Economic recession, climate change and the UK Exit from the EU are just some of the complex strategic challenges facing policy makers today. Risk is therefore ever-present. However, our ability to withstand and respond to shocks and stresses can significantly improve our chances of success. In other words, the more resilient our institutions, systems and cities are, the more likely we are to succeed. Belfast’s Commissioner for Resilience, Grainia Long, is working within a global network of cities such as New York, Paris and Sydney to design solutions to solve multiple problems and ultimately help policy makers achieve their goals in spite of those headwinds that blow us off course. Grainia will outline some of the key characteristics of resilient cities, organisations and systems and will present some examples of success from cities globally to solve today’s complex problems.