LONDON (Reuters) – Refinitiv CEO David Craig said on Tuesday that the COVID-19 pandemic had shown how fragile and complacent the world was so leaders should prepare for the unexpected by challenging their thinking amid the volatility.
“We’re more fragile than we thought and we’re probably more complacent than we ought to be and we’re certainly more connected than we have ever been,” Craig said at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
“This pandemic – if there’s a positive – it’s going to challenge our thinking,” Craig said. “That complacency is compounded by the additional risk of being far more connected.”
Craig cited the pandemic and the 1859 Carrington Event, the biggest solar storm on record, as the sort of issues that businesses needed to be ready for.
“What happens if there’s a major solar flare, or an issue or a magnetic bomb that takes out technology?” he said.
He said he had sat through years of risk meetings but he had never previously been asked what he would do in a pandemic.
“You can’t plan for everything so you need to plan for anything,” he said. “What we’ve learned in life is that we always prepare for the last crisis but never the next one.”
Craig said that the world had to be careful about rules that might stop the sharing of crucial data in times of crisis.
Refinitiv, which is 45%-owned by Thomson Reuters, the parent of Reuters News, is one of the world’s largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Alistair Smout and Kate Holton)