Geopolitical complexity and risk
As politics and economics are intertwined, given the unpredictable state of economies, Silverstein advises businesses to do extensive scenario planning. They should consider a “portfolio of possible futures” to prepare for different and multiple possible outcomes.
2Economic surprises are small events or “black swans” that upset the apple cart, explains Silverstein. Our ability to make predictions of the future based on observations of the past has been diminished given the abnormal operation of financial systems since the 2008 crisis. “The economic system of the world is out of control, and out of control means that we can’t look to the past to give us insight about the future.”
3Economic surprises and stability
intellectual property. The world has a young population that “grew up on the internet”, so the skill level of people engaging in cybercrime has increased.
“Fifteen years ago, we had a small subset of a population that had this e x per t i s e, now we have a whole generation,” says Silverstein.
Tough economic times have driven more people to crime, says Silverstein. Businesses will take steps to protect themselves and cybersecurity companies are likely to spring up. There are also new kinds of protection technologies like double authentication processes and one-time-use passwords.
4New dimensions of digitisation and connectivity
The “i nter net of t hings” or t he phenomenon of having computing dev i ces embedded with i nter net infrastructure will transform the way in which business is conducted. Silverstein argues that in South Africa, challenges are different.
6Generational changing of the guard Wit h more of t he b a b y boomer generation reaching retirement age, a higher executive turnover and the adoption of a growth mindset in business, a younger generation of CEOs are taking the stage. The effect of changing technology and changing consumer culture means that a more youthful perspective is required to manage businesses.
7Challenges to democratic systems
The “assault” on democratic pr i nciples comes f r om di f f erent directions, says Silverstein. Countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are just some examples of failed states that had democracy forced on them. “Maybe not all societies are ready for democracy. I believe it’s right for all societies, but not all are ready for it.”
In SA, he says that the smooth transition of power after each democratic election shows that democracy has been a success. However, whether SA’s democracy will still be considered a success in 100 years depends on whether the economy will be healthier.