Victoria Shirazi

Victoria Shirazi
Project Lead “Mitigating Risks in the Innovation Economy”
World Economic Forum

Victoria Golshani Shirazi is the Project Lead for the “Mitigating Risks in the Innovation Economy” project at the World Economic Forum.  Victoria has managed the World Economic Forum’s exciting new risk project since its inception in May of 2016. Victoria has led the project team during the Phase I, where the Forum engaged in numerous workshops, interviews, as well as holding a press conference and a session at the Annual Meeting in Davos to explore the new risks technological innovations are posing to society and the challenges, insurers, businesses and governments were having in protecting against these new risks. Victoria has on-boarded insurers, governments, and businesses from across the globe to assess the resiliency of different jurisdictions against the interconnected risk build-up of emerging technology failures. Phase II has already had a session in the public programme of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian and is set to host numerous workshops and interviews in the Fall. An announcement of preliminary findings will be made at the Annual Meeting in Davos in January of 2018.

Before joining the WEF, Victoria was a Senior Manager at TK Consulting, leading a team of analysts in increasing the productivity of a formerly failing 3D film company to IPO. Before that, Victoria worked as a consultant for Millward Brown where she assessed and aided CMO’s at top CPG companies manage distinctive issues they faced with globalization. Victoria has also worked as a Senior Consultant for BAE Systems, aiding Homeland Security develop a national preparedness strategy for natural and man-made disasters. Prior to that, Victoria spent three years at McKinsey & Company as a Research Analyst in the Insurance Practice. While at McKinsey & Company, Victoria authored numerous internal McKinsey briefs and white papers on P&C Insurance and Hurricane & Terrorism Insurance.

Victoria is currently working on a book about the Geopolitics, Petroleum Power and the Islamic Revolution of 1979. She has been published in Harvard’s Middle East Journal, New Society as well as Islamist Watch. Victoria has been most recently published in the World Economic Forum’s Agenda as well as in Fortune magazine, discussing the inherent risks disallowing the mainstream uptake of technological innovations. Her findings both on the policy and technological risk-side have been quoted in numerous texts and other publications. Victoria is a well-known speaker on government, policy, technology and risk.

Victoria holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Emory University. She holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics. Victoria also attended Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School Business Bridge Program.

Presentation: Mitigating Risks in the Innovation Economy

THE WEForum has just closed Phase I of Mitigating Risks in the Innovation Economy study. During Phase I, we went through different emerging technologies (driverless cars, drones, smart cities, IoT and AI/robotics). We assessed their speed of uptake in society as well as their potential catastrophic impact on society. We then went on to assess the new risks these innovations pose to society. As a result of Phase I and our Annual Meeting in Davos, world leaders from the insurance industry, government and technology came together to voice the need for coordination and transparency due to the threat of catastrophe from interconnected risk build-up.
Thus, Phase II will assess preparedness across different jurisdictions globally with the goal of building a best-practice response plan for specific risk scenarios (e.g., failure/hack of smart grid, cloud failure/hack, contagion from aging infrastructure, supply chain disruption). Although many cities, states, etc. have prepared for natural disasters, disasters from the technology front have been seen as black swans. However, recent research has shown that these events are not only likely but can be just as devastating (or more so) than natural disasters.