Global Futurist and Inspirational Speaker
DATE: Monday, 10 July
TIME: 8:00 – 9:15 A.M. CET
Opening Keynote: Reimagining IA in an Era of Polycrises and AI
In this fast-paced, challenging, and inspirational session, global futurist Rohit Talwar is going to help us think about how the world of internal audit (IA) can evolve to face four core challenges that will define its effectiveness in the coming years.
Firstly, there is the challenge of ‘managing at the speed of risk.’ The operating environment for organizations is becoming ever more complex in the face of an expanding ‘polycrisis’ of cascading and compounding risks. These range from new waves of the Covid pandemic, ESG challenges, and climate emergencies through to financial volatility, supply chain fragilities, and energy market disruption.
Secondly, technology is enabling and forcing the transformation of the world of internal audit minute by minute. Truly disruptive technologies from the field of artificial intelligence (AI) are literally upending the way people work. Often unbeknown to the organization and IA, our staff are conducting their entire day using free-to-use third-party AI tools into which they are placing organizational data without any knowledge of what is happening to it at the other end. The upside of such power tools is that they are delivering a massive uplift in performance from research and planning with GPT-4 through to software that lets us narrate a spreadsheet or create our own software. Internal auditors are having to work out at speed how to respond in a manner that allows for the benefits but also proactively controls the risks of people using software that we didn’t even know existed.
A third driving force is the accelerating pace of introduction of these technologies for use in and by IA. There is a natural assumption that IA will be keeping up to date with these developments, mastering the best of them at speed, and embedding them in manner that prevents risk without stopping the organization from doing what it wants to do.
Together, these three forces create a fourth fundamental challenge around how we define, deliver, and manage IA as our organizations are constantly evolving. This implies making sure we are developing four critical leadership skills. The first two of these are learning as fast as the rest of the organization, and bringing innovative approaches both to what we do and how we do it. The final two key elements are ensuring that we use foresight to help anticipate the next wave of risks before they hit the organization, and bringing transformative thinking to bear to constantly challenge our assumptions about why we exist and the value we can add.
Rohit Talwar is a global futurist, thought leader, and award-winning speaker who helps clients across the planet anticipate and respond to the forces shaping the future. He has worked with leaders in 500+ organizations in 70+ countries on six continents, helping them understand and shape the next horizon. Talwar’s clients range from global corporations such as American Express, Microsoft, Pfizer, and Tata to professional services providers, including McKinsey, PwC, and EY, to governments, including the UK, USA, UAE, Singapore, and Nigeria.