The Policy Incubator supports novel approaches for increasing resilience through the development of visionary ideas, encouragement of innovative thinkers, and the advancement of workable on-the-ground solutions.


The award winning Policy Incubator is:

thought leader, supporting innovative and potentially transformative approaches to building resilience.

test kitchen, where promising policies are analyzed and researched, giving support and grounding to visionary ideas.

voice for the public good, committed to resilience opportunities that benefit everyone.

An independent convener, bridging disciplines and sectors, combining perspectives, translating across boundaries, and promoting collaboration through evidence-based policy design and analysis.

trusted source for independent analysis, workable tools, and implementable solutions.

Equitable Resilience


Promoting Nature-based Solutions

Linking Risk Reduction
& Risk Transfer

Closing The
Disaster Insurance Gap

Research Topics

Equitable Resilience

Upgrading Flood Insurance

Linking Risk Reduction
& Risk Transfer

Policies for Dynamic
Coastal Risk

Closing The
Disaster Insurance Gap

Digital Dialogues


Governmental Partners:

Portland Housing Bureau
Department Of Insurance CA
NYC Climate Resiliency
South Carolina Safe House

City of Portland Housing Bureau, Oregon

From 2018 – 2020, the Policy Incubator partnered with Reed College and the Portland Housing Bureau to help improve flood insurance affordability in the Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods.  Research focused on gaining a better understanding of flood insurance literacy, willingness-to pay for flood insurance, and flood risk perceptions.  Learn more about the project here.

New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency

Since 2019, the Policy Incubator has been partnering with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency (MOCR) and their interagency NFIP Working Group to explore innovative insurance concepts that could complement the NFIP.   Members of MOCR staff are serving in an advisory board member capacity for projects evaluating risk transfer tools to assist with climate adaptation goals.


As of 2021, the Policy Incubator, MOCR, and Center for New York City Neighborhood (CNYCN) have embarked on an ambitious joint project to promote the post-flood financial resilience of low and moderate income NYC households through inclusive insurance models.  We are thrilled to announce that the Policy Incubator has now received a Stage 2 Civic Innovations grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, to implement this project.  The Civic Innovation Challenge is a research and action competition to fund ready-to-implement, research-based pilot projects that have the potential for scalable, sustainable, and transferable impact on community-identified priorities.

California Department of Insurance's Climate and Sustainability Branch

Since 2019, the Policy Incubator has partnered with the California Department of Insurance’s Climate and Sustainability Branch on topics of innovative risk transfer.  The Branch seeks to address the threat of climate change by working with California and international leaders in climate science, public policy, and the insurance sector.  The Deputy Commissioner on Climate and Sustainability is currently serving on the advisory board for interrelated projects exploring the role of risk transfer in climate adaptation. The Branch is offering feedback to the Policy Incubator on how certain concepts could be tailored to meet the needs of Californian communities.  In addition, the Executive Director of the Risk Center is the vice-chair of the Climate Insurance working group established by the California Insurance Commissioner to find innovative solutions to the risks posed by climate change.  Access the Climate Insurance working group’s draft report here.

District of Columbia’s Department of Energy & Environment

Since 2020, the Policy Incubator has been partnering with the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy & Environment.  In conjunction with various other stakeholders, the partnership is exploring policy tools DC could use to help with financial recovery from floods in lower-income neighborhoods of the city. Read a recent issue brief on the NFIP in Washington, DC here.

South Carolina Department of Insurance Safe Home Program

Starting in 2022, the Wharton Risk Center and South Carolina’s Safe Home program within the SC Department of Insurance are collaborating on developing an inclusive insurance program to help lower-income households in the state at increasing risk of floods.  The collaboration will examine public, private, and hybrid models for equitable risk transfer and which are most viable for South Carolina based on various effectiveness, feasibility, cost, and sustainability considerations.   Initial findings will be documented in a report.

Incubator Sponsors:

Our corporate and research sponsors help make the work of the Policy Incubator possible. We wish to thank all our partners for their generous support.

Marsh & McLennan Companies
Pool RE
AmWINDS Group Inc

Lloyd’s Tercentenary Research Foundation

Civic Innovation Challenge