Zurich : Year End Event

1 Dec 2011

Risk Management – World Economic Forum Risk Response Network

Elaine Dezenski
Senior Director at the World Economic Forum and
Deputy Head if the Risk Response Network

Elaine Dezenski led an interactive and engaging discussion with IHRC members and guests on emerging risks and inherent opportunities for 2012. She ‘framed-up’ the session by high-lighting some key themes identified in the World Economic Forum report “Outlook on the Global Agenda 2011 From Risk to Opportunity: Building a Response to the New Reality”. These included the following: the rise of geo-technology, mismanaged interdependence and dystopian societal trends.

The attendees then split into four groups to discuss the traits companies value now versus what the participants think companies will value in the future. The groups reported current priorities are focused more on results and the short term. This led to the question of what defines short and long term in a fast-changing environment. Many participants viewed a difference between what companies say they value and what their actions convey. They also expressed the belief that there will be more of an emphasis on social and environmental responsibility in the future and that HR leaders will need to have the ability to assimilate and disseminate massive amounts of information. As everyone in an organization will be better informed, participants foresee more lateral rather than hierarchical organizations where leadership responsibilities are distributed at various levels. Overall, many participants found it more easy to talk about the future –rather than the present.

Ms. Dezenski concluded the session with open questions to the audience: “Is there a culture of risk management in your organization?” If not, “Is it needed?” She also invited participants to imagine what a risk management culture could look like?

In an interdependent, fast-moving world, organizations are increasingly confronted by risks that are complex in nature and global in consequence. The World Economic Forum’s Risk Response Network (RRN) was launched in 2011 to provide private and public sector leadership with an independent platform to better map, measure, monitor, manage and mitigate global risks. Through the RRN, organizations can move from understanding risks to identifying opportunities in an increasingly complex global environment.

Elaine Dezenski’s professional expertise spans both the private and the public sector. Prior to joining the Forum Elaine was Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the US Department of Homeland Security, and Managing Director at Interpol, responsible for the organization’s Global Security Initiative.


Text by Mary Bronson/IHRC Support Team
Photos by Julie Collins Photographie
, http://www.juliecollins.net/