Blogs & Speeches

22nd January 08   Opportunities and Challenges of 21st Century - Emerging Technologies
    by D K Matai
    Let me ask you to engage in a thought experiment. What if Einstein and Heisenberg are present with us here in this room, engaging in the style of conversations they had in the 1930s. What would they be discussing when confronted with the challenges of the 21st century? Just as they reflected on the profound implications of the technologies emerging in their day, so they would be now. What we define as “emerging technologies” changes over time, as fresh technologies emerge with their own vast implications for human well-being. In 2008, we pose the same questions – and ask what are the implications of the latest technology for today and tomorrow. What I am seeking to do today in this presentation is to provoke you into taking forward that conversation.
9th June 07   Low Probability High Impact and Black Swan Events
    by D K Matai
    We are all being hurled closer to each other as the world integrates faster than ever before. The propensity for fast global integration creates both huge opportunities and its inevitable flip-side, huge risks. In the future, we should be concerned about Low Probability High Impact and Black Swan events which can change the present trajectory of nation states and large economic entities, many with turnovers in excess of the GDP of most nations. Welcome to Asymmetric Globalisation in which friends and adversaries are no longer similar looking as they react to off-the-radar forces giving rise to Low Probability High Impact and Black Swan Events. This also means that more risk is transferred into the markets away from Sovereign states.
13th October 06   Evian: Grave Crisis of Globalisation: Regenerating the Momentum
    by D K Matai
    The Big-10 global risks and opportunities of the 21st century, depend on 'Disruptive Innovation' to address and to begin to resolve some of the seemingly intractable yet interlinked confrontations. As those inherent confrontations accelerate and feed off each other's momentum they possess the capability to damage and to disrupt the delicate global dynamic equilibrium. Faced with this unpalatable prospect for humanity in the coming two decades or less, it is necessary to rethink strategically and come together in joint action, which is the main aim of the high-level global dialogue established by organisations such as The Evian Group, ATCA and The Philanthropia. We need to be moving towards a wisdom based global economy, where longevity and sustainability are at the top of the agenda.
24th May 05   Holistic Solutions to Counter Asymmetric Threats: The Pivotal Role of Technology
    by D K Matai
    The importance of information and knowledge today is forcing us to take a new look at the main actors in international relations. Traditionally, states have been the exclusive holders of power and authority. With the advent of the internet, new and diverse actors have entered the stage, and simultaneously the speed, capacity, and flexibility in collecting, producing, and disseminating information have increased. As a result of the fragmentation of authority and the altered quality of power, the traditional foundations of security have also been turned upside down.
10th February 05   Cyberland Security: Organised Crime, Terrorism and The Internet
    by D K Matai
    There is growing debate over threats to the security of the Internet, including competing views of their source and severity. But how significant and extensive are the actual threats? Are anarchic spammers the prime suspects? To what extent are organized criminal syndicates and terrorists using and abusing the Internet? And how can police and security forces use the Internet to counteract Cyberland risks? DK Matai discusses the myths and realities of security threats from his perspective as chairman of one of the leading authorities on electronic security for major financial institutions, government agencies and multi nationals in Europe, America and Asia.
18th February 04   Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance - Third Session
    by D K Matai
    The world is a changed place post 9/11: ranging from the ritual of removing shoes at US airports before every departure to the introduction of biometric facial and fingerprint recognition devices upon arrival. Technology is being used in every way to control borders and apprehend organised criminals and extremists both in the physical world and in cyberspace. Emails and voice communications are being monitored for keywords both in the US and by other intelligence agencies across the Western world. Every country and global corporation faced with national insurgence, trans-national extremism and organised crime will ultimately need to migrate closer towards Total Information Awareness Systems (TIAS) in the years ahead. Every citizen and permanent resident of a country, employee or sub-contractor of a corporation has to be equipped with an identity card with biometric tags and governments as well as corporations need to be aware of their stakeholders' movements across borders and the frequency with which their travels, entry and exit out of specific cities, valuable complexes and public places take place.
22nd October 03   Queen's Award Celebration Speech
    by D K Matai
    It is a great pleasure and honour to welcome you to Lloyd's of London, which has been the home of insurance and innovative risk solutions since 1688. Thank you for taking the time to be with us. We appreciate it. General Peter Istead, the representative of the Lord Lieutenant has been very kind to come today and present Her Majesty's crystal bowl and deed. We are honoured to receive the Queen's Award for enterprise in the category of innovation this year.
3rd April 03   Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance - Second Session
    by D K Matai
    The war with Iraq may have exacerbated the threat from asymmetric attacks as witnessed by the surge of politically motivated digital attacks which have already cost in excess of USD 10 Billion in economic damage over the last nine months. The most likely asymmetric risk scenario in the years to come would involve conventional or chemical bombs blended with suicide attacks and amplified with simultaneous digital attacks that cripple emergency services and stop people from being able to use air or rail transport, banking and credit card infrastructure at the same time. There is a need for a robust business continuity capability within most businesses and government departments that will allow those organisations to deal with large scale asymmetric attacks and prevent systemic risk.
20th February 03   Impact on Confidence of War with Iraq
    by D K Matai
    Any prevailing uncertainty in regard to the war with Iraq is likely to depress the capital markets further and hinder growth. So, in the end, there may be no choice left but to embark on the conflict in hope of the most benign economic outcome. Most wars in US history have tended to stimulate economic growth partly because of higher defence spending. In contrast, the Gulf war in 1991 was followed by a recession. Even if the war with Iraq is won, it is difficult to envisage how easy it would be to capitalise effectively on the world's second largest oil reserves.
11th December 02 The Economic Impact of War with Iraq - Asymmetric Risks
    by D K Matai
    Concern about war with Iraq has mounted and may have important economic consequences as well as political and security-related consequences. First-order consequences might include increased oil prices and higher defence expenditure at a time when it appears that tax revenues will be rising much more slowly than government spending. There will also be second order consequences, such as a possible further instability to the region.

28th November 02 Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance - ATCA
  Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance - ATCA - Findings
    by D K Matai
    The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance promotes the discussion and awareness of asymmetric threats facing today's society among decision makers. The inaugural event took place on 28th November at the Athenaeum Club in London.
12th August 02   Will Falling Equity Prices Produce a Double Dip? (218k)
    by David Hale (70k)
    The divergence between the performance of the US economy and equity market is the greatest in living memory. The US equity market appears likely to experience its third year of negative returns for the first time since the periods 1929-1933 and 1939-1941 despite the fact that there are clear signs of at least a moderate economic recovery. There is a clear risk that the new regulatory mood will cause both accounting firms and corporate managements to become highly risk averse.
18th July 02 Introduction to The Question of Trust
    by D K Matai
    Trust denotes a feeling of certainty or faith, that a person or entity will not fail. It is the assured peace of mind on the integrity of another and with information security issues increasingly assuming predominance in an ever more insecure and volatile world, trust is rapidly becoming the most important asset we can have. We know from our own experience at mi2g that trust in both corporations and governments can be shattered by public digital attacks resulting in unauthorised access of user profiles or financial information, often significantly damaging reputation and in the case of a publicly quoted company - its market capitalisation.
18th July 02   Capitalism in a Post Enron World (116k)
    by Charles Tilley (107k)
    The sudden collapse of Enron, followed by other scandals such as WorldCom and a growing list of companies that have inflated earnings figures, has shaken the trust in corporations and their management. Each time we think we have seen it all, another story unfolds but let us not forget that the underlying causes remain the same (as do the responses required to restore confidence).
18th July 02 Trust in Computing Platforms
    by D K Matai
    Trust in the real world and digital world are very similar concepts. They sustain confidence. And there is a key difference as well, which is that the parties involved in any online interaction have very little knowledge about each other and cannot depend on time honoured trust building measures such as physical proximity, face to face and eye contact, handshakes and assimilating body-language. Instead it is necessary to rely upon other trust building proxy measures such as the use of devices or biometrics for authentication; referencing through trusted third parties; wrapping confidentiality around messages and performing integrity checks; defining the limits of risk exposure; and clearly stipulating general safeguards against non-repudiation.
18th July 02   Trust as the Flip side of Risk (79k)
    by Dr Brian Collins (277k)
    All businesses and governments are attempting to transform themselves in part or in full to exploit the possibilities offered by modern Information and Communication Technologies. This is mainly through the exploitation of the Internet, but includes exploitation of and integration with telephone systems, fixed and mobile, multimedia content and the use of new channels such as interactive digital television and new 'user devices' such as personal digital assistants. For this exploitation to be successful a number of issues have to be addressed; amongst these are reviewing the processes of trust and risk management.
30th May 02 Exploration of the Effects of Asymmetric Attack
    by D K Matai
    In the 21st century, asymmetric warfare is multi-dimensional. It is fought on land, on the seas, in air as well as through cyberspace.
21st March 02 Six Months Beyond 11th September - Risk of Asymmetric Warfare
    by D K Matai
    Mercifully the scale and ruthlessness of the terrorist attacks on 11th September has not been matched in the last six months. The daily news of deaths and casualties on both sides - Israel and Palestine - as well as Sunday's attack on Church-goers in Islamabad, in which five people died suggests that the ideological chasm between the fundamentalists and liberals has not narrowed. The idea of bombing Iraq is gaining justification even as Britain has sent a further 1,700 troops to help root out hardcore al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The UK troops join 5,300 US troops already on the ground. We in Britain are staunch supporters of the US so we are legitimate targets in this "War on Terrorism". All the early warnings and recent developments suggest that this war is likely to be a long drawn out one.
30th January 02   Growing a Digitally Networked Organisation with Values (130k)
    by Dame Stephanie Shirley (77k)
    My corporate story starts in 1962 when I founded Xansa as a 20th century cottage industry for women. And it comes into this century with a series of personal initiatives and innovations I've been able to make since my retirement. My life's theme, if it has one, is, I think, empowerment - empowerment of women, empowerment of colleagues and the workforce, and empowerment of people with disabilities.
14th November 01 Asymmetric Warfare - Business Continuity in the Face of Terrorism
    by D K Matai
    Businesses need to be able to carry on functioning despite interruption. However, if they suffer loss of critical assets on the scale of 11th September, the most meticulous disaster recovery programmes and business continuity procedures can cease to deliver.
22nd October 01 The World Beyond 11th September - Focus on Asymmetric Warfare
    by D K Matai
    The focus of the terrorists is to attack the population's confidence and monetary stability. Theatrical attacks with clear messages of dissent in the digital or physical world do undermine confidence. Whether it is the televised annihilation of the World Trade Center or men wearing spooky suits searching for Anthrax in the Senator's Offices in the US or the Liverpool Post Office in the UK, all such activity undermines society's confidence.
17th October 01 The Coming Linux Tsunami - An Open Source Revolution
    by D K Matai
    The start of war by America and UK on Afghanistan and the subsequent confirmed cases of Anthrax in the US have severely dented business and consumer confidence. After the assassination of Mr Zeevi, a member of the Israeli cabinet today, things are looking very uncertain for the Middle East peace process. Security is suddenly a very big issue and so is cost cutting in the brutal new competitive environment. Profitable trading is essential to survival and Linux has a big part to play in this equation.
5th October 01 Developing the Linux Business Case for Financial Services
    by D K Matai
    The dramatic success of the low-cost eBusiness operators versus the dinosaurs of the corporate world is an urgent warning to multi-nationals, banks and global insurance companies that unless they radically change and take out cost from their businesses, then they could easily suffer the same fate as the airlines via tectonic shifts in customer preference.
3rd October 01 How can financial services cut cost
    by D K Matai
    Computers have now infiltrated every part of the economy and in most industries, particularly in insurance and banking, eBusiness offers unrealised potential to increase productivity.
11th July 01 Information as Currency - The future of financial services
    by D K Matai
    The subject of today's talk is the contribution of Information Technology in evolving financial services beyond today’s banking, insurance, coins and paper currency world.
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