Nishizawa contributed to the session, Risk-Know How talking about her ground experiences of risk communication in Japan and beyond. Risk communication is a powerful tool as a risk navigator, she demonstrated during her presentation.
All over the world, people are talking to their communities about risk, helping others to make sense of risk with limited
support and few tools. Despite the demographic and geographical distances between them and the diversity of
challenges they face, from farmers and fisherfolk to communities faced with polluted rivers or exposure to earthquakes,
these groups and individuals are making many of the same discoveries about what communities need to make sense of
Tracey Brown introduced the Risk Know-how Project, led by Sense About Science（What we do – Sense about Science）in collaboration with the Institute for
the Public Understanding of Risk (IPUR), which aims to gather the knowledge of these people at the centre of risk
discussions in their communities into a Risk Know-how framework which reflects a respectful and empowering approach
to making sense of risk. A group or community with risk know-how is able to examine a claim about the size of a risk and
make reasoned comparisons between risks; find reliable information and revisit a decision when relevant new
information becomes available; to recognise that different values lead to different risk decisions and accept the outcome
of taking a risk.
Olivia Jensen, Mariko Nishizawa, Bernard Okebe, Wandi Bruine de Bruin and Padmini Ravi provided examples of the
different elements of risk know-how from their own engagements with different communities. Olivia highlighted the
challenges of conveying flood risk in Asian cities where exposure to and severity of flood risk is changing. Bernard drew
on his experience as a farmer and journalist in Kenya where concepts like averages and recurrence intervals relating to
rainfall patterns need to be conveyed in a way that makes sense to farmers who use the information to decide when to
plant and harvest. Based on her experience working with communities affected by the Fukushima disaster, Mariko
emphasised the need to reduce ambiguity in risk messages and to clearly distinguish probability and exposure when
talking about risks. Wandi provided suggestions on how to talk about risk with groups with low numeracy, for example by
supplementing numbers with key messages and guidance on what actions to take.
Watch recorded video: Understanding Risk | Risk Know-How (understandrisk.org)