprehensive, integrated risk assessment, RSI ensures business decisions are evidence-based and rock solid. The assessment provides the foundation for data-informed risk...

RSI provides risk communication and perception services

Risk Perception and Communication

Risk Sciences International understands the value of communicating risk with confidence and authority. Risk communication involves understanding the perspective, concerns, and values of the intended audience – their perception – and then presenting the right information to project confidence and ensure understanding...

Risk modeling and decision support

Modelling and Decision Support

Risk Sciences International knows the value of having proven trusted models for ongoing decision-making. Models can save time and money by helping to simplify the synthesis of diverse data sets, specialized scientific knowledge, and complex analysis into something reliable and reusable. Capturing corporate knowledge in reusable risk models...

RSI develops software for risk assessment and management

Software Solutions

Risk Sciences International specializes in creating user-friendly software solutions that can synthesize multiple models and simulations into actionable results and data that lead to effective decision-making. Well-designed software eliminates much of the repetition, data entry, and research required in analysis that can be detrimental to timely decision making.

RSI is committed to continuing education in risk

Training

Risk Sciences International offers training in risk analysis to assist clients in extending their in-house capacity for risk assessment and management, or for those wishing a more sophisticated understanding of the field. Training ranges from short courses and hands-on workshops covering the technical aspects of risk assessment (such as probability...

RSI is committed to program and process review of risk

Program and Process Review

Program and project reviews can be applied to a range of risk management contexts. Though RSI works with many government risk regulators and is very familiar with their regulatory environments, risk analysis and management processes and challenges are common to many types of settings both in business and civil society. RSI approaches risk program and...

RSI is committed to continuing education in risk

Training

Risk Sciences International currently offers several training tracks: Made-to-order courses customized to meet your specific needs; Master classes designed specifically for practicing professionals; Modular, ongoing training programs leading to certifications in risk science; Condensed seminars in risk science with cutting-edge content.
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RSI develops software for risk assessment and management

Software Solutions

Each client has unique requirements and RSI works with you to find the best fit for your situation. Some tools are better suited for individual risk assessments and others for integrated decision-making. Cost and time are always factors to consider as well.
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RSI is committed to scientific advice on matters of risk

Scientific Advice

Risk Sciences International provides scientific advice to government, industry, academia, and other stakeholders. We collaborate with regulators and industry representatives, providing scientific and pragmatic perspectives to support mutually beneficial risk solutions.
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RSI risk based decision making

Risk-Based Decision Making

RSI’s RBDM services apply to all levels and scales of a regulator’s functions, and are elaborated as required by the client. This can begin with the development of an appropriate decision-making framework, and the identification of necessary analytical capacities and positioning of existing capacities, a process that may include key informant interview and consultation process to identify organizational needs and capabilities.
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RSI provides risk communication and perception services

Risk Perception and Communication

RSI risk perception and communication services range from target audience research to the ex-post-facto assessment of a campaign, and every concept, design and production step in between.
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RSI risk assessment

Risk Assessment

Risk Sciences International offers a broad range of risk assessment services to meet client needs. A risk assessment can be a summary assessment based on the most obvious elements, just as it can be a very in-depth, longer-term analysis using multiple data sets and risk models of increasing sophistication and complexity. It can take the form of a one day consultation, of a one week assessment, or even a in-depth longer term investigation spanning months or in some cases, years.
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RSI is committed to program and process review of risk

Program and Process Review

Program and project reviews can be applied to a range of risk management contexts. Though RSI works with many government risk regulators and is very familiar