The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) describes some of the highlights of its annual forum in September

The world at risk

Prof Peter Young, the chairman of the IRM's new academic panel, will lead a debate on the future of the risk management profession at the annual forum, which takes place from 18-20 September at the University of Keele.

The debate will bring together six leading risk practitioners to discuss the issues among themselves and take questions from the audience.

The debate is an innovation at the 2005 forum, where the theme is The World at Risk? Learning from today, preparing for tomorrow. Around 400 participants from major businesses, public sector organisations, consultancies, charities and academic institutions from around the world will take part in the event.

Young comments, "Although risk management can be described as a specific job, it more properly is characterised as a way of viewing the world and of informing managerial decision-making at all levels of an organisation.

I would argue, therefore, that we are experiencing a reinvention of the profession, and although uncertainty is present, preparation for a career in risk management will require a very different set of new skills and knowledge. "Educational institutions and professional associations have an important role in helping risk managers make the leap forward, but we should be under no illusions - this is will be a very big leap indeed."

More forum news

Three keynote speakers for the forum have been chosen to challenge participants' thinking and stimulate discussion. They are:

- Rageh Omaar, BBC foreign correspondent and former Baghdad correspondent, who will speak on the world at risk, reflecting on how changes since September 11 have affected the way we live and how societies interact and do business
- Chris Butler, head of assurance, control and risk team, HM Treasury, whose subject is improving risk in central government.
- Prof John McDermid, profession of software engineering, University of York, who will look at the risks associated with network systems and how they might be addressed.

At the core of the forum are over 40 workshops and master classes. Themes this year include management systems, continuity and resilience, governance, risk financing, new frontiers of risk and public sector risks.

Among the presentations are Risk, crisis and resilience, in which Edward Borodzicz, from the Centre for Risk, Crisis & Security at Portsmouth Business School at the University of Portsmouth will discuss understanding the quality of organisational failure and building resilience into systems.

George Cook from the consultancy Charity Logistics will present Disaster recovery - on a budget, in which he will describe how to make provision for unforeseen emergencies with limited resources, and the way charities have approached this problem.

Educational exhibition

The IRM describes the forum, not as a conference, but as a learning event.

In keeping with the educational theme, the forum is host to Europe's only non-commercial exhibition specifically dedicated to risk management education, which this year moves into the exhibition hall to accommodate more stands.

Delegates will be able to survey the risk education offerings from more than 20 organisations, including universities and business schools, publishers, professional organisations and trade associations serving the risk management community.

Film and popcorn

Another innovation at this year's IRM forum is film night - with popcorn - on the first evening, Sunday September 18.

For more information about the forum programme and registration, see the IRM web site at, or contact Catherine Tasker at or at the IRM office on +44 (0) 207 709 9808. Discounts are available for IRM members. "RISK MANAGEMENT AND MONTY PYTHON" - INVITATION TO IRM ANNUAL LECTURE

Outspoken risk management commentator Felix Kloman is to give the annual IRM lecture this year, and the IRM has opened the doors to non-members for a fee of £35 + VAT (including breakfast).

'Risk Management and Monty Python' is going to be an irreverent and 'completely different' look at a number of aspects of the discipline, including the very nature of risk itself and the need to listen better to each other.

The lecture will be held on 10 October at 8am in the Tower Room, Willis, 10 Trinity Square, London EC3P 3AX. For tickets, contact: