networked economy, Future of Risk


The networked economy demands collective risk management

Future of risk series: Trend eight

Businesses and other organizations are more connected to one another, and “crowds,” than ever before. They share data, technology, and much more. As a result, they also share more risks. Increasingly, they are managing risk in a manner that reflects this new reality—transforming their risk processes through more open, collaborative approaches that rise to the challenges of a networked economy and working to identify, manage, and reduce risk together.

What forces are driving this trend?

Businesses operating as networked ecosystems are leading to more dependence on external stakeholders
Crowd-driven and sharing-based initiatives are gaining more acceptance among stakeholders such as customers, employees, business partners, vendors, and suppliers—leading to new collaborative business models
Governments and organizations alike are moving toward radical transparency
The increasingly ratings-driven culture means that sellers, customers, and products are all reviewed with increasing frequency—supplying businesses with data for risk analysis
Globally distributed business models leave brands more vulnerable to physical and virtual risks around the world

What are the opportunities?

  • Use collaborative practices like gamified crowdsourcing to reduce the cost of risk management and improve its effectiveness
  • Form alliances with risk experts, researchers, and academia to stay abreast of the latest threats and mitigation approaches
  • Adopt an ecosystem-led approach for risk management by forming industrywide partnerships and consortiums

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networked economy

What are potential threats and pitfalls?

  • Potential for incurring legal costs, regulatory action, and reputation damage if sensitive information is leaked through partners or data-sharing portals
  • Results may be manipulated if bad actors deliberately feed inaccurate data to skew the models

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networked economy, future of risk

Case studies: Where is this trend already in play?

United Airlines is seeking to harness the power of the crowd to improve the security of its software through a “bug bounty” program that will award miles to people for finding vulnerabilities. With this program, the company is following the steps of technology corporations like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, which have their own bug bounty programs. These programs engage independent researchers, experts, and hackers to find potentially dangerous security flaws for a reward.1

ThreatExchange, a social data exchange platform by Facebook, is being used by security professionals and researchers across the world to share cyber threat information.2

Wikistrat, the crowdsourced consulting organization, uses interactive role-playing games that leverage a crowd of experts from all over the world for strategic forecasting. Wikistrat’s open source platform provides access to vetted crowdsourced expertise to address complex client issues and risks and to develop effective action plans.3

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Explore the future of risk trends:


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1 Rob Price, “United Airlines will let you fly free if you find bugs in its software,” Business Insider, May 15, 2015,; “The bounty programs of Google, Facebook, Microsoft… Which tech giant offers the juiciest rewards to hackers,” Panda Security, June 23, 2014,

2 Rex Santus, “Facebook’s ThreatExchange is a social platform for sharing cybersecurity threats,” Mashable, February 11, 2015,

3 “Wikistrat launches analytics wargame harnessing the power of crowdsourced forecasts,” Wikistrat, July 07, 2015,

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