You are here

Thought Leadership Speaker Series

IFoA Thought Leadership Series

In 2021, the IFoA has embarked on a Thought Leadership programme to help promote innovative thinking, debate and discussion both within and beyond the actuarial profession. The new approach seeks to re-position the IFoA at the centre of key societal issues, some of which are profoundly actuarial, and some which reach out beyond actuarial thought. It strives to cut through the noise, add to the debate and move the conversation forward, whilst engaging and inspiring our audience, whether that be actuaries, politicians, regulators, academics, or the public.


The Road to Glasgow: IFoA’s Sustainability Thought Leadership Series

The IFoA is hosting a thought leadership webinar series this autumn ahead of COP26 in Glasgow. Chaired by IFoA President Louise Pryor, the series seeks to convene leading experts, thinkers and decision-makers with our global membership to debate the key sustainability issues of our time which intersect both actuarial science and the interests of wider society. Through the series, we aim to provide a platform for prominent contributors so that our members and others can understand the perspectives of a wide range of parties interested in the climate debate. We will also be promoting the actuarial contribution to addressing climate change and positioning the IFoA at the heart of key debates that will be occurring against the backdrop of COP26. Ultimately, we want to leverage this series to help influence the wider financial sector and society to drive greater ambition and progress against national and global sustainability targets.

Drawing on the expertise of a diverse range of experts from within academia, the financial sector, and the profession’s own thought leadership community around the world, this series is not to be missed at what is a crucial time for action on climate.

With thanks to our Platinum Sponsor Milliman, and Sponsor Star Actuarial Futures

Webinar recordings in this series are now available for you to watch

What do developing nations need from COP26? 

Developing countries are likely to be the most impacted by climate and the least able to afford its consequences. COP26 President Alok Sharma has said that richer nations must deliver now on long-promised funding to help poorer countries fight climate change. The first panel session of the series explored, amongst other things: What do developing countries need from COP26?  Is the developing world leading the way?  What role can actuaries in developing nations play to help meet climate targets? What can we learn from those on the ground?

Dr. Dabo Guan (Professor in Climate Change Economics and the Low Carbon Transition, The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, University College London); Professor Saleem Huq (Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development); Mukami Njeru (Senior Actuary – L&H, Swiss Re); Louise Pryor (Chair)

View the recording >


What will COP26 mean for investment?

Investors – both retail and institutional – have a huge role to play in how the financial sector addresses the climate crisis. With consumers becoming increasingly interested in how and where their money is invested, COP26 represents a pivotal moment for how the industry reacts. Our expert panel explored the implications of COP26 on investment, including both the opportunities and challenges it presents.

Steve Waygood (Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors); Catherine Howarth (Chief Executive, ShareAction); Mike Clark (Director, Ario Advisory); Louise Pryor (Chair)

View the recording >


Net Zero: Putting interventions into practice

A number of governments around the world have now set net-zero targets – most by 2050. However, few have yet to legislate for the targets. Through this panel session, we explored the different levers that can be used to meet net-zero targets including climate science and data, government engagement, and mobilising green finance. Our expert panel debated just how realistic these targets are or whether they are ambitious enough.

Dr. Emily Shuckburgh (Director, Cambridge Zero – University of Cambridge); Professor Rebecca Willis (Professor in Practice, Lancaster University); Marian Elliot (Global Head of Pensions, GFG Alliance); Louise Pryor (Chair)

View the recording >


Climate justice and future generations

This session will look at how governments and societies collectively respond to the climate crisis is increasingly being analysed through the lens of intergenerational fairness. An expert panel will assess and explore intergeneric fairness in climate policies as well as how young people can be given a more prominent voice in climate politics.

Jane Davidson (Author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David); Kudzai Chigiji (Founder, Africans Thinking); Alice Bordini-Staden (Intergenerational Foundation); Louise Pryor (Chair)

View the recording >


Opportunities for Insurers

This panel of experts from across the industry explored the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change that are facing the sector as we move towards COP26.

Dr. Bronwyn Claire (Senior Programme Manager at Climate Wise), Sharanjit Paddam (Principal, Finity Consulting), Karen Tan (Managing Director, Chief Risk Officer Asia and Global Head of Life & Health Risk Management · Swiss Re)

View the recording >


Biodiversity loss and financial risk: Bloom or Bust?

This expert panel explored the implications of biodiversity loss for our financial systems and wider society, as well as how the profession could help mitigate the risks it poses.

Speakers: Penny Endersby (Chief Executive of the Met Office), Professor Aled Jones (Director of the Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) at Anglia Ruskin University) and Medha Bhasin (Senior Clerk on the Environmental Audit Committee at the House of Commons)

View the recording >


The Global Actuarial Response to Climate Change

The climate crisis and the degradation of our planet will affect societies everywhere. How we address these threats will require solutions that transcend borders. As a global profession, the actuarial community is well-placed to consider and propose effective risk management solutions to help manage the climate crisis. This panel session drew on the experiences of actuaries in North America, Europe, and Asia and offered insight into how actuaries are working together to prevent the climate crisis from deepening.

Falco Valkenburg (Immediate Past Chairperson Actuarial Association of Europe); André Choquet (Chair, Climate Change & Sustainability Committee – Canadian Institute of Actuaries); Cynthia Yuan (Senior Risk Manager, China Re); Louise Pryor (Chair)

View the recording >


The Dr. Patrick Poon Presidential Speaker Series

We are grateful to Dr. Patrick Sun Cheong Poon for sponsoring the following series of webinars, enabling us to present them free of charge for all delegates.

Recordings of the sessions in this series can be found on the IFoA's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or by clicking on the titles below:


The Dr. Patrick Poon Presidential Series presents 'Finance in the Public Interest'
Milliman logo

With thanks to Milliman for sponsoring this series of events.

This multi-day series of three keynote webinars were individually presented by leading economist John Kay, and by Sir Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. Ashok Gupta - Chair at Mercer Ltd, Nico Aspinall - Chief Investment Officer at B&CE, Nick Silver - MD of Callund Consulting, and Lucy Saye – Actuary at Aviva working on climate risk and opportunities, that opened up an actuarial discussion on these essential topics. The series culminated in a panel session with the Chief Economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane.

Recordings of all the sessions can be found on the IFoA's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

Actuarial Innovation in the Covid-19 Era

One year on from the peak of the first wave in Europe, our two-week event series Actuarial Innovation in the Covid-19 Era brought together actuaries from across the profession to share their learnings, insights, and experiences of working in the midst of a pandemic. The fortnight series of events - including webinars, panel sessions, and a hackathon - showcased the range of ways in which the actuarial profession has added value, in the public interest, to the understanding and management of the current and future pandemics. A broad and diverse programme included speakers from the IFoA’s Covid Action Taskforce (ICAT), the Actuaries Response Group (ARG), the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI), as well as external speakers from government and academia.

Recordings of the sessions can be found on the Cross Practice page of the IFoA's Online Learning Resources area.

The Behavioural Finance Series 

Wicked Problems, Clumsy Solutions and Leading Change with Keith Grint

In this event, Professor Grint outlined how the nature of some of the problems we face within our own businesses and organisations - particularly those around governance, culture, and change - ranges from the complicated to the complex (wicked). He shared his insights on how these issues manifest themselves and how we can resolve them through various solutions: solutions that may themselves be ‘clumsy’.

Watch a recording of this session

The Growth Mindset with Dr. Helen Wright

Dr. Helen Wright discussed how the adoption of ‘The Growth Mindset’ - a learning theory coined by renowned psychologist Professor Carol Dweck - could help the profession to succeed, flourish, and play a positive societal role in our global community in the midst of such change. Following her presentation, Dr. Wright has joined Nick Salter, Keith Jennings, and Kalpana Shah on a panel discussion around the themes of the session. Chaired by Tan Suee Chieh.

Watch a recording of this session

Systems Thinking & Tragedy of Consciousness with Dr Anthony Hodgson

We have entered the global age which is invalidating most of the assumptions upon which our success up till now has depended. Although there is increasing clamour for new ways of thinking, sadly, our attempts to invent such new ways remain trapped in the same historical set of assumptions. The result is that we are faced with three tragedies. Firstly, the tragedy of the commons; secondly, the tragedy of horizons; thirdly, the tragedy of consciousness. In this free-to-view talk, Dr Hodgson will focus on the tragedy of consciousness and offer invaluable insight into achieving new ways of thinking.

Watch a recording of this session

Reinventing Your Career with Herminia Ibarra

Leadership expert Herminia Ibarra upends traditional, introspective advice and proposes that by acting first, you can change your way of thinking. Whether you are moving into a new role or leading change in your current post, Herminia will demonstrate how you can increase your impact in this free-to-view webinar. 

Watch a recording of this session

The actuary who is only an actuary is not an actuary with David Rooke

David Rooke will explore the leadership capacities and capabilities that may enable actuaries to successfully navigate the challenges of our times. He will discuss how actuaries can apply these principles to ensure the profession succeeds, flourishes, and plays a positive societal role in our global community.

Watch a recording of this session

Filter or search events

Start date
E.g., 03/07/2022
End date
E.g., 03/07/2022

Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    The Actuaries’ Carbon Collaboration (ACC) is a group of actuaries and other professionals working towards a coherent understanding of the issues around greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by considering them in an actuarial context.

    Emissions into and absorption from the atmosphere can be modelled in the same way that we model variable cash flows, including the impacts of uncertain quantities and timing. The ACC’s work investigates both the insights that this analogy provides and its limitations.

  • Spaces available

    This talk presents the work of the Data and Modelling workstream of the IFoA Mental Health Working Party. We explore data and modelling considerations in the risk assessment and underwriting of mental health conditions. We will also consider how newer risk factors and improved data availability might open up opportunities for additional underwriting and product designs.

  • Pensions Dashboards

    12 July 2022

    Spaces available

    As the industry prepares for Pensions Dashboards, we have lined up a specialist panel who is at the heart of the ongoing work in this area. Hear the latest developments, future proposals and have the opportunity to put forward your questions to our speakers.

  • Spaces available

    Crisis management, the process by which an organization deals with a disruptive, sudden and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organization or its stakeholders, has become a key concern in the light of the Pandemic and Geopolitical risks.

  • Spaces available

    Artificial Intelligence is heralded as a game-changer to the ways industries use data, with the insurance industry especially looking to embrace these new technologies. This brings many questions – not least around data privacy, ethics, potential biases and so on – with regulators increasingly interested in developments.

    Moreover, whilst the stunning progress of specific technologies such as Watson and Alphazero made headlines some years ago, current commercial applications of AI remain far from mature.

  • Spaces available

    This webinar will cover:

    • Some background on the risks of misselling in an ESG context, including the DWS case

    • Achieving positive impact is a strong antidote to the risks of greenwashing or ESG misselling, however this risks having a tension with fiduciary responsibilities

    • This tension can be resolved with a concept called Universal Ownership

    • Under Universal ownership, investors have an appetite to make a loss in order to achieve positive impact, and yet still have no compromise on their fiduciary responsibilities

  • Spaces available

    This session will focus on the transformation roadmap of the healthcare sector in KSA and the role of actuarial capabilities in enhancing its evolution to the desired end stage as per the objectives of the Vision 2030. The discussion will focus how the system has evolved so far and shed light on  the expected future changes. Through examining  the transformation, we will highlight how the sector is and can use actuarial  expertise to not only assist with this transformation but also use basic actuarial principles to identify the key risks and their respective mitigation strategies.

  • Spaces available

    The purpose of this research paper is to explore enterprise risk management lessons which can be learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic in preparation for potential future pandemics as well as other “gray rhino” or “black swan” events. This paper is not intended to be an all-encompassing solution to the issues presented by Covid-19; rather, the content has been provided to help drive discussions regarding how risk management processes may need to evolve in line with the dynamic nature of the underlying risks that they sometimes need to capture.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA's Infrastructure Working Party, led by Chris Lewin, will present its new introductory guide to infrastructure investment, which will be published on the IFoA web-site prior to the webinar.   Those readers whose institutions have already taken the plunge into infrastructure will know that it is a highly complex and diverse field of activity.   This guide does not explore all the matters which investors take into account, but it does discuss many of the more important points, including the risks and past returns, benchmarking, and ESG and SDG considerations.    Attendees will be invi

  • Spaces available

    Health contributes to happiness at the personal, family, community and societal level.  Health, importantly underpins all our economic security. This talk will explore the drivers of our health, the measurement of health and the steps we can take to improve health – most of which lie outside the NHS.