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2018 winners

Ann Sofie Cloots, Sean Day and Sipke Shaughnessy - 2018 McKinsey Risk Prize Finalists

Congratulations to the 2018 finalists

The first-prize for the 2018 Risk Prize was awarded to Ann Sofie Cloots at the Risk Summit on 20 June 2018.

First place finalist

Ann Sofie Cloots, PhD candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

This paper is about legal risks as well as a number of operational and systemic risks, associated with the acceptance and use of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology. The paper consists of five parts. After an introductory section one, section two analyses the main legal risks of cryptocurrencies, in particular the risk that tokens may be re-qualified retroactively as securities by regulatory agencies. Section three assesses the legal risks of blockchain, the technology underlying cryptocurrencies, in particular the compliance risks flowing from the much-discussed EU GDPR. Section four discusses operational and potential systemic risks of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Section five concludes with practical takeaways for risk managers. 

Cryptocurrencies, blockchain and risk management: legal, operational and systemic risks

Honourable mentions

Sean Day, MPhil Technology Policy candidate, Cambridge Judge Business School

In a healthcare system notorious for inefficiency, US hospital organisations have long maintained a central role in care delivery. Predictions of disruption have swirled for years while the ebb and flow of healthcare reform proposals have become a steady feature of national conversation. Meanwhile, hospital leaders have grown accustomed to surviving in an increasingly competitive business with shrinking margins. Yet change is in the air. A convergence of trends in the healthcare economy may produce a shift where hospital organisations risk losing their dominant position in the business of delivering care. This paper explores these risks and how US hospital systems may be better compete in a shifting landscape.  

Strategic risks threatening US hospital systems: how to compete in a shifting landscape

Sipke Shaughnessy, PhD candidate, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

Nomadic pastoralism brings with it a variety of risks. For instance, a heavy reliance on animal herding leaves pastoralists vulnerable to environmental shocks such as drought, or to having their assets wiped out by disease epizootics. The worsening effects of climate change and land privatisation (which limits nomadic mobility) have significantly exacerbated these risks. How, then, do pastoralists deal with them? This essay will explore three key strategies used by pastoralists to mitigate the risks they face while herding animals across the East African rangelands. These are social bonding, ‘commoning’ and diversification. The first two work by enabling ‘risk-pooling’, while the final strategy facilitates the ability to respond to market fluctuations and environmental shocks. This essay will explore each of these in turn before briefly assessing how the example of East African pastoralists could inform wider approaches to risk management. First, however, the paper will outline the way in which pastoralist capitalise on the inherent risk and uncertainty of living on the East African rangelands. 

How do East Africa’s pastoralists deal with risk?

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