IRGC’s Guidelines for Emerging Risk Governance are a set of flexible guidelines that support public and private organisations in their work to design internal processes to proactively deal with emerging risks:
- Anticipate emerging risks and opportunities: identify, evaluate and prioritise potential threats and opportunities
- Respond to emerging risk: assess and respond to those threats that may develop into risks to an organisation
The report builds upon previous IRGC work on causes and factors contributing to risk emergence (The Emergence of Risks: Contributing Factors, 2010) as well as on the main obstacles that organisations in the private sector face when they try to manage emerging risks (Improving the Management of Emerging Risks, 2011). It draws from consultations with academics and practitioners in the public and private sectors who have developed their own processes for emerging risk identification and assessment. Substantial input to the Guidelines was provided at a Roundtable Discussion on Emerging Risk Governance in June 2014.
IRGC’s approach in this report aims to combine a practitioner’s view, which entails specific strategic and managerial objectives, needs and constraints, with insights from scientists and scholars, who develop and provide evidence and concepts for improving decisions about the management of emerging risks and opportunities. The guidelines are intended to be practical, yet grounded in theoretical knowledge.
The guidelines include suggestions to engage in horizon scanning and futures studies, to generate flexible and adaptable management options, to determine specific intervention points, to develop dynamic capabilities, to link with innovation management and to refine decision-making in situation of uncertainty. The guidelines elaborate on how certain risk governance options are particularly well adapted to prevent and respond to emerging risks. It also emphasises the importance of conducting the governance process and creating internal corporate cultures for proactive emerging risk management.
The main report is accompanied by an Appendix, published separately, in which readers can find further conceptual insights and recommendations.
This project is led by Prof. Ortwin Renn, University of Stuttgart, and member of the IRGC Scientific & Technical Council.