The Future of Global Risk: A View from Davos 2017
Originally published in Scientiifc American – January 16, 2017– Thirteen years ago, a group of us joined forces at the invitation of the World Economic Forum to embark on what …

commentary archives »»


Dr. Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan (EMK) is an authority on managing emerging risks, the financial impact and the business and public policy challenges/opportunities associated with risk taking, from day-to-day decisions made under stress to dealing with truly catastrophic events and the critical role that insurance plays in economic growth and resilience.

What is a catastrophic event? Any extraordinary occurrence capable of inflicting severe human, economic or reputation losses to you as a person, to an organization or to a country. Think bad strategic decisions, external shocks such as natural disasters, terrorist threats, cyber-attacks, pandemics, financial and economic upheavals …

His view of the future is simple: Tthe world will see more and more of these unprecedented events, devastating catastrophes. As the last 15 years have clearly proven to be the case, We –as individuals, companies, society– need to completely re-think the way we approach these questions.
Erwann Michel-Kerjan’s mission is to help us think more clearly about the answers.

Originally from Brittany in France (Celtic name), he completed his PhD in economics in 2002 at age 26, then joined the Wharton School (Philadelphia, PA – USA), one of the world’s premier business schools. He taught in both the Wharton MBA and executive programs and served as Executive Director of the Wharton Risk Center until 2017, a pioneering research group established 30 years ago. In early 2017 he joined McKinsey and Co. as a new Partner of the firm.

Named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos) — “an honor bestowed to recognize and acknowledge the most extraordinary leaders of the world under the age of 40” — EMK has worked with businesses, heads of state and senior policymakers, international organizations and foundations on how to build resilience against those events and develop innovative solutions that create value. Since 2008 he chairs the OECD Secretary-General Board on Financial Management of Catastrophes, which advises the Finance Ministries of the 34 OECD member countries and the G20.

Award-winning author, EMK has given over 150 invited keynotes and public speeches (represented by the Lavin Agency in New York).

To contact Dr. Michel-Kerjan on his work, request an interview or discuss speaking engagements for your organization’s annual summit/internal training, please click on “contact” in the navigation bar.