Second Year of Global Partnership Between Sustainable Markets Initiative, Howden and Resilient Cities Network Advances Urban Resilience in Five New Cities

Written by Resilient Cities Network
Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Drawing on the successes of the inaugural Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship cohort in 2023, the second cohort of the Fellowship focuses on strengthening collaboration between cities and the private sector to tackle complex urban climate resilience challenges.

In 2024 the Fellowship sees insurance professionals embedded in city leadership teams in Greater Manchester (UK), Norfolk (US), Lagos, Cape Town, and Oakland (US).

The Sustainable Markets Initiative, Howden, the international insurance group, and Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities), the world’s leading city-led network on urban resilience, have launched the second cohort of the Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship, in five cities around the world.  

The ambition of the Fellowship is to enable public-private collaboration by bringing together city leaders and private sector stakeholders from across industries, through the Sustainable Markets Initiative, to work on a specific urban resilience challenge. The ultimate aim is to develop solutions that can be implemented locally to effectively empower cities to build a safe, equitable, and sustainable future for all.

This year the Fellows will broadly focus on how insurance can derisk investment to reduce the cost of capital required to build adaptive infrastructure, and how innovative parametric insurance can be coupled with other tools to manage the increasingly severe climate shocks already faced by cities.

Following implementation of Fellowship projects in the first cohort of cities (Surat, Melaka, The Hague, Glasgow and Greater Miami and Beaches) in 2022, it was clear that the model of building relationships and collaboration between private and public sector professionals unlocks shared understanding that can drive practical action toward greater city resilience.

The private sector, and more specifically the insurance market, is keenly aware of the mounting risks associated with the climate crisis. With the global urban population expected to double by 2050 cities, and their inhabitants, are at the forefront of the crisis. Through collective action, centered on targeted problem solving, the Fellowship harnesses the power of insurance and the wider private sector to deliver a more resilient future and co-create and finance solutions to the complex climate vulnerabilities faced by cities.

Lauren Sorkin, Executive Director, Resilient Cities Network said: “Effective communication between cities and the private sector is paramount. Without a shared vision and language regarding critical urban risks, scaling solutions in our polycrisis world becomes daunting. This year, we will be tackling challenges in the five new cities, prioritising communication and collaboration as fundamental pillars of urban resilience.”

David Howden, Chief Executive Officer, Howden, and member of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Insurance Task Force said: “We know some of the biggest climate-related challenges out there are being faced in our great cities. But, by bringing together some of the most talented people in our industry alongside city leaders, insurance experts, climate finance professionals and engineers, this Fellowship has formed the perfect template to build urban climate resilience. And following the success of last year’s group, I can’t wait to see what a difference our latest cohort is going to make right across the world. I wish them all the best of luck.”

John Neal, Lloyd’s CEO, and Chair of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Insurance Task Force said: “The first cohort of the Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship was an excellent example of public-private sector collaboration. I’m pleased to see the fellowship return for its second cohort, focusing on derisking investment and helping our cities best prepare for impacts from climate shocks. Initiatives like these demonstrate the real value that comes from shared learning and joint action, encompassing the ambition of the Sustainable Markets Initiatives Insurance Task Force.”

A report summarising the outcomes of the inaugural cohort of the Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship in 2023 can be accessed here.

About the Sustainable Markets Initiative

Founded by His Majesty King Charles III in 2020, then the Prince of Wales, the Sustainable Markets Initiative has become the world’s ‘go-to’ CEO-led private sector organisation on transition. Launched in 2021, the Terra Carta serves as the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s mandate with a focus on accelerating positive results for Nature, People and Planet through real economy action 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.  Find out more:  Learn more about the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Insurance Task Force: Insurance Taskforce | Sustainable Markets Initiative (

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 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 intermediary group with employee ownership at its heart. Founded in 1994, it operates in 55 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, employing 17,000 people and handling $38bn of premium on behalf of clients. For more information, please visit

About Resilient Cities Network

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 over 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

Press Contacts:

Sustainable Markets Initiative

Resilient Cities Network

Lynette Lim


Helen Smith

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