16th January 2020

2020 – Risk Vision

2020 – A time for purpose and positive action

I love­ January.

After the hectic flurry leading up to New Year, suddenly time stretches ahead and for a brief moment, everything slows down in anticipation of the year to come. And of course, this year is extra special, being the start of the auspiciously named 2020s. A decade for visionaries.

And one of the most visionary statements I have come across recently is from a British Academy project on the Future of the Corporation: At its core, it says “The purpose of business is to solve the problems of people and planet profitably, and not profit from causing problems”.

You see, at heart, I am a problem solver. My husband often calls me a pessimist, but he is wrong. I just love to get to the root of a knotty problem so that I can focus my energy on finding a solution. Not burying my head in the sand – just get to grips with it. The simpler the solution the better.

I find happiness in working things out, planning what to do and acting. It’s about having purpose. Which again, the British Academy report puts so well when they say “Purposeful businesses will be essential contributors to solving the global challenges of the 21st century”.

It seems that the 21st Century has yet to find purpose. The ‘noughties’ led to the Global Credit Crunch and inevitable austerity measures. The 2010s have culminated in increasing focus on Climate Change. Social media, increasing globalisation and the digital economy are here to stay. So, our mission is to find a way to harness change and uncertainty, to produce positive outcomes, to develop resilience and readiness to change direction.

With the existential risks we face today, it’s understandable that you might feel gloomy. But doing nothing is not an option. Embracing risk as a positive force for good, as a call to action, a time to innovate, will play a vital role in shaping our future.

A risk vision for 2020: be positive, nimble, purposeful, successful.

Val Jonas
CEO, Risk Decisions Group