APDRC’s Approach to Innovation: Building Endless Connections

by OkHee Kim, Director of APDRC, Asia Pacific Disaster Resilience Centre | Dec 27, 2023 | Innovation Stories

Stepping into 2024, the Asia Pacific Disaster Resilience Center (APDRC) reflects on a year of innovation, notably launching the RE: Climate Resilience Campaign, marking a milestone in addressing global challenges.

Launching a New Chapter in Climate Resilience

As we bid farewell to 2023 and step into 2024, we reflect on the Asia Pacific Disaster Resilience Center (APDRC)’s year of innovation and resilience. The launch of the RE: Climate Resilience Campaign, in line with the Red Cross Service’s ‘Connect’ principle, marked a significant milestone. This campaign integrated VR-based Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) education with the urgent issue of climate crisis, emphasizing our commitment to address this global challenge.

Connecting with the Global Community at the Asia Pacific Regional Conference

At the Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Hanoi, APDRC made a notable impact with a booth dedicated to the RE: Climate Resilience campaign and Climate Crisis VR Experience. This interactive setup provided delegates and participants with an immersive insight into climate change, showcasing our innovative approach in raising awareness and fostering global action.

Pioneering VR Disaster Risk Reduction Education 

Since 2018, APDRC has pioneered the integration of Virtual Reality (VR) into DRR education. By 2019, we had extended our reach to six countries across the Asia-Pacific region, distributing VR equipment and educational content to 4,370 individuals. These programs provided crucial knowledge and immersive experiences, bringing disaster preparedness education to life.

APDRC has actively participated in significant international forums, underscoring its leadership in pioneering climate resilience initiatives. Notably, the booth we presented was in collaboration with the World Knowledge Forum.

Expanding Global Collaborations

In 2023, APDRC has significantly expanded its global collaborations for innovative projects like VR, streamlining both our domestic and international operations enhancing operational efficiency with the support of the Empress Shoken Fund. This included providing additional VR sets to the Malaysian Red Cross and developing VR content on heatwaves and floods in collaboration with the ICRC and Hansung University, enhancing the reach and impact of our programs.

A key advantage of using VR in our initiatives is its ability to simulate disaster scenarios realistically. This simulation allows people to learn about the dangers of disasters and appropriate response methods without experiencing actual destruction and pain. We have discovered that VR-based education, unlike one-way information delivery through textbooks or lectures, offers experiential learning that enables participants to engage more deeply and internalize the content effectively.

With the rise of climate-related disasters, APDRC embraced the need for innovative learning methods. Our VR programs moved beyond traditional teaching, offering immersive experiences that encouraged active disaster preparedness and response.

The collaboration between APDRC and Hansung University to create an interactive Virtual Reality (VR) experience focused on heatwaves is an innovative approach to DRR education. A VR journey to a cooling center, with increasing temperatures for incorrect quiz answers, is both engaging and educational. We developed a unique VR content centered on heatwave scenarios. This interactive experience places participants in a virtual journey to reach a cooling center, a crucial refuge during intense heatwaves.

As participants navigate this virtual environment, they are presented with a series of quizzes related to heatwave safety and climate awareness. This educational component is designed to test and enhance their knowledge about heatwave preparedness. However, there’s a compelling twist: each incorrect answer causes the virtual temperature to rise, simulating the escalating discomfort and danger of a real heatwave. 

The new virtual experience flood content is designed to allow users to experience real flood situations and acquire necessary skills and knowledge. It enables learning of emergency response, rescue techniques, and effective evacuation methods in an environment similar to real-life situations. This content was developed in partnership with the ICRC. 

Enhancing Education through Strategic Communication and Collaboration

Effective VR DRR education relies on timely and engaging content supported by strategic communication. We forged alliances with the Korean Red Cross, TikTok Korea, KEI National Climate Crisis Adaptation Center, and the Public Communication Research Institute. Initiatives like the ’10 Questions 10 Answers’ campaign and the Tumbler Challenge, part of the RE: Climate Resilience campaign, were instrumental in engaging youth in climate change awareness and sustainable practices.

Looking Forward

APDRC remains committed to our ethos of ‘Building Endless Connections.’ Technological advancements, such as Apple’s ‘Vision Pro’ headset, open exciting new doors for enhancing our Virtual Reality (VR) content, aligning perfectly with our innovative spirit. Our journey, deeply rooted in the concept of ‘coexistence with uncertainty,’ continues as we harness the power of partnerships for ongoing innovation. These collaborations are not just pivotal for fostering innovation; they are the backbone of building resilience and creating a more empathetic, united world.

Join us in this endeavor, as we strengthen connections that are essential for navigating and overcoming the challenges of the future:


Download the latest APDRC Newsletter (English) to learn more.

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