Between 2007 and 2009 the University of Ljubljana initiated a trans-disciplinary research program on rare events with strong societal repercussions and effects, which has been labeled as RISC-program (Rare Incidents, Strong Consequences). In this process, the university established a small unit that sought to act as a catalyst for promoting trans-disciplinary research on rare events across a wide variety of domains both inside and outside the social sciences. The RISC-unit organized a series of talks, lectures, workshops and research activities, which highlighted the current knowledge frontiers on rare events as well as the available policy recommendations and best practices in reducing hazards and disasters related to rare events. From its overall goals, these RISC-activities were intended as a model for a new type of trans-disciplinary knowledge production that draws together expertise in the social, physical, biological and technical sciences to address urgent societal problems. The present volume summarizes the advances of these RISC-activities and points to the high relevance of the new RISC-based perspective on societal problems both at present and in the future.