About the foundation
I think the odds are no better than 50/50 that our present civilisation will survive to the end of the present century
-- Lord Rees of Ludlow
Societies have failed for four reasons: Some failed to anticipate a problem; some did not perceive it after it had arisen; some did not try to resolve it after they recognised it; and some failed in their attempts to solve it
-- Jared Diamond
While no outcome is pre-ordained, many decisions have long-term consequences and some overarching future trends have already become clear. Understanding these trends and reflecting on the uncertainties that will affect the future, are essential for strategic success.
Our task as leaders is to go further than this. We must shape our world in ways that will allow us to realize the visions that inspire us. Leadership involves vision, the articulation of effective strategies, the ability to inspire and empower others, and the courage to initiate change. Three core global risks were identified at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in January 2007, before the advent of the global financial crisis:
...the danger of complacency in the face of benign conditions ...
"The new year will begin with the greatest divergence for a generation between the general view of global risks and risks as priced in financial markets", Lawrence Summers, then-President, Harvard University.
... compounded by increasing interdependency ...
"Interdependence is the defining issue of the 21st Century", Tony Blair, then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Risk conflation and interconnectedness make the world increasingly vulnerable to the cascading nature of risk-laden events.
...and a fundamental disconnect between risk and mitigation ...
Although tactical gains have been made in specific areas - such as terrorism, and an improved preparedness for a major pandemic outbreak, we are not addressing emerging risks purposefully or in a focused manner.