CSPRI Discussion: Blockchain Capabilities for Disaster Risk Reduction Management - Part 5

Policy, Science and the Global Pandemic

May 18, 2021

CSPRI Blockchain Webinar Part 5 - May 18, 2021 - 8 am EDT


Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute (CSPRI)


Policy, Science and the Global Pandemic

Part 5 of the Series, Blockchain: Capabilities for Disaster Risk Reduction Management

Co-sponsored by:

GW SEAS Center for Women in Engineering


Ambassador Christian Cantor, Israel Ambassador to Colombia
Armen Grigoryan, Regional Cluster Leader, Climate Change/Disaster Resilience and
Global Energy Policy Advisor, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub

Dr. Neil H Wasserman, Adjunct Professor, The George Washington University
Dr. Costis Toregas, Director, CSPRI, The George Washington University
Jean-Fabrice Lebraty, Professor, Management, Université de Lyon, France

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 8:00 am EDT

(The webinar is scheduled to start early, enabling international attendees to join)



CSPRI continues its webinar series on the intersect of blockchain and disaster risk reduction, which is a discipline primarily focused on delivering operational activities on the ground ahead of, during and after man-made or natural disasters. Many of the researchers active in the field may not have the time or inclination to explore how breakthrough technologies, such as blockchain, can support their work. 

Webinar 5 addresses the intersection of Policy and Science as relates to Blockchain and Disaster Risk Reduction. Global opportunities for vaccination distribution across Latin America are explored, as well as for increasing the dialogue in Eastern Europe and Asia. 

The process to support publications of shared research in Frontiers in Blockchain was also be highlighted.


1. Israel's Success in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic / Israel the Startup Nation (Amb. Christian Cantor)

Ambassador Christian Cantor discusses his nation's success in distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, especially using new technologies that permit startups to quickly respond to the challenge.

2. Eastern Europe and Central Asia Interest in DRR and ICT (Armen Grigoryan)

Armen Grigoryan discusses the growing interest of countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to bring in new technologies to help with evolving threats stemming from disasters. Country Office (COs) representatives from the region will also contribute to the rich texture of the discussion. 

3. Reflections on The Premonition: A Pandemic Story, by author Michael Lewis

In the fight against a global pandemic, where are the lessons learned for future such disasters? Beyond offering a fascinating read by the author of The Big Short and Moneyball, Lewis' book highlights the risks exposed by institutional dysfunction, and presents starkly accurate narratives of what is to come.

4.  Update on Frontiers in Blockchain Timeline (Costis Toregas, Neil Wasserman and Jean-Fabrice Lebraty)

Ensuring a good number of Blockchain in DRR papers for Frontiers in publication is an important desired outcome of the webinar series; we will review the timeline, process, personal experiences in prior editions, and the advantages of a publication in the Frontiers platform, as well as answer questions regarding the effort.

Invitees and registrants are invited to send ideas for subsequent presentations and new themes to [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] at any time.  The aim of these targeted seminars is to encourage researchers to submit abstracts and contribute to a new Frontiers in BlockChain publication on the topic.  More information can be found here.

Access recordings and information from Part 1,  Part 2Part 3 and Part 4 in our series on Blockchain Capabilities for Disaster Risk Reduction Management. 


Ambassador Christian Cantor serves as Israeli Ambassador to Colombia. He was formerly Political Counsellor for Israel in London. He holds a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Conflict Resolution from The Hebrew University.

Armen Grigoryan, Regional Cluster Leader, Climate Change/Disaster Resilience and Global Energy Policy Advisor, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, has 20 years of experience with the United Nations. He works on disaster risk reduction issues in Europe and the CIS, leading the team's work of the IRH and UNDP BPPS on disaster related issues. His areas of expertise include DRR, preparedness, response, recovery, institutional and legal systems for DRR, DRR governance and capacity development for DRR. He holds a BA in English and History from the Chekhov Secondary School in Armenia and a Master's Degree in International Relations and Affairs from Central European University. 

Dr. Neil H Wasserman, Adjunct Faculty at George Washington University and Managing Partner at Timewave Analytics, focuses on engineering behavior change — on how innovative solutions emerge from understanding the impact of persistent, networked behaviors.  He has been involved with IT strategic planning, enterprise architecture, systems analysis and software implementation for twenty-five years.  Now he works at the boundaries of behavior change, healthcare, and data analytics.  He sees opportunity in the transformation of the medical culture to serve patients through creation of patient neighborhoods, which achieve long-term engagement in individual health, and change the costs and outcomes for chronic disease. His award winning book, From Invention to Innovation (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press) examined the foundations of innovation in telecommunications at AT&T.  He has spoken frequently on networked behaviors and complex systems at IEEE conferences and other venues. 

Dr. Costis Toregas is the Director of the Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute at The George Washington University, where he manages and conducts research projects in cybersecurity. His research interests include workforce development, the role of insurance in cyber risk management, and exploring a fuller utilization of Community Colleges in the cybersecurity work force strategies.  He is a Senior Advisor & Director, Scholarship for Service (SFS) Four-Year to the National CyberWatch Center. He is a respected consultant to national governments and intergovernmental organizations, and a much sought-after speaker on the impact of technology in government and society. Dr. Toregas has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Environmental Systems Engineering from Cornell University.

Jean-Fabrice Lebraty is a full-time professor in management at the IAE Lyon School of Management. He is a member of the Magellan Research Center and specializes in Information System Management. His main areas of interest are extreme decision-making, crowdsourcing, and new tech such as blockchain. He is also a member of the French Foundation for Management Education (FNEGE), serving as international program manager. Finally, he is a member of the University National Committee.

The intent of this and future Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute (CSPRI) webinars is to give GW faculty and students glimpses of the vibrant security and privacy private sector in the Washington region and to promote dialog and debate regarding breakthrough initiatives. The potential for support for research or conference papers on related topics will be part of the discussion.