In this episode I visit with Damon Brenner, partner at Control Risks on the 2018 Control Risk Map. He details some of the company’s findings in the document entitled RiskMap 2018. Jonathan Wood, Director at Control Risks will present to the Greater Houston Business and Ethics Roundtable (GHBER) on the Risk Map this coming Thursday, 25th January, from 8-10 AM at the offices of Marathon Oil, here in Houston. For more information click here.

It is one of the definitive forecast of political and security risk across the globe in the coming year. The top five listed risks for 2018 were: 

  1. North Korea – While Control Risks believes war on the Korean peninsula is unlikely, the paths of escalation are clear, de-escalation is harder to plot. The search is on for the least bad option, but it’s not clear what that is. The risks of miscalculation and accidental escalation are the highest they’ve been since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un assumed power.
  2. Large scale cyber-attacks targeting infrastructure – 2017 was the year of large-scale but random disruptive attacks. Control Risks believes that 2018 will see the likes of WannaCry, NotPetya and BadRabbit recur, but in a more powerful, targeted and disruptive manner. National infrastructure systems are particularly at risk.
  3. Protectionism policy of the Republican administration – Control Risks believes there is a low likelihood but if does occur, it will likely be a high impact, but the threat is there: in a year of mid-term elections, NAFTA negotiations fail to make enough headway, the administration pulls the US out of NAFTA and the WTO, and goes after China on trade, causing profound disruption to international commerce.
  4. The big power rivalry in the Middle East – Control Risks believes that across the region, the combination of an ambitious Saudi Arabia and assertive Iran informs and inflames conflicts and enmities in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen and between Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Control Risks does not believe these two countries will go to war.
  5. Personalized leadership – Astride the business risk landscape is a collection of assertive world leaders who rely on nationalism and, to varying degrees, populism. Prone to capricious decision-making, they find foreign companies convenient targets. More than ever, knowing the mind of the person at the top is essential.

Each of these areas has full reports dedicated to them and available for download. Further, the Risk Map is broken down by region. The main map covers the countries of the world and provides regional nuance within and across national borders. The Maritime, Kidnap and Travel Risk maps give further insights into Control Risks areas of specialist expertise. In short all of this information is available for any compliance professional for use in helping to assess your annual risks going forward. It is a visual, data and information feast for anyone interested in global risk, in a wide variety of areas.

If you are in the Houston area, the Greater Houston Business and Ethics Roundtable (GHBER) is privileged to have Control Risks present its 2018 Risk Map at our first meeting of the year, this coming Thursday, 25th January, from 8-10 AM at the offices of Marathon Oil, here in Houston. Our presenter will be Control Risks Director, Jonathan Wood, the author of the White Paper on the Number 1 listed risk of the Global Powder Keg, including North Korea. Wood leads Control Risks’ Global Issues practice, on global political, operational, security and integrity risks to multinational organizations in the oil and gas, mining, insurance, financial services, retail, construction and technology sectors. His subject matter expertise encompasses geopolitics, global governance, economic development and transnational security issues. He leads Control Risks’ analysis of transnational terrorism, single-issue direct action, and geopolitics. In short, Wood knows his stuff and he can further educate all who attend the GHBER meeting.

If you are in Houston, I hope you can join us. The information Control Risks makes available is worth it. For more information on the GHBER meetings, featuring Jonathan Wood of Control Risks, go the GBHER website.