The paper reports on the World Social Science (WSS) Fellows seminar on Risk Interpretation and Action (RIA), undertaken in New Zealand in December, 2013. This seminar was coordinated by the WSS Fellows program of the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the RIA working group of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) program, the IRDR International Center of Excellence Taipei, the International START Secretariat and the Royal Society of New Zealand. Twenty-five early career researchers from around the world were selected to review the RIA framework under the theme of ‘decision-making under conditions of uncertainty’, and develop novel theoretical approaches to respond to and improve this framework. Six working groups emerged during the seminar: 1. the assessment of water-related risks in megacities; 2. rethinking risk communication; 3. the embodiment of uncertainty; 4. communication in resettlement and reconstruction phases; 5. the integration of indigenous knowledge in disaster risk reduction; and 6. multi-scale policy implementation for natural hazard risk reduction. This article documents the seminar and initial outcomes from the six groups organized; and concludes with the collective views of the participants on the RIA framework.