Joint Global Partnership Launched by The Sustainable Markets Initiative, Howden and Resilient Cities Network

Joint Global Partnership Launched by The Sustainable Markets Initiative, Howden and Resilient Cities Network - Resilient Cities Network
Written by Resilient Cities Network
Wednesday, 24 May 2023

The partnership will address urban climate change vulnerabilities and explore how insurance can be incorporated into climate resilience solutions to support city resiliency.

Insurance professionals will be seconded into city leadership teams in Melaka, Surat, Miami, Glasgow and The Hague as the first cohort of the Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship gets underway.

London, England – The Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), Howden, a leading international insurance group, and Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities), the world’s leading city-led network on urban resilience, today announced the first of its kind top talent secondment programme that this year will place five insurance professionals into five cities’ leadership teams for three to six months each. This pioneering ‘Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship’ programme underlines the power of insurance to de-risk and accelerate resilience-building activities and as an essential tool in addressing the world’s transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future.

The first cohort of insurance professionals under the Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship, from Howden and Beazley, will be seconded this month to Melaka (Malaysia), Surat (India), Miami-Dade County (United States), Glasgow (United Kingdom), and The Hague (The Netherlands). The challenges the Fellows will address include managing the impact of extreme weather such as flood and heat, the energy transition and reduction of carbon emissions, and online cyber and supply chain disruption.

The Fellowship, launched last year at the COP27 Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Terra Carta Action Forum, brings together the collective expertise of the insurance industry and wider private sector, city leadership officials, including Chief Resilience Officers, and the broader network of Sustainable Markets Initiative members. This programme will help develop innovative solutions that truly respond to cities’ vulnerabilities and unlock urban resilience solutions.

Lauren Sorkin, Executive Director, Resilient Cities Network said: “As climate change continues to exacerbate the shocks and stresses in our cities, a complete understanding of the risks a city faces is a critical step in building resilience. By identifying and mapping future risks, our cities are empowered to make holistic, informed decisions and better allocate finances. We look forward to sharing the knowledge that will come out of this public and private sector collaboration.”

David Howden, Chief Executive Officer, Howden, and member of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Insurance Task Force said: “Today over 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. By working in partnership with those who are at the frontline of building urban resilience, the insurance industry has a real opportunity to be a powerful force in delivering a more sustainable future for all. I wish the Fellows the best of luck and I am excited to watch this partnership evolve.”

John Neal, Chief Executive Officer, Lloyd’s, and Chair of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Insurance Task Force said: “Building resilience is central to the insurance industry’s role of helping businesses, government and society manage risk. But resilience isn’t only achieved by sharing risk, it also comes from knowledge transfer, collaboration and working together towards a common goal. This first of a kind fellowship, led by Howden and made possible by the collective effort of the Insurance Task Force, will pair the risk expertise of the global insurance industry, with those at the front lines of making our cities and society more resilient, creating a more sustainable future for all.”

The ambition for the programme is to deploy an additional 20 secondees to cities in the coming three to five years, with the next cohort of Fellows starting in early 2024 across six continents.

Note to editors:

Percentage statistic included in quote sourced from United Nations – Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018. Details here.

Media Contacts:

Kelly Sapp, Sustainable Markets Initiative

Helen Smith, Howden
+44 (7857) 671317

Lynette Lim, Resilient Cities Network
+65 91864946

About the Sustainable Markets Initiative, Terra Carta and Insurance Task Force Sustainable Markets Initiative

In his former role as The Prince of Wales, His Majesty King Charles III launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) at Davos in January 2020. The SMI is a network of global CEOs across industries working together to build prosperous and sustainable economies that generate long-term value through the balanced integration of natural, social, human, and financial capital. These global CEOs see themselves as the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ helping to lead their industries onto a more ambitious, accelerated, and sustainable trajectory. Read more:

Terra Carta

In his former role as The Prince of Wales, His Majesty King Charles III, launched the Terra Carta at the One Planet Summit in January 2021. The Terra Carta serves as the mandate for the SMI and provides a practical roadmap for acceleration towards an ambitious and sustainable future; one that will harness the power of Nature combined with the transformative power, innovation, and resources of the private sector. Currently the SMI has more than 500 CEO level supporters of the Terra Carta in addition to the 56 members of the Commonwealth, C40 Cities and the United Kingdom’s 13 Core Cities. The Terra Carta has served as the inspiration for the Terra Carta Design Lab. The Terra Carta is a roadmap for public, private, and philanthropic collaboration and open to all countries, cities, companies, organizations, and schools who wish to support it. Read more:

Insurance Task Force

The Sustainable Markets Initiative Insurance Task Force is comprised of global CEOs from the insurance and finance sector, and is chaired by Lloyd’s CEO, John Neal. Members of the Task Force have committed to support the global transition to net zero and to address sustainability challenges from within the sector itself. In 2023, the Task Force is focused on supporting adaption, insuring climate innovation, financing and measurement and building societal resilience to risk. The Task Force is aligned to the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Terra Carta and will contribute to the acceleration of sustainable solutions and advance the its mission and support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Visit the Sustainable Markets Initiative Insurance Task Force webpage.

About Howden

Howden is a leading global insurance group with employee ownership at its heart. Founded in 1994, it operates in 50 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, employing 14,500 people and handling $30bn of premium on behalf of clients.

For more information, please visit

About Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities)

Resilient Cities Network is the world’s leading urban resilience network. It brings together global knowledge, practice, partnerships, and funding to empower its members to build safe and equitable cities for all. Its unique city-led approach ensures cities drive the agenda to benefit the communities they serve. At work in nearly 100 cities worldwide, the Resilient Cities Network supports on-the-ground projects and solutions to build climate resilient, circular and equitable cities while also facilitating connections and information-sharing between communities and local leaders.

For more information, please visit

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