Introduction

Introduction

Introduction to the emerging risk series

In May 2017, we were asked by a global investment firm to consider emerging risks – issues that might or might not be on their risk radar but that will define their environment and impact their risk profile over the next 10 to 20 years. Their brief included thinking 'out of the box' about how we understand risk and what 'causes' risk. To answer the brief, we went back to the drawing board . . . 

Restating the problem

Restating the problem

Looking backwards to look forwards

Looking forwards 20 years to 2037 from today is equivalent to having thought about today in 1997. Had we done so, what would we have foreseen? Surely not most of the more impactful and memorable events of the two tumultuous decades that have occurred from then to now. However, the question is readily reformulated in to a more general firm: What lessons can we learn from history?

Explaining Moore's law

Moore and more insight about the future

Few if any prophecies can be counted as having the accuracy of that contained in an article published in a technical electronics journal just over 50 with probably the least lyrical title imaginable: "Cramming more components on to integrated circuits." At the time, Gordon Moore was a 36-year-old engineer at Fairchild Semiconductor in Southern California with a PhD in chemistry from CalTech. Three years later, he would found Intel . . . 

Emerging risk nexus #1

Emerging risk nexus #1

Deficits from traditionalism

The first nexus of risk comes from combining (i) ideological and religious violence and (ii) scientific illiteracy. These risks create a potent combination of challenges that are manifest, most notably, in the 'arc of violence, stretching across North Africa, through the Levant in to South Asia. Presently and most visibly, they are manifest in the Syrian civil war and in the profound violence in Iran and Afghanistan. But the reach of these risks is not limited to the Muslim world.