The summer and early autumn have been particularly interesting times for the Red (Team) Analysis Society. We notably participated in crucial “behind-the-scenes” meetings and activities, which shape how the field of risk management, strategic foresight and warning, crisis prevention or more broadly strategic anticipation evolves, from practice, processes, and methodologies, to major issues, specific risks and uncertainties.
About global risks, threats and uncertainties, process and methodology
At The World Economic Forum for The Global Risk Report 2017 and the 4th Industrial Revolution
Helene Lavoix was part of the October 2016 preparatory workshop for the forthcoming Global Risks Report 2017 of The World Economic Forum (WEF), held at the WEF beautiful headquarters in Geneva, Cologny.
The Global Risk Report is a leading product of the WEF, grounded in the result of a survey, “which gathers the perceptions of the multi-stakeholder constituencies of the World Economic Forum across different areas of expertise, geographies and age groups” (WEF). The forthcoming 2017 Report will be disclosed right before the WEF global and most famous event, the Davos Meeting.
The October seminar gathered a selected group of experts from various fields, from the public, private and academic sectors. As experts, our task was to provide “insights on the survey results, and the interpretation of some risks connections… to contribute to shape the content of The Global Risks Report 2017” (“WEF”). We thus worked in groups and plenary sessions, facilitated by the great WEF team, on the main risks identified and their interconnections. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the WEF, visited our working meeting a couple of times and shared his vision, ideas and dynamism.
We could also brainstorm on this year’s special focus: emerging technologies and the 4th Industrial Revolution. This theme is the new endeavour of the WEF, and indeed the Forum announced (10 October 2016) the opening of its new “Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution” in San Francisco, “to advance global cooperation” on this tremendous change (see press release) – we were told in confidence during the meeting about this development, but sworn to say nothing until the official announcement, of course.
This was a fantastic meeting, with an incredible wealth of perspectives, constructive discussions, and insights.
At the OECD High Level Risk Forum Policy
Helene Lavoix also took part in the latest (September 2016) High Level Risk Forum (HLRF) Policy seminar “Preparing Governments for Long Term Threats and Complex Challenges”, which took place at the OECD Headquarters. The Red (Team) Analysis Society’s involvement with the HLRF started back in May 2015 in Geneva, when we were invited to give a keynote speech at the Swiss Confederation – OECD Fourth Workshop on Strategic Crisis Management “Anticipating crises and their potential pathways”.
The HLRF Policy seminar was, as usual, a very interesting and productive day, with many ideas by and exchanges between highly experienced practitioners of both the public and private sectors, from various OECD countries. Among others, Greg Treverton, the chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, gave an (unclassified) pre-preview of the forthcoming Global Trends, the U.S. Intelligence Strategic Foresight product prepared every four years for the next President.
We were also delighted to see our own contribution published. Right now, it is only available in hard copy for members of the Forum (the article, of course, as is customary, does not represent the views of the OECD – see photo of the cover page above).
Teaching at SciencesPo-PSIA
Teaching, in a very different way, also qualifies as a “behind-the scenes” activity, as education is a primary means towards future good governance and leadership. Helene Lavoix started teaching again at the Paris School of International Affairs of Sciences Po the course “Risk Analysis & Crisis Management” in the Concentration “Global Risks” of the related Masters (from International security to International Public Management or International Energy) for a new semester. Teaching is, as always, a great multinational experience, where bright students from very diverse regions of the world (from Korea through India to Russia, the U.S., Latin America, or European countries), push us to go always further and deeper into our understanding of and capacity to explain and communicate anticipation.
About specific risks, threats and uncertainties
Jean-Michel Valantin delivered a speech on “Biodiversity and Army at international level”, and participated in the debates at the International conference “Life, Defence, Nature, 2mil” in Nimes France (June 2016), which gathered high-level defence representatives from numerous countries. The exchanges in plenary and round-tables were lively, constructive and committed in addressing the role of the military in the protection and preservation of biodiversity.
In mid-October, Jon Mitchell ran an interactive diplomacy role-playing simulation on the Middle East, involving 23 players. It is the third such event he develops and leads for students at Liberty University in the U.S.. These diplomacy exercises are based on real-world issues and allow students to role-play various government leaders as they navigate complex diplomatic and military situations.
Helene Lavoix spoke and led the debates at a seminar (July) on “Radicalisation in francophone Africa: causes, indicators and prevention” (Fr “Radicalisation en Afrique francophone : causes, indicateurs et moyens de prévention”), held at the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), and supported by the OIF and the French Ministry of Defence.