Dr. Sidney Dekker | Professor, pilot, powerful and provocative speaker on Just Culture, Human Performance and Safety Differently

Dr. Sidney Dekker

Professor, pilot, powerful and provocative speaker on Just Culture, Human Performance and Safety Differently

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Dr. Sidney Dekker

Sidney Dekker (PhD Ohio State University, USA, 1996) is Professor and Director of the Safety Science Innovation Lab at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and Professor at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University in the Netherlands. Sidney has lived and worked in seven countries across four continents, is fluent in a number of languages and has won worldwide acclaim for his groundbreaking work in human factors and safety.

Sidney coined the term 'Safety Differently' in 2012, which has since turned into a global movement for change. It encourages organizations to declutter their bureaucracy and set people free to make things go well, and to offer compassion, restoration and learning when they don't. Sidney has given many hundreds of keynote talks all around the world.

An avid piano player and pilot, he has been flying the Boeing 737 for an airline on the side. He is a trained mediator and Chaplain.

Sidney is bestselling author of, most recently: Foundations of Safety Science; The Safety AnarchistThe End of HeavenJust CultureSafety DifferentlyThe Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’Second VictimDrift into FailurePatient Safety; Compliance Capitalism, Do Safety Differently and Stop Blaming

He has co-directed the documentaries ‘Safety Differently,’ 2017; ‘Just Culture,’ 2018, ’The Complexity of Failure,’ 2018, and ‘Doing Safety Differently,' 2019. Stanford has ranked Sidney among the world’s top 1% most influential scientists: his work has over 18,000 citations and an h-index of 59. More at

Dr. Sidney Dekker
Featured Videos

Current: Safety Differently

Time 29:49

More Videos From Dr. Sidney Dekker

Safety Differently
Time 29:49
CHC Safety & Quality Summit
Time 57:16
The Pursuit of Success & Averting Drift into Failure
Time 28:10
Just Culture
Time 27:31

Dr. Sidney Dekker
Featured Keynote Programs

Safety differently.

Today, we spend a lot of time on the work of safety and have lost sight of the safety of work. Safety Differently, embraced by multiple top tier organizations globally, offers a compelling alternative to the bureaucratisation and increasing compliance of work. It sees people not as a problem to control, but as a resource to harness. Safety Differently defers to expertise - not telling people what to do, but instead asking them what they need to be successful.

Safety Differently turns safety back into an ethical responsibility, instead of a mere bureaucratic accountability that supplies optimistic numbers to managers, boards and regulators. It doesn’t just want to stop things from going wrong, but discovers why they go well. Safety Differently helps you recognize and enhance the capacities in your people, your team and processes that make it so.

Human and organizational performance

There are different ways to look at the performance of your people and your organization. Humans are either the most unreliable element, undermining an otherwise well-built organization, and they undermine . Or your people actually create safe and efficient performance through their everyday practice—recognizing and adapting around the inevitable goal conflicts and resource constraints they have to deal with. Human performance problems come from somewhere. They are not the cause of your trouble; they are the effect of trouble deeper inside your organization. Decades of studies in human factors and resilience leave you with an easy choice. When trouble occurs, you can either blame or learn; you can ask who is responsible and get rid of them (until the next person does the same in the same circumstances), or ask what is responsible and fix things forever after.

Just culture and accountability

It is easy to build a retributive ‘just’ culture in your organization, asking about rules and violations and consequences. But it might well erode trust between the people you rely on for your organization’s performance. Trust is easy to break, and hard to fix. A restorative Just Culture, instead, focuses on learning, re-establishing trust and enhancing individual and organizational resilience in the wake of a negative occurrence. It asks who are impacted by an event, what their needs are, and whose obligation it is to meet those needs. It holds people accountable by creating conditions of psychological safety—so they can offer open and honest accounts of what happened.

Dr. Sidney Dekker
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