Reputational & Emerging Risk Observatory

The structured control of reputational and emerging risks with a strategic and proactive approach aimed at anticipating trends to prevent emerging risks and seize new business opportunities.

Born in 2014 as an instrument for protecting Group reputation and strategy, the Observatory contributes to the creation and strengthening of reputational assets and strategic positioning over time, generating a competitive advantage and anticipating future trends in order to seize new business opportunities.

For this purpose, the Observatory makes use of a consolidated predictive model founded on the Meeting Point methodology, in collaboration with Ms. Egeria Di Nallo of the University of Bologna, and methods based on futures studies for adopting a forward-looking approach in the medium-to-long term.

The value brought to the Group by the Observatory is the guarantee of a window on the future, that is openness to signs of change in the various aspects of the external context – i.e. social, technological, environmental, political, providing a 360-degree overview of emerging trends in order to ensure adequate protection from related threats and, at the same time, seize new opportunities in advance and guarantee an effective safeguard of emerging reputational risks by ensuring a continuous alignment of the Group’s responses to the stakeholders’ expectations.

In fact, it is more and more important for companies to anticipate changes with a proactive and integrated approach because the speed of change and degree of complexity and uncertainty of future scenarios have increased significantly.

Anticipating change is essential  to prepare the Group today for the risks and opportunities of tomorrow.

The analysis carried out by the Observatory is a process that has been developing over the years, that represents a training to the future and that constantly alternates between the identification phase of future signals, embodied in Macro Trends, the assessment of the Group’s responses and a continuous update and consolidation over time.

Map of interconnections

Environmental Technological Political
This includes the themes of the Internet of Things, in particular focusing on the black box but also on other household-related devices (home automation and smart cities), businesses, people (health and welfare) and big data. In the area of threats, it includes the theme of personal data protection (privacy), in addition to data security and cyber-crime. It includes the emerging themes of Industry 4.0 and the new computational frontiers.
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This concerns the need for new skills to react to changing trends and new organisational paradigms based on agility and resilience. It includes the themes of skills gap, lifelong learning, remote working and organisational agility, resilience, blending of skills and enhancement of diversity. In this area, it focuses on the growing importance of learning from the external environment by acquiring “clocks functioning at multiple speeds”.
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This concerns the new mobility models, the evolution of mobility-related technology and its impact on the insurance sector. It includes new mobility behaviours, from micro-mobility to the “Mobility-as-a-Service” (MaaS) model and the evolution of car technology, focusing in particular on driverless cars.
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This includes aspects linked to population longevity and aging (longevity, management of the elderly, silver economy, value of children, fertility), progressive generational change with a gap between the various generations and the “power of the youth”, trends linked to immigration and multiculturalism (cultural and religious blending), evolution of family units and social networks (extended families, unmarried couples, singles, parent-child relationships, grandparent-grandchild relationships, women’s empowerment, work-life balance, pet affection, household and gender liquidity).
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This concerns the hybridisation of the relationship with customers into a customer journey with no discernible difference between actual and virtual reality. It includes the following themes: web vitality, mobile Internet, virtual mobility, “onlife”, perpetual connectivity, access to “anytime, anyway, anywhere” services, e-commerce, domestic time, access hours to financial services, time management savings, cyberspace credibility and security. This macro-trend also analyses the emerging figure of the “prosumer” in terms of role, behaviour and values. In this context, it focuses on the phenomenon of the transition from “feedback” to “feedforward” and on the evolution of the insured-insurer relationship in view of creating an “us”.
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This includes the following themes: climate change, extreme climate events, greenhouse gas emissions, dispersal of animal species, insects and microorganisms, spread of new diseases (for the part related to climate change).
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This includes the evolution from ownership to access, forms of collaborative consumption (propensity for usage / ownership, propensity for sharing, social streets, open source, crowdfunding, cloud technology, pay per use...) and peer-to-peer (p2p) trust favoured by digital reputation systems or guarantee tools, such as insurance or forms of “industrialised” trust, such as the Blockchain.
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This concerns internationalisation both in view of a growth and consolidation strategy of the insurance business and in view of support to corporate and SME customers (need to provide risk protection and management services on an international level and support for the development and internationalisation process of SMEs) and retail customers (e.g. education abroad). It includes the risk of contagion, Europe’s sentiment, the growing political instability and the transition to a multipolar order, as well as the spread of disease resulting from globalisation. It focuses on global governance in the face of emerging challenges and the risk of fragmentation of tariffs, cyberspace and space supremacy.
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This includes the themes of fear, sense of vulnerability, unemployment and job insecurity, social polarisation and tensions. Social polarisation is explored in its many forms, which have extended from the economic and financial dimension to other more intangible dimensions with impacts in terms of access to opportunities and “future enablement”. It also includes the themes of downsizing and money management savings.
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This concerns the increasingly important theme of health, understood in a more holistic sense as psycho-physical well-being. It includes the phenomenon of health being increasingly tailored to the patient, touching on topics such as developments in biotechnology, omics sciences, “P4” medicine (personalised, preventive, predictive and participatory), the “quantified self” phenomenon, “well-aging” and, in the area of personalisation and prevention, circadian rhythms, lifestyle and food habits, therapeutic freedom, addictions. It also includes the growing significance of chronic and mental illnesses, as well as the theme of drug resistance. It addresses the issue of public-private (multi-pillar) integration and the rebalancing of welfare actions between the State, the Market and collaborative economies.
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This concerns the phenomenon of our society’s transformation into a “smart economy” or “oracular society” driven by predictive algorithms, thus creating new opportunities and new challenges. It investigates ethical dilemmas and the man-machine relationship.
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This concerns the phenomenon of the empowerment of man through an increasingly symbiotic man-machine relationship, being explored in various areas: for the purpose of treatment (on the side of both the patient and the doctor), work, ubiquity, up to the future frontiers of augmented man for the enhancement of physical and cognitive functions and the emergence of a cyborg “species”. It includes the themes of virtual reality and augmented reality.
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This concerns the dark side of technology, which is increasingly emerging after a phase in which technology has expanded massively and pervasively. It manifests itself in many forms, from techno-addiction and dangers for the youth, to fake news and fake videos, to ethical issues related to the man-machine relationship, hacking risks and privacy intrusion.
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This includes the metamorphosis of assets from tangible to intangible, the evolution of needs from the sphere of security to that of self-realisation and enrichment of assessment and reporting metrics with environmental, social and governance (ESG factors) factors in view of a long-term sustainability. In this context, it focuses on the growing importance of reputation, understood as trust capital, in which ethics play a central role.
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This concerns the transition from the traditional model with a linear shape, Take-Make-Waste, and that generates waste, to a new model with a circular shape, where, thanks to the distinction between biological and technical cycles, waste is eliminated “by design” because everything becomes nourishment for one or the other cycle, returning back to the circle of value through regeneration, reuse, recovery, sharing or recycling. “Circular production chain”, “Recovery and recycling”, “Life-cycle extension”, “Sharing platforms”, “Product as a service” are circular business models. To be accompanied by a new thought process, also circular, which does not separate and fragment but is capable of viewing the economy, the society and the environment as closely connected and interdependent systems.
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This concerns the economy of Space, in particular with reference to the generation of enabled innovative products and services (referred to as “downstream”), such as advanced telecommunications, navigation and positioning, integration of space Big Data with terrestrial Big Data, environmental and climate monitoring, weather forecasting, space tourism, mining (space mining) and protection from the risk of impact of asteroids with the Earth and other cosmic threats, such solar storms. In this area, it focuses on nano-satellite technology and on growing access for the private sector.This concerns the economy of Space, in particular with reference to the generation of enabled innovative products and services (referred to as “downstream”), such as advanced telecommunications, navigation and positioning, integration of space Big Data with terrestrial Big Data, environmental and climate monitoring, weather forecasting, space tourism, mining (space mining) and protection from the risk of impact of asteroids with the Earth and other cosmic threats, such solar storms. In this area, it focuses on nano-satellite technology and on growing access for the private sector.
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A window on the future
A predictive model on relevant topics for the sector.
The methodological framework
The four key pillars.
The Emerging Trend Radar
Material emerging topics and future risks and opportunities.