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IRAHSS 2017

About the Symposium

International Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Symposium 2017

The 7th International Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Symposium 2017 (IRAHSS 2017) was held in Singapore on 18th and 19th July 2017. Participants varied from government agencies, think-tanks and businesses from Singapore and around the world.

The theme of IRAHSS 2017 was “Black Swans and Black Elephants”. The objective of IRAHSS 2017 was to identify the black swans – rare, hard-to-predict events with large impact, and Black Elephants – rare but significant risks that everyone knows about, but no one wants to discuss. Working alongside expert speakers with a diverse range of backgrounds, participants helped to conceptualize the scenarios of the future and to find these black swans and elephants.

Discussions centred on the following topics:
  • The Future Geopolitical Landscape
  • The Future of Technology
  • The Future Society
  • The Future of Terrorism

Click here for the full programme and speakers’ biographies.

Each panel culminated in a “Futures Conversations” session, where the moderators, speakers and audience discussed possible future scenarios. The audience was also invited to contribute to the discussions by submitting think pieces, based on the topics that were shared. You may access these think pieces in the button below.

 

Opening Remarks
Peter Ho
Senior Advisor, Centre for Strategic Futures
Video

Black Swans and Black Elephants in…

Panel 1: The Future Geopolitical Landscape: Emerging Challenges in the new Geopolitical Environment
Global leaders are facing an increasingly challenging task – how to make sense of a tumultuous and rapidly-shifting global environment. The popular revolt against globalisation has undermined traditional politics and drastically altered the face of international relations. New tensions and conflict zones have emerged as a result of these developments. What are the political, economic and security challenges of this revised landscape, and how can actors position themselves amidst a time of unprecedented volatility?

PANEL 1 SPEAKERS' BIOGRAPHY & PRESENTATION
Kishore Mahbubani
Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
Video

Evelyn Goh
Shedden Professor of Strategic Policy Studies, Australia National University
Video | Presentation

Christopher Schroeder
Founder, Next Billion Ventures; Serial Entrepreneur;
Author Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East
Video | Presentation

Parag Khanna
Best-Selling Author, Connectography
Video | Presentation


Futures Conversation 1
Video

With Moderators:
Aaron Maniam
Senior Director (Industry Division), Ministry of Trade and Industry

AND

Max Brooks
Best-Selling Author, World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide, The Harlem Hellfighters

Panel 2: The Future of Technology: Drivers of Technological Advancement
DeepStack, a computer AI programme, recently beat top professional players in no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, a game of not just intelligence, but intuition, bluff and luck. Is technology finally progressing faster than what we can cope with? The speed at which new breakthroughs and innovations are emerging has completely outpaced attempts at controlling technological development or limiting its excesses. What can we expect from this next industrial revolution, and what measures are there to contain the genie, now that it’s completely broken free from the bottle?

Panel 2 Speakers' Biography & Presentation
Lim May-Ann
Executive Director, Asia Cloud Computing Association
Video | Presentation

Liran Tancman
CEO and Co-Founder, CyActive
Video | Presentation

Linton Wells II
President, Global Resilience Strategies
Video | Presentation

Victor Alexiev
Founder and Co-Managing Director, Innovator SG
Video | Presentation


Futures Conversation 2
Video

With Moderators:
Aaron Maniam
Senior Director (Industry Division), Ministry of Trade and Industry

AND

Max Brooks
Best-Selling Author, World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide, The Harlem Hellfighters

Panel 3: The Future Society: How Society will Live
Society has been assailed by a wave of disruptive innovation that promises to make our lives easier and more convenient, but also threatening our safety, livelihoods, and independence at the same time. Are technological paradise and dystopian nightmare merely two sides of the same coin? This panel looks at some incipient driving forces that are shaping how our future societies will live and work, along with those that threaten to open new fault-lines and hazards.

Panel 3 Speakers' Biography & Presentation
Nicole Yeo
Intern, RAHS Programme Office, National Security Coordination Secretariat
Video | Presentation

Peter Klimek
Assistant Professor, Section for Science of Complex Systems, Medical University of Vienna
Video | Presentation

Noboru Nakatani
Executive Director, Interpol Global Complex for Innovation
Video | Presentation

Thomas Philbeck
Global Leadership Fellow and
Project Lead for the Fourth Industrial Revolution World Economic Forum
Video | Presentation

Noah Raford
Chief Operating Officer, Dubai Future Foundation
Video


Futures Conversation 3
Video

With Moderators:
Barry Pavel
Senior Vice President, Arnold Kanter Chair and Director
Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security

AND

Dave Snowden
Director Cynen Centre, Bangor University, Wales

Panel 4: The Future of Terrorism: Terrorism and Technology
Although the so-called Islamic state has been reduced in size and remains under siege, its adherents and sympathisers are finding new, novel ways to strike at the enemies of the would-be Caliphate. In this regard, the nexus between jihadists and technology is extremely strong, from leveraging on social-media platforms to recruit new fighters to using smartphone apps to avoid surveillance. The democratisation of knowledge through the Internet also means that once-sophisticated processes such as building pathogens and radiological explosive devices are no longer off-limits to a determined individual. How is terrorism likely to leverage on technology and what can we do to defeat this terrifying new development?

PANEL 4 SPEAKERS' BIOGRAPHY & PRESENTATION
Shashi Jayakumar
Head of Centre of Excellence for National Security,
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University
Video | Presentation

John Robb
Author, Military Analyst and Entrepreneur
Video

Wedad Al Hassen
Senior Program Associate, Hedayah
Video

Peter Neumann
Director, ICSR and Professor of Security Studies, King’s College London
Video | Presentation


Futures Conversation 4
Video

With Moderators:
Barry Pavel
Senior Vice President, Arnold Kanter Chair and Director
Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security

AND

Dave Snowden
Director Cynen Centre, Bangor University, Wales


Connecting the Dots
Nik Gowing
Visiting Professor, NTU
Founder, ‘Thinking the Unthinkable’ Project, International Broadcaster

Ken Lyon
Managing Director, Virtual Partners Ltd

Day 1: Video
Day 2: Video

For more information on IRAHSS 2017, please email RAHS@nscs.gov.sg

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Last Update: 9 Apr 2018
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