If we could see the future, it would be Asian and urban. Since 2008, a majority of the world’s population has been living in a city and by 2050 only a quarter of us will be clinging to life in the countryside. The rise of the mega-city, particularly in India and China, is one of the most exciting but challenging social transformations of our age. By 2025 there will be eleven cities in Asia with populations over twenty million.
The risk consequences are significant. Crime, corruption, chronic poverty and extremism all prosper when rapid urbanisation is not matched by well planned infrastructure and good governance. The population of the world’s slums is growing by 25 million each year. Doing business successfully in these new environments will demand re-thinking all aspects of our business processes; none more so than the management of risk. The consequences of long-term shifts in urbanisation are by no means confined to Asia. But inevitably India, and particularly China, seem to have a near monopoly on jaw-dropping statistics. [Read more…]