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.
6 September – 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 will explore, 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)
6 October – 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 will explore 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)
7 October – 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 will explore 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 will also debate 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)
12 October – 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)
14 October – Opportunities for Insurers
This panel of experts from across the industry will explore 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)
4 November – 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 will draw on the experiences of actuaries in North America, Europe, and Asia and offer 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)
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.
The Dr. Patrick Poon Presidential Speaker Series
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 Power of Pensions: how can pensions change the future? with Sarah Gordon, CEO, Impact Investing Institute
- The New Long Life with Andrew J. Scott
The Dr. Patrick Poon Presidential Series presents 'Finance in the Public Interest'
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Cancer incidence and mortality vary by region and socioeconomic status. Modelling the structure development and trends of cancer risk is important for insurance purposes and can impact pricing and reserving in related health insurance fields such as critical illness insurance and care provision.
A panel discussion with investment representatives discussing the impact of investment on climate change and vice versa.
This event is part of The Road to Glasgow: IFoA’s Sustainability Thought Leadership Series which will 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.
Climate change is one of the greatest risks facing our world today. Addressing it will require multi-faceted solutions. Through this panel session, we will explore the different levers that can be used to meet net-zero targets including climate science and data, government engagement, and mobilising green finance.
How governments and societies collectively respond to the climate crisis is increasingly being analysed through the lens of intergenerational fairness. Our expert panel will assess and explore the extent to which inter-generous fairness is being considered in climate policies, the lessons from those countries who are leading the way on fairness and justice in climate interventions, and more.
This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.
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.
Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.