Conclusion: A Call for a Resilience Imperative
If the “new status quo” implies such a high presence of global geopolitical risks and realignment around interests rather than values, then a wider range of stakeholders needs to be involved in setting the direction of the new global security paradigm and implementing solutions.
A first step is for private sector leaders to place international security firmly on their radar screen. International security and geopolitical trends are likely to have more influence on the global economy in the future, thus demanding greater strategic attention from business leaders. With a stronger understanding of the issues and their own evolving role in the geopolitical and global security landscape, the private sector can be a constructive partner in addressing many global security challenges and mitigating their driving forces.
A second step is to have the traditional security actors – including international organizations and governments – adjust their own frameworks and processes to build in more public-private participation at the most appropriate levels. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, action taken by technological and social media companies to block terrorist and violent extremist activity, and business alliances for action on climate change are promising examples of public-private arrangements that can strengthen security.
Third, a renewed focus on prevention, preparedness and resilience, rather than reaction and compliance, would likely improve security actors’ ability to manage known and unknown security risks. There exists important know-how and resources in the private sector that can improve preparedness and mission-critical planning processes in a global security context – using data to track the progress of risk factors, sharing information on where and when crimes occur, and establishing mechanisms for harnessing industry supply chains during complex emergencies – are a few examples of how security arrangements could be updated.
Rather than wait for crises to happen, or sleepwalk into the dystopian scenarios described above, it is critical to identify potential inflection points and focus on finding solutions rather than just containing problems, and adapt relevant structures accordingly. Prompting greater pliability through a genuine, forward-looking multistakeholder process in order to ensure against complacency and improve the outcomes in a fast-paced and interconnected world may be the best way to prevent the described dystopian futures from materializing.