Trendspotting: Protiviti’s PreView of Emerging Risks

Some superheroes see through walls. Exceptional corporate leaders see over the horizon and around corners, spotting emerging risks before they become obvious obstacles. These leaders may be interested in the latest issue of Protiviti’s PreView newsletter, in which we evaluate trends using the global risk categories developed by the World Economic Forum as a working framework.

In this issue, we discuss:

  • Global connectedness and investing in emerging economies – Unpredictable political leaders, natural disasters, and too much trust in a single foreign currency can rock your boat all the way to China. No one is immune from the effects of globalization.
  • Urbanization – More people are flocking to cities, demanding products and services: mortgages, paved roads, electricity and water. One obvious question is, how will it all be funded? And the big question from a business perspective, what will it mean from the standpoint of investing for growth opportunities?
  • Shifting demographics and the decline in global fertility rates – Fewer workers, more retirees, and sharply dropping populations in developed countries mean fewer consumershow will policymakers and businesses deal with the unmistakable long-term trends?
  • Entrants from anywhere – Innovate or die. And watch for those startups out of Africa. Global interconnectivity has opened the floodgates of funding capital – what are the opportunities and threats for established incumbents?
  • Artificial intelligence – Your smart home is calling you. Your car is out to pick up milk. And the ATM knows you need a loan – before you do. Is this convenient or scary? Someone has the answers – and it’s probably an A.I.

That’s what’s around the corner. Looking over the horizon, here are some of the risks on our radar:

  • Cybergeddon. A global governance of the Internet is needed, as there are serious political challenges of balancing security with personal privacy.
  • Growing competition for natural resources. There is an increased focus on sustainability – from resource availability to the corporate impact on the environment, society and the economy.
  • Reputation risk for companies with supply chains tangled in human rights violations. More companies are outsourcing labor to countries where labor and environmental standards are low, and this can present a double-edged sword.

We welcome your participation in our ongoing emerging risks discussion. You can download the latest PreView here, and we welcome your comments in the comment section below.

Jim

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