ISO 31050 - Guidance for managing emerging risks to enhance resilience

Why ISO 31050?

At the current pace of change, the world in the 21st century will experience 20,000 years of advancements, in just one 100 years (WEF, 2016). This is changing the risk landscape and bringing in an avalanche of new uncertainties and new emerging risks the management of which is essential for the society.

The new ISO 31050 standard will provide the much needed foresight and insight to deal with these risks. It will also provide new ways for enhancement of organizational resilience and new capabilities to deal with new challenges, helping, at the same time, to increase the level of trust in management of risk.

New (“emerging”) risks

New, previously unknown or not considered, “emerging” risks can pose the greatest challenges to resilience, safety and operational and business continuity. These “new and/or increasing” risks can be related to different areas of activities, such as new processes, new technologies, new types of workplace, or social or organizational change.

They can also be some long-standing issue, newly considered as a risk due to a change in social or public perceptions or due to new scientific knowledge. The increasing behaviour of these risks means that the number of hazards leading to the risk may be growing, or that the exposure to the hazard leading to the risk is increasing, or that the effects/impacts of the hazards are getting worse (e.g. seriousness of effects and/or the number of people affected). These risks will interrelate with the processes like globalization, digitalization, innovation, cross boundary operations and many others, inextricably, directly or indirectly influencing each other, being interconnected, systemic and/or interdependent.

A new member of ISO 31000 family

Starting from the ISO 31000 definition of risk (“effect of uncertainty on objectives”) and understanding risk management as significant contributor to value creation and preservation, the new

"ISO 31050 Guidance for Managing Emerging Risks to Enhance Resilience"

will contribute to the further development of integrated management processes that provide insight into how risk may affect the achievement of organization objectives. The development of the standard is assigned to the Work Group 8 (WG8) of the Technical Committee TC262. The work started in June 2018, taking DIN SPEC 91299 (CWA 1664), the work of the ISO TC292 (ISO 223xx standards) and the works of organizations such as OECD, SRA, WEF and EU (projects iNTeg-Risk and SmartResilience project, ResiStand) as its main reference.

The main calling is to provide universal, yet meaningful guidance on developing new competencies and business models to create relevant and realistic recommendations in an ever-changing uncertain world, to facilitate best practices, enhance resilience, promote agility, assist transformation, deliver insight, insure foresight, establish value and integrate resources.

With ISO 31050, the decision makers in organizations will be better equipped to manage both known (ISO 31000) and emerging risks (ISO 31050) with confidence. To this aim, ISO 31050 will, deliver:

•             Structured context (e.g. definitions, drivers, metrics, …) for dealing with emerging risks

•             Emerging risk management framework

•             Process

•             Guidance for common format(s) for interoperability, common/agreed indicators, considerations related to emerging risks in resilience assessment

•             Emerging Risk application examples

Publication of this standard is aimed for June 2021.

Membership

The members currently involved (2018): Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Finland, France, India, Indonesia , Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal , Spain , Switzerland , United Kingdom, United States, liaisons: ISO/TC 251 Asset Management and EU-VRi (Convener). The secretary support is provided by AFNOR.