Helmut Anheier, Director of the Center for Civil Society at UCLA's School of Public Affairs, recently wrote an essay on the economic downturn and role of foundations in addressing risk in a global community. He noted that, “Foundations can create arenas where risks are enunciated, exaggerated, discounted, debunked, assessed and debated. They can build arenas that encompass information, expert knowledge and reasoned deduction as well as fears and prejudice, but above all, they can help provide forums for expressing and communicating differential knowledge about risk, be it in the field of finance, health care, the environment, communication or housing.” He also points out that since foundations are independent from election politics and market forces, they are in a unique position to advance this dialogue.
Indeed, an ongoing discussion on risk management can help local and global communities anticipate outcomes and understand systemic risk in various sectors.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Who is the risk manager at your organization?
The full essay can be found in the 2009 edition of The Europa International Foundation Directory (published by Routledge) and is also available on several web sites. (Google Search)