Welcome to The International Risk Podcast, your premier destination for insightful discussions on global risk trends. Hosted by the seasoned and insightful Dominic Bowen, our weekly episodes delve into the complex tapestry of international affairs. From the intricate interplay of geopolitics and economics to the ever-evolving challenges of cybersecurity and environmental risks, our podcast provides an in-depth analysis that's crucial for today's leaders.
Whether you're a Board Member, CEO, Senior Manager, or a professional in risk and compliance, our podcast offers a comprehensive perspective to enhance your strategic decision-making. Our distinguished guests - including industry experts, thought leaders, and influencers from various countries - bring diverse and critical viewpoints, illuminating the multifaceted nature of international risks.
Join us for engaging, thought-provoking conversations that go beyond the headlines. Stay informed, stay ahead, and transform the way you perceive and manage international risks. The International Risk Podcast is not just a listen; it's an essential part of your weekly strategy toolkit.
Episode 150: The International Risks and Opportunities of Modern Business Growth with Ted McKenna
Today, we are joined by Ted McKenna. Ted is co-author of the bestselling book The JOLT Effect: How High Performers Overcome Customer Indecision, and a founding partner of DCM Insights. He is an accomplished sales and customer experience researcher whose work has appeared in the pages of Harvard Business Review and a sought-after speaker and advisor to sales, business development, and customer experience teams around the world.
Prior to co-founding DCMi, Ted held numerous executive leadership positions in product, strategy, research, advisory, and enablement for Tethr, Russell Reynolds Associates, and CEB (now, a part of Gartner).
Ted is an expert in analyzing behaviours—of customers, doer-sellers, frontline sales & service agents, leaders, and board members—and applying analytics in various forms of content, products, and services. At Tethr, Ted worked on mining unstructured conversational data using advanced data science and leading AI/ML tools to build models, scores, and behavioural frameworks (the most well-known model is the Tethr Effort Index). Previous roles called for deploying syndicated research methods to mine more structured sources such as surveys, diagnostics, demographics, and jobs data (including research contained within the bestselling book, The Challenger Sale).
Ted holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Iowa and resides with his family in the Chicago, Illinois area.
Episode 149 - The Changing International Risks of Transnational Organised Crime and Its Use of Technology with Dr Christopher Allen
Over the last few weeks we have talked about some of the facets of transnational organised crime, and today's episode will continue to explore these international risks.
According to the UK Government, the illicit drugs market is big business, worth an estimated £9.4 billion a year in the UK alone.
Globally, over 236.1 million ransomware attacks occurred globally in the first half of 2022.
The international drug trade and cybercrime are two independent but interconnected concerns that have emerged in response to the globalised aspect of the modern world. The international drug trade is the illegal trafficking of narcotics and psychoactive substances across borders, facilitated by sophisticated criminal organisations that operate on a global scale. In contrast, cybercrime refers to a wide range of unlawful crimes carried out using digital means, such as hacking, identity theft, and online fraud.
While these international risks may appear unconnected, they have some similarities, such as the employment of advanced technology, international networks, and the exploitation of vulnerabilities in global systems. Criminal organisations involved in the drug trade frequently use cyber tools to communicate, launder money, and evade law enforcement. Additionally, the dark web serves as a platform for both drug trafficking and various forms of cybercrime.
The intertwining of these illicit activities poses complex challenges for international law enforcement and requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach to address these risks. In order to help us unpack these two vast networks of transnational organised crime, and their potential intersections, we are thrilled to be joined by Dr Christopher Allen.
Dr. Chris Allen is a researcher, lecturer, consultant and commentator specialising in organised crime and how it operates. He has significant experience in lecturing on drug trafficking, cybercrime, human trafficking and firearms trafficking, among other subjects.
Chris is a Senior Lecturer and Consultant of the London Policing College. He is also the creator of the U BATTLE toolkit, an investigative strategy development tool that began under City of London Police in 2018 and since then has gained national and international recognition. U BATTLE uses the adapted versions of traditional business analysis techniques to improve the development of investigative strategies in order to dismantle organised crime groups.
Furthermore, he is a member of the Society for Evidence Based Policing, the European Political Research Consortium Standing Group on Organised Crime and the International Association for the Study of Organised Crime.
Episode 148: The International Risks Associated with Corporate Reputation with Rupert Younger
In recent podcasts, we have talked a lot about ESG, and the corporate responsibilities companies must take into account in their day-to-day working. The ways in which consumers view companies has changed dramatically over the last two decades, and corporate reputation is more important than ever, and reputations and brands are scrutinized than ever before. To help us unpack the importance of corporate reputation, as well as the risks companies can incur by not upholding a positive reputation, we are honoured to be joined by Rupert Younger.
Rupert Younger is the founder and director of Oxford University’s Centre for Corporate Reputation and co-author of two books - The Reputation Game and The Activist Manifesto. He has published widely on matters related to legitimacy, status, stigma, celebrity, reputation, and trust. He chaired The University of Oxford’s Socially Responsible Investment Committee (2012-2017) and is a member of the Senior Common Rooms at Wooster College Oxford and St Antony’s College Oxford. His views are regularly featured in major news outlets including the BBC, CNN, the Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Outside of Oxford, he is an Ambassador for the international mine clearance charity The HALO Trust and was appointed by HM Queen Elizabeth II as her High Sheriff of Hampshire for 2013-14. Rupert also co-founded the strategic communications consulting firm FGS Global.
Episode 147: The International Risks of Human Trafficking and People Smuggling with Roy McComb
A few weeks ago, we spoke to Nathan Paul Southern, who gave us a deep dive into the links transnational criminal organisations have to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Transnational crime is a topic so vast, it would be an injustice to only cover one aspect of it, given its impact on international risk. Today, we are going to discuss a hugely pertinent issue, human trafficking and people smuggling. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, ‘Human trafficking is a global crime that trades in people and exploits them for profit. People of all genders, ages and backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world. Traffickers use violence, fraudulent employment agencies, and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick, coerce and deceive their victims’ Victims of trafficking can be any age, any gender and from anywhere in the world. According to UNODC’s 2022 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons which is compiled using official figures from over 141 countries, female victims continue to be the primary targets. The Report shows that in 2020 42 percent of detected victims were women and 18 percent girls. For male victims, the Report shows that 23 per cent of detected victims were men and 17 per cent were boys. The Report shows that the share of children among detected trafficking victims has tripled while the share of boys has increased five times over the past 15 years. Globally, one in every three victims detected is a child. Girls are mainly trafficked for sexual exploitation, while boys are used for forced labour. The share of detected male victims has risen from around 10 per cent in 2003 to 40 per cent in 2020.
To help us unpack this vast global issue, we are excited to be joined by Roy McComb. Roy is an experienced former law enforcement officer having held executive leadership roles as the Head of Organised Crime in Northern Ireland and a Deputy Director in the (UK) National Crime Agency, where he was the UK law enforcement lead for Modern Slavery/Human Trafficking, as well as Child Sexual Abuse.
He now provides strategic advice on organized crime on a number of international projects, and is currently based in Mogadishu Somalia.
Episode 146: The International Risks and opportunities of the Future of ESG in business with Chris Coulter
As we have seen in the recent COP28 conference, and our episode with Valentina Lira, the nature of business for both leaders and stakeholders is vastly different to what it used to be at the start of the millennium. The rising importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance issues for businesses brings opportunities and risks and we are thrilled to be joined by Chris Coulter, CEO of GlobeScan.
Chris works with businesses leaders, NGOs and governmental organisations to help them better understand and respond to shifting stakeholder expectations, build trust with key constituencies and exert greater influence in shaping a more sustainable and equitable future.
Chris has two decades of experience providing evidence-based counsel to leadership organisations in the areas of reputation, purpose and sustainability.
Chris is co-author of two books, All In: The Future of Business Leadership (2018) and The Sustainable Business Handbook (2022), and has a podcast, All In: The Sustainable Business Podcast.
Episode 145 - The International Risks of the 2023 Serbian Election with Dr Alexander Mesarovich
Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 17 December 2023 to elect members of the National Assembly. While they were initially scheduled to be held by 30 April 2026, Aleksandar Vučić, the president of Serbia, called a snap election in November 2023, after previously announcing that snap elections could be either held in 2023 or 2024. In addition to the parliamentary elections, the Vojvodina provincial and local elections were held in 65 cities and municipalities, including the capital, Belgrade. Data released by the election commission on Wednesday showed President Aleksandar Vučić’s Serbian Progressive party (SNS) won 46.75% of the vote, while a pro-European opposition coalition, Serbia Against Violence, got 23.66%.
The 2023 Serbian elections were highly contentious and sparked major controversy due to a number of reasons that created doubts about the electoral process's fairness and openness. President Aleksandar Vui's Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) won a resounding win, maintaining its political control. However, the elections were criticised by opposition parties and international observers for charges of media censorship, limited freedom of expression, and unequal access to the media, all of which favoured the incumbent party. There were allegations that state resources were being exploited to assist the SNS campaign, jeopardising the electoral environment's impartiality. Furthermore, the opposition parties expressed worries about voter intimidation and irregularities, calling the election results into question. In order to help unpack these controversies and what these elections mean for both Serbia and the Balkans region as a whole, we are joined once again by Dr Alexander Mesarovich.
Alexander Mesarovich earned his PhD (Politics) at the University of Edinburgh. His thesis analysed the impact of informal political networks on the EU accession processes of Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia. Since finishing his PhD, Alexander has been a teaching assistant at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Stirling and has worked as a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Strathclyde. Alexander was previously on the IRP discussing the international risks associated with EU enlargement in the Balkans. You can listen to that conversation at episode 141.
Worthwhile and interesting
I love the interviews. Nathan and Jo were so funny and informative. Fadi and Dr Hani were so compelling. I really like Dominic’s interviewing style (and his voice). Thanks for sharing these conversations!
Very interest and informative risk podcast
Thank you for sharing these very interesting and informative interviews with people from around the world. I have taken at least one page of notes during every conversation. Keep sharing these valuable conversations and risk, leadership, security and operations. I’m learning lots!
Interesting, informative and funny! Great guest and good host
This podcast is hosted by an insightful Aussie host and his guests from around the world. I really enjoy these conversations and learn a lot. Thanks for sharing!