Trensition partners with The Geneva Association, leveraging AI-driven insights to redefine strategic planning and risk assessment in the insurance industry.
The Geneva Association, founded in 1973, is an international association of insurance company leaders, which includes CEOs of both insurance and reinsurance firms. It is known as the insurance sector's think tank, and it is dedicated to conducting comprehensive research in collaboration with its member companies, academic entities, and various global organizations. The Geneva Association sets itself apart by:
- Proactively identifying and analyzing key trends and risk elements that are set to shape the future of the insurance sector, while thoughtfully developing relevant recommendations tailored for the industry and policymakers.
- Creating a dynamic forum where industry members, government bodies, academic experts, and global institutions connect to exchange ideas on these emerging trends and proposed strategies.
- Emphasizing insurance's vital role in enabling resilient, prosperous communities across developed and emerging nations, thereby contributing significantly to global sustainable development.
With a global reputation for high-quality and forward-looking work, The Geneva Association curates and disseminates knowledge across seven key thematic areas, reflecting the diverse challenges and opportunities in today's insurance landscape:
- Climate Change and Environment
- Health & Ageing
- Socio-economic Resilience
- New Technologies & Data
- Evolving Liability
- Public Policy & Regulation
To strategically establish their research focus for 2024 and 2025, The Geneva Association aimed to reassess their current range of seven research workstreams. In this quest, the Geneva Association sought a "not your typical AI-powered" foresight specialist to offer fresh perspectives and challenge existing viewpoints within The Geneva Association and among its insurance members.
So, the question was then. What innovative insights and unexpected challenges could an AI-driven foresight specialist bring to the traditional insurance industry, reshaping its research and strategy for the coming years?
The Geneva Association set forth clear objectives for their strategic initiative:
- AI-Powered Risk Landscape Analysis: Do an AI-powered deep dive into the global risk landscape to understand what The Geneva Association could be missing.
- Creative Thinking for Research Directors: Encourage them to think outside their boxes, urging them to explore trends and topics beyond their usual scope.
- Relevance Check: Perform an extra sanity check to ensure the chosen research topics are relevant for insurance companies in the upcoming two years.
- Strategy Workshop Facilitation: Organize a strategy workshop with the research directors to encourage both divergent and convergent thinking on new ideas.
- Interactive Session at 50-Year Event: Host an interactive session on 'Anticipating the future risk landscape' at The Geneva Association's 50-year event with Kai-Uwe Schanz, Head of Research & Foresight.
"It was extremely insightful to identify blind spots, supported by AI, discussing in peer groups with diverse backgrounds." - Lukas Ziewer, Group Chief Risk Officer at Athora.
The nature of risk is changing in today's interconnected and fast-paced world. Climate and cyber threats, in particular, are increasing systemic risks, while digitalization and ESG disclosure trends amplify intangible risks. These developments complicate the traditional insurance model of pooling and redistributing risk, posing significant global challenges for insurance companies. In response to this changing risk landscape, insurers are increasingly exploring services that extend beyond traditional insurance offerings. That's why a challenging and data-driven approach could augment Research Directors' thinking, supporting them to think outside their respective boxes.
Our unique and practical hybrid trend scouting approach supports The Geneva Association's trend scanning initiative. This approach strategically blends AI automation and human intelligence, resulting in a sophisticated decision-making process. By integrating these elements, we provide a data-enriched perspective that rigorously challenges internal biases, refining the focus for research priorities in 2024 and 2025.
“This was a perfect example of AI/human foresight intelligence at play.” - Vincent Defour - CEO Trensition
First, we used the AI power from our strategic intelligence platform, Trendtracker. This powerful tool was instrumental in assessing the maturity level of the identified research workstreams. Trendtracker's sophisticated algorithms provided comprehensive scoring and signal detection, laying the foundation for an in-depth analysis.
Secondly, our AI assessed and ranked potential risks impacting the future of insurance by scoring them and looking for data proof points on "why" these risks could materialize. This thorough analysis resulted in approximately 60 significant risks.
We introduced the 60 risks on an online Risk Radar Board within Trendtracker to facilitate a more interactive and structured approach. The board is structured according to the STEEP framework, ranging from demographic changes to technological advancements, environmental challenges to geopolitical shifts, and social trends to economic drivers. The idea was to use AI-powered risk scoring as reference material to inspire thinking, challenge assumptions, or explore new possibilities.
Thirdly, we collaborated with The Geneva Association's research directors. Starting with our long list of identified risks, we augmented these insights with the directors' expertise, prioritizing 25 key risks, later coined 'The Geneva 25.'
This collaborative process was done in a brainstorming hackathon featuring two main exercises:
Blind Spot Mapping Exercise:
In this exercise, we combined insights with human industry expertise. The term "blindspot analysis" was first coined by American economist Michael Porter. Porter argued that in business, outdated ideas or strategies had the potential to stifle modern ideas and prevent them from succeeding. The Blind spot analysis is a systematic decision-making evaluation process that helps uncover process flaws due to bias or misinterpretation.
Disruption Mapping Exercise:
Here, participants were asked to identify blind spots and disruptive forces that could potentially impact society and, more specifically, the insurance industry in the future. Disruption mapping helps us identify tangible implications of macro risks, enabling us to foresee what lies ahead. It allows us to imagine potential business opportunities in Horizon 2 (H2) and Horizon 3 (H3), and it also helps us prepare to meet the future and shape it, delivering solutions more swiftly and effectively than competitors.
As a final step, a session was organized with insurance risk experts from around the globe to identify any potential risks the insurance industry may have overlooked. This interactive session was held during the Geneva Association 50 summit, in which 25 identified risks were analyzed to assess their potential impact and determine whether they fall within or outside the scope of insurers. This analysis aimed to map out these risks and help insurers identify any blind spots they may have missed.
“The interactive sessions led by Vincent was both productive and fun.” - Kai-Uwe Schanz, Head of Research & Foresight at Geneva Association.
Some interesting results were presented and identified. Interestingly, the teams had no clear alignment regarding identifying blind spots. Risks are mainly linked to the different value propositions and challenges of Life, Non-life, or reinsurers.
Two or more teams chose 10 overlapping potential blind spots:
- Geopolitical Instability and Geoeconomic Tensions
- Energy Transition Risks
- Growing Concern for Water Scarcity
- Breakthroughs in Biotech and Medicine
- Global Economy and Economic Inequality
- Growing Public Governmental Debts
- Insecure Food Chains and resource depletion
- Failure of Climate Change Adaptation
- Political Polarisation
- Smart and Eco-cities