Risk Management

Business Strategy

Adapting Risk Management to a Volatile Decade – Corporate Risk in the 2020s

  • Digital Event
  • November 8, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm UTC+0

Live-streamed Meeting Only

“No crisis looks like your scenario plan” – in the words of Mike Martin, one of the guest speakers at this event. The early 2020s forcefully underlined this point, with two ‘once in a lifetime’ crises that few saw coming.

At the Davos meeting in January 2022, global business leaders put ‘Geo-economic Confrontation’ at a distant 10th on their list of severe global risks. Few of the executives doing risk analysis seriously anticipated either a global pandemic or a war in Europe. Both sat passively on company risk registers. Clearly these risks were ‘foreseeable’, and many have claimed in retrospect to have ‘foreseen’ them. Yet the business world appeared totally unprepared for the devastation that both would cause.

Political volatility, climate change, demographic pressures and economic shocks will continue to impact on business over the coming decade in unforeseeable ways. To these we can add the global shift to Carbon Net Zero, the implications of which no-one yet fully understands. Any alignment of these factors could produce ‘perfect storm’ crises, putting significant pressure on the global economy, on world trade and on business operations. As another of our speakers, Airmic CEO Julia Graham remarked, “This is the most challenging threat environment in a generation.” 

So has there been a corresponding sea change in the approach to risk management? How will the growing prevalence of these more extreme forms of risk impact on risk management processes in the coming decade?

Traditional approaches to risk management will be ineffective when faced with the combined and cumulative risks of the future. The scale and speed of future events threaten to leave little room for trial-and-error learning. If you cannot predict the risk, the key is to have resilient processes to react to the risk.

In this new world order, drawing on the cumulative resources and imagination of the organisation has never been so important. What is the contribution of risk management in helping companies successfully to balance the types of risks that will make the difference between thriving, merely surviving, or ceasing to exist. Can the organisation rapidly bring together and deploy the right people to respond to an unforeseen event? The need for greater organisational capacity and capability in this area takes the anticipation and management of corporate risk into the heart of the HR profession.

In this session we will hear from experts at the leading edge of critical thinking on risk management. Those who have deep practical experience in developing innovative processes for proactively managing corporate risk.

Alumni from the last three years of the PARC Strategic Reward Skills Masterclass will be invited to this in-person event and to attend the post-event networking and drinks reception.


Julia Graham, Airmic

Julia Graham

CEO, Airmic

Julia is the CEO of Airmic, the association for risk management and insurance professionals. She has a background in international insurance, enterprise risk management and compliance, with four decades in a global insurance company and a global law firm. She is Vice President of the International Federation of Risk and Insurance Management Associations (IFRIMA), and Chair of the Risk Committee for the British Standards Institution (BSI). Julia is a Crown Representative for the Cabinet Office, focusing on risk and insurance.

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Mike Martin

Mike Martin

Research Fellow, Department of War Studies, King’s College London and former British Army officer

Dr Mike Martin is an author and speaker on conflict and geopolitics. He is a former British Army Officer who served in Afghanistan, and now advises governments, militaries and other organisations how to navigate conflict zones. Mike is a Senior War Studies Fellow at King’s College London and regularly appears in/on international media discussing conflict and geopolitics. His latest book is How to Fight a War. Mike tweets as @ThreshedThought.

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