We live in a dangerous, unstable world. This is an especially difficult environment for business organizations, as plans made yesterday or today can be undone overnight by fast-breaking events of high magnitude and impact, so-called X-events. These can range from a meltdown in the global financial markets to a world-wide pandemic to the outbreak of a major war. How can a businessman take action today in order to be not only a survivor of such an X-event, but possibly even beneficiary? This is a central question underpinning almost every aspect of our Conference on Business, X-Events and Analytics.
The Business part will address new styles of organization of business activity brought on by the rapidly-changing technology of information processing, communication and automation. Never before have so many disruptive technologies presented themselves in such a short period of time as we have seen since the turning of the millennium. The global business community desperately needs to understand how to effectively employ these technologies and revamp their ways of doing business if they want to survive even to the end of the current decade, let alone century. Many ideas for how to accomplish this will be found on the program of our Conference.
New analytic tools for managing these technologies is another central theme of our meeting. It’s not enough to just know about these technologies. We need to be able to understand how they actually work in order to use them effectively in our organizations and business activities. This is where Analytics comes into play. Again, many presentations in the Conference will shed much needed light on these questions.
Finally, we desperately need to understand, anticipate and manage extreme events. The actions we take in our business lives today will determine who the winners and losers will be when the “big one” hits, be it a financial, social, economic or geopolitical X-event. Papers in this Conference will address these matters in some detail.
It’s my pleasure as the Conference Chair of this meeting to welcome you all to Vienna, a city that has demonstrated by example how to create a high quality of life for all its residents. In fact, just recently Vienna was named by the management consulting firm Mercer as having the highest quality-of-life among all major cities in the world—for the seventh straight year! So as a long-time resident in this lovely city, I welcome you to both an intellectual and personally-enriching experience during the course of the next few days.
John L. Casti, X-Event Dynamics, LLC