“We are facing a crisis on top of a crisis,” said Kristalina Georgieva, MD of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April 2022. She was referring to the combined impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the Russia/Ukraine crisis, and accompanied her statement with a sobering forecast on the lack of global growth and a declaration that rising inflation is a "clear and present danger".
As the year continued many of the risks on organization’s lists have crystalized, and in the face of such change, there has never been a better time to reconsider the risk landscape and the risks and opportunities on the table. Today, future-seeking leaders accept that risk has become a mainstream element of business and will likely remain so for the balance of their careers. The frequency and simultaneous occurrence of high-impact risks require both enhanced day-to-day management and agile planning for a “portfolio” of risks, supporting a culture of adaptability to incorporate new information that arrives daily or hourly, being ready to act decisively when events happen.
It is also important to not just focus on the risks, but to keep an eye open for the opportunities. After its successful launch in 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope sent back the first awe inspiring views of the cosmos that will help us understand how our universe works. In 2022, several groups reported the first successful applications of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to identify novel antibiotic drugs, which will improve life expectancy and quality of life. And in December, the much delayed Convention on Biological Diversity was held in Montreal, which will set a course for nature recovery from now until 2050 – supporting understanding on the value of nature.
Over the last year, the Emerging Risks hub has been supporting thinking in this space with our industry practices and their clients; offering a challenge perspective off positive and negative futures that bring stakeholders together to discuss risks and their interconnections through scenarios. Key examples of this are outlined in this year’s Annual Review, and include the launch of the Airport Risk Index with the Centre for Risk Studies at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, and the release of the first report with Lloyd’s to explore supply chain vulnerabilities in 3 key industries.
In 2023 we will be rerunning the emerging risk survey launched at our 15-year anniversary conference, and continuing to build out thinking around scenarios and futures. This will be supported by Dr. Jen Daffron who will focus on these two areas.
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