Experts on Open Minds
“I can’t imagine anyone left the event without a deeper appreciation of the nature of these risks and the relationships among them — along with a shot of optimism on how we’re going to address them.“
Chair, Harvard University’s Department of Global Health and Population
Chair of Harvard University’s Department of Global Health and Population
I was really impressed by Swiss Re’s ability to convene such a diverse group of people, and to spark such engaging, constructive and forward-looking discussions. We heard a wealth of perspectives on food security, the supply of energy, human longevity and natural disasters. I can’t imagine anyone left the event without a deeper appreciation of the nature of these risks and the relationships among them — along with a shot of optimism on how we’re going to address them.
Capturing the key outcomes of our dialogue sessions in a unique fashion
Chief Development Officer, Bunge North America
The Swiss Re event was notable for intellectual curiosity, the breadth and depth of knowledge, and above all the genuine spirit of collaboration and mutual respect. I left the forum far better informed than when I arrived and greatly heartened by the capacity of private and public sector leaders to evaluate tough issues and propose imminently practical solutions. Well done, Swiss Re.
President and CEO, Karen Clark & Company
I liked how one participant summed it up: we know how to do it, but the question is will we do it? We cannot prevent disasters from occurring, but we can take proactive steps to build more resilient communities for future generations. The primary challenges are not scientific but political because resiliency requires tough decisions with respect to building codes, land use planning, and who pays the costs. The Swiss Re event stimulated thinking in important areas beyond the typical insurance issues — I thoroughly enjoyed it.
CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance
I was hugely impressed by the leadership Swiss Re showed on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. I was proud to play a part in a unique global conversation about the key long-term challenges of our time. The energy discussion highlighted three things. First, the scale and complexity involved in moving to affordable, secure, clean energy. Second, the huge opportunities and co-benefits that such a transition will create for our economy and society. Third, the extent to which an educated, articulate business constituency has become engaged in the world’s clean energy transition. Swiss Re — with initiatives such as its 150th anniversary celebrations — has been at the heart of that engagement, and I salute them.
Our dialogue sessions focused on the biggest risks faced today and by future generations.
President of the Savory Institute and Chairman of the Africa Centre for Holistic Management
Swiss Re’s 150th anniversary gathering showed a genuine ray of light at the end of the tunnel down which humanity is accelerating. We began by focusing on four vital areas for discussion. The format encouraged full participation. Two speakers zeroed in on agriculture as a grave source of vulnerability. This is something that Swiss Re, and the insurance industry in general, can act on starting now.
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change
Swiss Re’s 150th anniversary meeting in Zürich was a remarkable event. The gathering ventured deep into largely uncharted territory like food security in an ageing world and novel regimes of extreme events on a rapidly warming planet. I found the enthusiasm and thoughtfulness of the participants especially gratifying. This combination turned the celebration into a delightful workshop — and set an agenda for a lot of hard work before Swiss Re’s 200th anniversary.
More on our activities on developments shaping the risk landscape on swissre.com/rethinking
To join the dialogue go to 150.swissre.com