The 15th annual conference of AMRAE, the French Risk Managers' Association will take place in the city of Nantes between the 24 and 26 January 2007. Andrew Leslie gets a preview from Alain Poullet,

When delegates start gathering in Nantes in late January, they may not be thrilled by the climate, but they are certain to be intrigued by this year's conference theme: 'New Risk Engineering'. The purpose behind choosing this theme is to provide an opportunity to examine how the profession of risk management can best take account of a rapidly changing business environment, where constant evolutions in thinking in almost every field from the economic to the environmental, seem to be the norm.

This demands that today's risk manager has to be curious about everything: new ways of trading, new technologies, the environment, new ways of communicating and so on, says Alain Poullet. And risk management professionals have to be able to explain, simply and comprehensibly, the increasing complexity of the risk, including perhaps the risk that the risk itself cannot be understood. Risk evolves; risk managers need to evolve with it.

The plenary sessions and the 40 workshops which are on offer over the three days of the conference should give delegates ample chance to benefit from some new ideas. Among the keynote speakers will be Xavier Musca from the French Economic ministry, Claude Allegre, former minister of education, speaking on global warming, Alexandre Adler, historian, who will be speaking on geopolitical risk, and Daniel Cohen, economist, speaking on the nature of the post-industrial enterprise. In addition, there will be a round-table session on 'Risk Engineering: The new wave'.

The opening address will be given by Michel Yarhi, president of AMRAE.

The 40 workshop sessions, which will take place on the Thursday, are grouped into themes, all of them touching on the concept of New Risk Engineering. Among these themes are to be found: New risk engineering, the profession of risk manager, risk transfer, human resources, international risks, and legal and scientific topics. Within these broad categories can be found sessions on traditional topics of interest, such as crisis prevention or good practice in credit management, to more exotic ones such as looking at the risks and benefits of nanotechnology.

Last year saw 1000 delegates coming to the AMRAE conference at Deauville. This year, 1200 have already registered, and Alain Poullet is hoping for a grand total of more then 1500.

- Andrew Leslie is deputy editor, Strategic RISK

Full details are to be found on the AMRAE website: where you can also register and book accommodation online as well as download a complete programme.

Wednesday, 24 January

10.00 Conference Opens

12.00 Buffet Lunch

14.00 Plenary Session

16.00 Coffee break

16.30 Plenary Session

Thursday 25 January

09.00 Workshops

11.00 Coffee Break

11.30 Workshops

12.30 Lunch, with focus on specialities from Nantes

1500 Workshops

16.30 Coffee Break

17.00 Workshops

Friday 26 January

09.15 Plenary Session and round-table discussion

11.00 Coffee Break

11.30 Plenary Session

13.00 Buffet Lunch

14.00 Closing session