Swiss Reʼs “Open Minds Forum” focuses attention on the future of risk
Swiss Re has a long tradition of hosting events for clients, brokers, other partners and employees. We’ll always try to do something a bit special.
Our 150 Year Anniversary celebration is no exception. We have been holding events in many of our key locations.
At the heart of our anniversary events lies our desire to thank our stakeholders for their loyalty and partnership, and to trigger dialogue about the risks facing today’s communities and generations beyond.
Through the “Open Minds Forum” we hope to open people’s minds and raise awareness of what risks the future holds. And we hope to stimulate debate about how we, as an industry, can work together to find some of the answers.
Bill Emmott moderating a dialogue session in London
Head Moderator, Open Minds Forum
The ambition of the Open Minds Forum looked intimidating — to envision the kind of world we want to see in 2050. Swiss Re’s stakeholders in Zurich, London and New York more than rose to the challenge.
Clients, brokers, other partners
and Swiss Re employees attend
the Open Minds Forum.
Crucially, most delegates sensed that 2050 is not as far ahead as it sounds — just 37 years, within most of their potential lifetimes. The chosen topics of sustainable energy, funding longer lives, dealing with climate change and natural disasters, and partnering for food security are also practical ones that affect all of us and that we all have a chance to affect. These days have been firmly participative: no sitting back and listening, but rather a welcome opportunity for everyone present to contribute, to come up with new ideas and to form conclusions. And to carry on the thinking and the conversation beyond the day itself.
Common themes have emerged. The importance of education to improve outcomes, and technology, to make desired outcomes possible. The need to think hard about legacy issues: revolutionary ideas in energy, or funding longevity, say, are vital if we are to leap past problems, but the legacies of existing infrastructures and of expectations need to be dealt with. Notions of conflict between generations were quickly scotched, as delegates realised that when taking a multi-decade view, distinctions between the interests of young and old become moot. There was, though, a strong sense that whatever solutions we might reach for, we must think hard about unintended consequences — after all, it is such consequences that have brought about the climate change that now preoccupies us.
“Sustainable energy, funding longer lives, dealing with climate change and natural disasters, and partnering for food security are practical topics that affect all of us and that we all have a chance to affect.”
Head Moderator, Open Minds Forum Former Chief Editor, The Economist
“How will we be more resilient in the future — especially as devastating events occur more and more frequently? Only collaborative thinking will take us further.“
Senior Casualty Underwriter, Swiss Re
A powerful theme has been the need to think internationally. All the topics under discussion are shared, and not just because we share a planet: even the ageing of demographic structures is a shared phenomenon, with China likely to get old well before it gets rich. This could be a vital starting point for the fourth Regional Day, in Beijing in March 2014.