Members and guests at the ‘Chamber Connects ‘ event on Wednesday 4 June were treated to a dynamic presentation on understanding and framing risk in a commercial context.

Gerald is Managing Director of St Mawgan and Co. and has over thirty years’ experience in international finance and business, having worked in London, Hong Kong & Switzerland. He is a Visiting Fellow at Newcastle Business School and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

In his address “From Here to Uncertainty”, Gerald reflected on some new ideas in Risk and Uncertainty and in particular how complexity and networks are an integral part of understanding Risk.

He discussed the link between Behavioural Economics and the idea that individuals (whether rational or not) are not so many Robinson Crusoes taking independent autonomous decisions, but rather that networks (both explicit and hidden) have an important impact on our behaviour. 

Gerald also differentiated between three types of challenges that need to be considered when attempting to problem solve and identify risk. A mess is a complex issue which is not well formulated or defined.. A problem is a defined issue with no discernible solution and a puzzle is a well formulated and defined issue with a solution that is easily soluble.  

Gerald also challenged the classical economic models which attempt to predict behaviour with linear, rational processes. Arguing that human beings simply don’t behave in line with this approach, Gerald invoked the famous words of American lawyer Clarence Darrow: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change”. 

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