The international conference about information systems for crisis response and management is themed 'Innovation for Resilience' and will use Wellington as a case study. Wellington was listed as one of the most resilient cities in the world by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2014.
"Wellingtonians live with the spectre of natural hazards every day, so it's fitting that the conference will be held here. There's no better place to visit to learn how people in a modern, dynamic capital city have adapted to live with the shocks and stresses of the 21st century," says Mike Mendonca, Wellington's Chief Resilience Officer.
Tourism New Zealand supported the conference organising committee—comprised of local and international academics, professionals and researchers—to bring the conference to New Zealand after numerous international requests to show New Zealand's expertise in this area.
"Conferences like this provide a significant economic benefit to the local economy and bring international experts and thinking that helps improve our knowledge in niche research areas such as crisis management," says Lisa Gardiner, Tourism New Zealand's International Business Events and Premium Manager.
"Holding this conference in Wellington also supports Tourism New Zealand's strategy to spread visitation across the regions."
Co-chairs of the conference, Dr Raj Prasanna from Massey University and Dr Mahesh Prakash from the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) say the decision to bid to host the inaugural Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM) Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Wellington was easy to make.
"With close integration and interaction of both academic and professional organisations, the capital city of New Zealand fosters world-class research and innovation in the domain of crisis information and communication management," says Dr Prasanna.
"The ISCRAM Association holds conferences around the world so we saw this as an excellent opportunity to host one in Wellington—an incubator for high-quality disaster-risk reduction and related research, and one of the 100 Resilient Cities of the world."
The conference will focus on a range of information management research. Experiences will be highlighted across the natural, social, built, and economic environments for disaster risks related to: earthquakes; severe weather; flooding; wildfire; tsunami; volcanic eruption; lifeline failures; pandemics, bio-security, and more.
Following the conference some of the delegates will travel to Kaikoura and Christchurch to observe the impacts of the earthquakes and recent wildfire and to learn about the recovery.