University St. Thomas Spring Seminar

 

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Understanding the new frontiers in corporate strategy and innovation was a key theme University St. Thomas Spring Seminar focusing on Risk Leadership.  The event was hosted April 25, 2018 on the UST campus located in downtown Minneapolis Minnesota.  The event featured keynote speakers and several breakout tracks focusing on Risk Leadership and Risk Managment.   The attendees were primarily senior practitioners from twin cities corporations, as well as, SMEs from consulting firms and university students are in the UST Risk Management programs.

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2018 Globalization Trends

240_F_6103632_ib328fMRJVHjrJSvj2VORJI21LaeKU1sIn this blog we will take a look at some top trends in globalization that are facing national and corporate strategies.  Globalization had massive momentum before the 2008 economic recession.  While many economies have recovered and are growing there are new forces today that are creating challenges to continued global integration.

Strategic Considerations:

  • The rise of nationalistic goals and causes has created more international tension and is slowing collaboration for united efforts towards shared opportunities and global challenges.
  • Many existing agreements like UK Union (Brexit), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFDA) are falling apart without a new solution to advance the relationships.
  • Companies are increasing learning of the difficulties to understand localization of new markets, partnerships and navigating foreign policies.  Size alone may not be enough to successful globalize vs. regional relationship and relevance.
  • Population growth in BRIC to ICASA is creating new billion+ people markets and equal number of ecological challenges.  These areas of opportunity will be disrupted by their own sustainability crisis.  Compounding this trends is that the shift to urbanization is no where near complete in these countries and yet their cities and infrastructures are already beyond capacity.
  • Development of the middle class is a global concern for both developed and developing nations.  Economic growth without opportunity for an aspiring middle class has proven to be unsustainable long term.
  • Growing populations have a near term crisis of improving education to make the emerging workforce relevant, as well as, the need to develop new services for their aging populations.
  • Corporate involvement in Social causes and infrastructure will increase in terms of time, investment and focus in all regions.  Stability, prosperity and livability are key to corporate survivability.
  • The competition for natural resources will become ever more at the forefront of all strategies.  Both in securing and security the resources a nation has, but to also secure the relationships and collaborations needed to exchange resources with others.  This also drive innovation in shifting to new forms of sustainability to reduce critical dependencies on current resources.  This will continue to create new opportunities or disruptions for companies that either can or cannot respond to the demand.
  • Last century was dominated by the growth of global vertical players.   Today the rise of horizontal players and integrators will generate new forms of partnerships and disruptions for the classic business models that will reform business ecosystems.
  • The disruptive power of new digital currencies could unseat may traditional financial business models.   It does offer potentially a long term promise of a more integrated and audible world of finance, there is still the shorter term maturation and security issues that economies will have endure if they begin down that path.
  • While trade and migration are under strain,  the rise of data exchange continues to expand exponentially.   This is creating new opportunities to understand the worlds big data insights to make better decisions and investments.
  • The dark side or dark web continues to rise along with the growth of data exchange.  Global investment in securing digital transactions and traceability will be required to maintain stability of markets and economies.

Sources:  Harvard, McKinsey, Inc

 

 

2018 Top Technology Trends

240_F_6103632_ib328fMRJVHjrJSvj2VORJI21LaeKU1sAs Technology continues its rapid innovation the leading trends all suggest massive opportunities for nations and companies that can harness the potential of the new capabilities.  While most of the trends listed are sure to progress rapidly, there is a cautionary tale underneath each for the impacts to society that will be incurred.  It will take time to understand each one and it may not be able to be undone once certain abilities are unleashed and entrenched into global business and governments that have control.

Top Tech Trends:

  • Artificial Intelligence:
    • Artificial Intelligence will drive a new level of deep learning and ability to approach new levels of big data analysis.
    • New graphic data and forms of linguistics research will also enhance the transfer of knowledge.
    • Algorithms for dealign with noise to signal ratio or pattern anomaly recognition will be a competitive advantage.
    • Machine vision spanning facial recognition, security or any detailed oriented visual task will transform how we can approach new sources of information.
    • Increased pattern and trend recognition will drive profiling and personalization of services.
    • Decision support systems will gain a new level of insight and sophistication driving a more data driven decision approach.
    • AI chip design and manufacturing will expand but like CPUs only the best will survive long term.
  • Human to Machine Interface
    • Multi-model interaction include touch, audio, visual and facial recognition will evovle.
    • Ethics based interfaces will grow as AI develops
    • Natural language processing will increase in accuracy and should surpass the quality of touch interaction within the next 5 years.
  • Quantum Computing
    • The ability to process entire new sets of problem spaces beyond the traditional computer architectures
    • The ability and speed in which variable scenarios can be processed expands exponentially
    • The predictability of random events can be better modeled.
  • Internet of Things
    • A world of sensors and new data sources exists that can provide new insights about systems and society.
    • The security for such a world of data represents a monumental challenge.
    • The network and bandwidth demands for an IoT world may not be able to keep pace with the volume of data generated.
  • Digital Currenies
    • Standardization on platforms and protocols will lead the experimentation.
    • The definition, depth and authorization around digital identies.
    • Demonstrable security and indemnification of transactions
    • The ability to have cross national law and regulation is instrumental in its long term viability.
    • Oversight and monitoring protocols for regulatory bodies.

Source: MIT, Alizila, Berkely

 

Great Lakes Water Controversy

United-States-Map-2Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker  is proposing that the City of Racine be allowed to divert 7 million gallons of Lake Michigan water everyday as part of the Foxconn deal in southeast Wisconsin. However, conservation groups oppose the plan, and argue that it not only undercuts the Great Lakes Compact of 2008, but also such a diversion for private industry use is unprecedented.  Source: SSTi

This is another example of the growing struggle to jointly manage shared natural resources.   Many cities, both in the USA and Canada rest on the shores of the Great Lakes.  Who dictates that cities uses of their shoreline and access to the water.   In the past law suits have come around pollution claims of an up stream user contaminating the water for those down stream and many of those suits have held up in court with large reparations to the offending party.   While most cities try to regulate water usage for the greater good it becomes more concerning when private industry wants large scale access to those shared resources for their personal profit.   Complicating the matter even more is that multiple nations share natural resources like access to fresh water sources and the seas.

This rising crisis of global sustainability is bringing many of the Grand Challenges to the forefront of national agendas.   The world will need to create a new dialogue and ability to regulate and manage a court of appeals on a global level.   Ownership of shared natural resources will also be contested, as will, the issues of unsymmetrical distribution of many resources.   Today we have some internal bodies like the United Nations,   ICJ/HAG, and  G20 to name a few.   These can serve as models to learn from while exploring a more globally inclusive model to represent all nations.

I encourage everyone to follow and share stories about Natural Resource controversies,  appeals, and deals that will begin to set the precedents for the decades to come.   We all need to be alert to the lobbying forces of private interest over the greater good.