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Your neighbor’s (third party) operational hazards can generate risks requiring a strategic shift.

30-07-2015

We live in a complex interconnected world which generates interdependencies some times very difficult to detect/understand. Interdependencies are of different kinds: physical, geographical, logical, cyber. Earlier this year, the US Pentagon mistakenly sent live anthrax to at least nine labs in the US and to a US military base in South Korea using Fedex, a classic example of logical interdependency (that’s the classification, although the fact in itself seems quite illogical!) for the recipient labs. An accidental spill from a…

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BBQ risks, Probability, uncertainty and unpredictability

23-07-2015

Today it’s kinda windy, some clouds, I feel just fine, but my wife thinks it’s cold when the sun goes incognito behind the clouds. Quite an uncertain weather, right? Focus now on the possible downward outcome: rain later in the day, during our open air BBQ (rain is the hazard, BBQ is the part of the system which will be potentially hit). We can measure the related uncertainty using the POP (Probability of Precipitation) released by the weather channel, or…

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Mining in the Appalachians, West Virginia, and Health Consequences to neighboring population.

16-07-2015

We have recently read about US Federal officials planning to recommend the National Academy of Sciences to review a series of studies that have found residents living near mountaintop removal mining operations facing increased rates of serious illnesses and premature death. The request is a consequence of more than two dozens of peer-reviewed publications by Former West Virginia University researcher Michael Hendryx and other scientists stating that residents living near mountaintop removal mines face a greater risk of cancer, birth…

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Is it true that bite-sized development are less risky than mega mines?

9-07-2015

The world’s gold miners and most likely other capital intensive industries are changing their views: after decades of mega projects, many of which have backfired or proven to be disastrous, the new credo is “bigger isn’t better”. At Riskope we have been in the situation where we had to exhort clients to pull the plug on such projects following the results of preliminary holistic risk assessments: very painful moments indeed, when you think you are going to lose the client…

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Systems failures of Metro/Subway systems in Santiago de Chile and Toronto

2-07-2015

Over a period of less than one year, multiple system failures have put down Metro/ Subway networks of Santiago de Chile and Toronto, stranding up to 100,000 commuters. In both cases the problems stemmed from power failures (investigations still underway, as far as we know). In both case there was no or very limited alternative, or as the media and some politicians have feasted-on, “no plan B”. The failures were so significant because both the main system and the backup…

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Innovation and Cleantech in Canadian Natural Resources: Mining and Oil & Gas.

24-06-2015

Whether you are located in a prosperous country or in a difficult one, hit by a crisis, you will sooner or later consider expanding your horizons in new markets. It may be a purely growth fostering move, or a survival need. Even for well capitalized and ran companies such a move can have outcomes far from what was expected, and you may have to respond for these consequences. The temptation to emulate extant successful business models can be difficult to…

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What M. Planck, G.B. Shaw and A. Rand have to do with Risk Management?

18-06-2015

Max Planck wrote: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” At Riskope belong to those who argue that the transition from faith and luck, which were two pillars, fortunately not the only ones, of planning/managing the future of a project/ operation, to rational thinking is far from completed, despite a few generations…

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