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Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development

A transdisciplinary action-research centre in applied resilience science

The pandemic is having a profound effect on the 8 billion lives on the planet and de-stabilising and restructuring our society. It has presented us with both unprecedented challenges and ample opportunities. At the University of Cambridge, we thrive on what we can do to help ourselves and the world we all live in.

To address the multi-dimensional and multi-faceted reality, the research team of CRSD (Centre of Resilience and Sustainable Development) are experts in action-research. To improve decision making in the face of complexities, uncertainties and data inequalities, the team developed a suite of research methodologies that are adapted to the virtual world to conduct empirical research.  

Here are some of the highlights of key projects that we have conducted as response to Covid – 19 devastation taking place and challenging the leaders around the world:

Refugee response at the peak of COVID as a multilateral challenge

On 29 July, the Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme (RSDP) led a virtual bootcamp for more than 200 youth leaders from 74 countries in order to train these future leaders in the application of systems thinking to address humanitarian policy challenges. To read more please click here.


Transformational change in the food policies system

Applying Cambridge Policy Boot Camp to help Swedish government to improve their public food fund to help inform policy makers to improve their decisions and food security for vulnerable population, vulnerable young population in Sweden. To read more pleaes click here.



Working with the Commonwealth Secretariat to support the Small States to improve their financial recovery

By planning and strategy to address social and natural stressors that have been exacerbated with Pandemic and climate change, our research team are working with 32 small states to enable the governments and public sectors, mainly youth to come up with solutions that are both empowering for the youth and eco-sustainable for the nature, while making it an attractive proposition for investors to help find and fund solutions for the small countries and here is a phrase one press release. To read more please click here.

Their Future, Our Action: Cambridge Small States Policy Simulation Labs

Led by Dr Nazia Mintz Habib, the Small States Policy Simulation Labs Project is a collaboration between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development, University of Cambridge. In the wake of COVID-19, the collaboration utilises systems thinking to enable small states to develop innovative, tested, deliverable policy solutions to improve economic resilience. To find out more please click here.


Collaboration with EAT and the Food Systems Games Changers Lab (FSGCL)

The key focus and purpose of the five EAT Cambridge Policy Boot Camps that will run on the Food Systems Game Changers Lab (FSGCL) platform in 2022, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, is to support five national and local governments in tackling specific food system challenges, using five of the 24 FSGCL solution cohorts as the basis. To find out more please click here.


Working with EAT and the Swedish government to help Sweden transition to healthier and more sustainable consumption patterns amongst adolescents

Together with University of Cambridge and the Government of Sweden, EAT is hosting a virtual Policy Boot Camp in support of Action Track 2 towards the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, on Shifting to Sustainable and Healthy Consumption Patterns. To find out more please click here.



Empowering Youth in Small States at the forefront of Commonwealth COP26 agenda

Ahead of COP26, the Commonwealth Secretariat yesterday in collaboration with the University of Cambridge Research Centre of Resilience and Sustainable Development launched phase two of the ‘Our Action, Our Future’ project aimed at helping guide much-needed policy change to empower youth in Small Island Developing States. To find out more please click here.





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From the perspective of trust and cooperation as key to solving global challenges, we break down the silos between sectors, harness new theories of change and consider legacy effects using evidence, so that new systems can be introduced. By blending system dynamics with political and economic analysis and rigorously developed business cases, we help achieve lasting change. We have helped over 160 companies and over 20 countries through our cutting-edge research and capacity building efforts.


Our research enables:

  • Governments and civil sector foster innovation and enterprise to deliver social and economic benefits consistently.
  • Companies to develop life-changing products and services, build better businesses, create meaningful jobs, and improve the environment for the future collectively.
  • Decision makers to reinvent policies and practices to facilitate their institutions to move to higher sustainable and productive activities.

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