By Praveen Gupta FCII, Former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Raheja QBE General Insurance Co Ltd
For someone who has been exploring the emerging fiduciary challenges of diversity and inclusivity to financial lines, the opportunity to outline my thoughts is serendipitous. My exploration of this topic intensified 10 years ago as I got onboard with the CII’s Diversity Action Group, which considered how the case for diversity could be applied beyond gender alone..
We developed three dimensions: alongside diversity, there was a passion to deal with climate change before it became fashionable, and a fascination with the cyber world. So let’s navigate the future of our industry in terms of people, products and processes.
ANTHROPOCENTRISM IS ANTI-DIVERSITY
As humans we are prone to view and measure the amazing diversity around us in our own image, leading us to dominate all we can. We undermine ecocentrism and form exclusive silos. Polarised within these narrow bands, there is a crying need for inclusivity.
The milestones are not as hazy or distant as we often believe. In some jurisprudence there is already an acceptance to treat cetaceans and primates at par with homo sapiens. Ahead of that is a looming employment crisis arising from artificial intelligence and robotics. AI is very vulnerable to ‘infective’ human biases – how do we immunise against it, especially in the face of a talent crisis?
THE HANDMAIDEN’S WOES: STRANDED ASSETS!
There are clear signals that the exploitation of the environment by humans causes widespread ecolog- ical degradation and a diminished carrying capacity to sustain people, other species and the natural eco-systems1. Should insurers continue to support human enterprises that jeopardise the wellbeing of the planet?
Notwithstanding our expertise in pricing and managing complex risks, how can we be so shortsighted to invest surpluses into carbon-enhancing activities – and also insure them?