Washington, DC: We approach 2017 with an unprecedented level of uncertainty about the future. The ripples from seemingly intractable conflicts from Syria to Ukraine, the rise of populism and growing distrust of institutions from Jakarta to Rio, and the consequences of the U.S. presidential election and the Brexit vote are among the many things that have cast doubt on the future of the international order.
But despite the recent tumult, one thing remains clear: decades of globalization and economic integration ensure that international affairs and foreign policy will continue to have a profound impact on businesses—whether they are on Wall Street, High Street, or middle America’s Main Streets. A new trade policy can disrupt a global supply chain and spike prices overnight; a cyber-attack on an internet company can compromise your customers’ trust; a President-Elect’s tweet can send a shock through the stock market and pension funds; and a new sanctions approach can up-end (or jumpstart) your small business’s plans to export.
It’s no surprise, then, that the most forward-leaning and successful organizations quickly adjust to global events, regularly engaging with experts to seize opportunities and capitalize on their competitive advantages.
John Chipman wrote about this in the Harvard Business Review last September, in a piece titled, Why Your Company Needs a Foreign Policy. He argues that the most successful companies “will be those that make expertise in international affairs central to their operations, adopting what can best be described as a corporate foreign policy.” In the article, he also cites a Bank of England survey on views of systemic risk where 57% of business executives said geopolitical risk is the greatest challenge facing their business—and this survey was conducted in June, well before the results of the U.S. presidential election.
So, for this 2017 Inaugural Edition, Dūcō and the Diplomatic Courier have partnered to shed light onto some big issues that will affect international business and beyond in 2017: geopolitics, globalization, and security. All the authors, each one a leading Duco Expert, are available for follow-up conversations at ducoexperts.com.
First, we take a tour of the ins-and-outs and major storylines of geopolitics in 2017 with pieces by Amanda Sloat, Steve Hall, Catherine Cluver, and Mike Fucsh.
Then, Avik Roy, Stan Sloan, Marc Busch, and Jon Powers & Kevin Johnson write about various aspects of economic and cultural globalization – and what it might mean for business and governments around the world.
Finally, Jamil Jaffer, Andrew Bowen, Matt Chandler, and Philipp Bleek discuss what we should expect to see on the international security front in 2017 a year with the potential to fundamentally reshape global security for a generation to come.
Editors’ Note: Diplomatic Courier’s Special 2017 Presidential Inaugural Edition was produced in collaboration with Duco Experts and the generous time and resources provided both by Duco and Guest Editors Sidney Olinyk and Alicia Sloan. The print edition is available in Washington, DC and other key cities during the Inauguration of Donald J. Trump on January 20, 2017. It is also available worldwide as a Digital Edition. To read or download for free please visit here.