painted world

Risk Thinking in an Unstable World

In October 2018, Ron Dembo was driving through an area of burned forest in Northern California.

The CEO and founder of Toronto-based, Dembo had been invited to give a keynote speech at the conference of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), one of the world’s largest electricity distributors. Dembo had previously built Algorithmics Inc., which became the world’s largest enterprise risk management software provider. He was headed to the conference to discuss a new kind of “risk thinking” that he believes could supplant existing forecasting strategies.

“Every decision we make today affects our future,” Dembo says. “Yet, whether we are a corporation or an individual, our decision-making today is primarily guided by our attempts to forecast our future. Traditional forecasting doesn’t work well, because past data is of minor use in our fast-changing climate reality. Nearly every commercial and non-commercial sector—from finance, insurance, energy and transportation to local and federal municipalities—is affected.”

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