Peter Schwartz of GBN suggests there’s “a high likelihood” of a global food crisis due to commodity speculation and the potential for a bad rice season.
Schwartz, however, is quick to point out that he’s not stating unequivocally that there will be a food crisis. “Our goal is to do scenarios and look at the uncertainties and the elements that could surprise us … We’re not predicting a food crisis, but (saying) that we are vulnerable to it,” he told INSEAD Knowledge following a lecture on ‘Emerging Strategic Issues and Wildcards’ at Singapore’s Civil Service College.
So how can we better prepare ourselves from unpredictable ‘black swan’ events which would have a major impact? Schwartz believes the answer is to think the unthinkable. That involves considering possibilities that are outlandish, implausible but highly consequential. The Asian tsunami, he says, is a prime example of such a black swan event whose impact could have been reduced somewhat had the right questions been asked.
(via Kristin Wolff)