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Combatting the threat posed by global risk megatrends

(Sponsored article) One of the standout virtual sessions on day two of Governance Institute of Australia’s National Conference 2021 was the session on global risk megatrends.

The expert panel included Chief Economist of Westpac Business Bank, Besa Deda, Chairman of Endeavour Group Ltd and Non-executive Director for Telstra and Santos Ltd, Peter Hearl and immediate Past Chair of the Board of Business at OECD and Managing Director of Iron Duke Partners, Phil O’Reilly. The session was chaired by Ansarada’s Director of GRC, Sourabh Pandey.

According to the panelists, globalisation and multilateralism are under more threat today than almost any time in the past.

We take a look at the key themes that emerged during the session.

Understanding the global risk landscape

Interconnected factors like climate change policies, growing tension and inequality – including economic, digital and health inequalities – and a weakening of multilateral institutions are all significant global threats. Related concerns are the fissures in nation state relations, most notably China versus the US, and increasing nation state conflicts (cyber, trade and military). The potential for terrorist attacks is multiplied in such an environment, where the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ are further divided and youth can become easily disenfranchised.

The pandemic itself has not only exacerbated the risk landscape but has contributed its own threats to multilateralism. These include vaccine nationalism and imperialism, the emergence of big government (think lockdowns and costly regulations), and supply chain challenges, which can lead to nationalism and protectionism, and more fighting over critical resources the world needs to grow and develop.

What can businesses do about it?

The bottom line is that elements of our global governance system are always under threat. They will go through periods of being more or less at risk, but businesses are uniquely positioned to support them. Business has a habit of taking these systems for granted, but it’s time to stand up and call for the right kind of reform that makes them fit for purpose.

More than ever, companies need to step up and vocalise their support for multilateral institutions, such as the OECD, whose rules and treaties underpin much of today’s globalisation.

We need more risk champions – people and organisations who will take risk and bring stakeholders together. Even if they start with disparate points of view, it is about starting the dialogue and forging relationships. Bringing younger people into these discussions will help bridge the intergenerational gap in society, and ensure these future leaders have a voice now.

Partnerships between public and private enterprises will present new opportunities and solutions; for example, fostering relationships with academic institutions in spaces of health, education and digital to reduce disparities.

Creating greater governance globally

Ultimately, good governance has to be about the prosperity of every citizen. Governments need to ask themselves, are their citizens able to make the right choices for their own wellbeing? If they aren’t, businesses need to act to ensure they do.

As inequalities deepen in financial, digital, health and social spheres, the need for inclusion, openness and transparency becomes urgent.

Further information

Ansarada is a Gold Sponsor of Governance Institute of Australia’s National Conference 2021.

Ansarada is a global tech company facilitating the execution of transactions and corporate governance programs.

Ansarada is a complete operating system for information governance, so that boards and company leaders can reduce risk, boost efficiencies and drive decision making at every stage of a company’s lifecycle.

Information governance technologies like Ansarada have a role to play in fostering transparency for businesses, reducing risk, and enabling action on new opportunities that disruption can present.

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