IFoA president Tan Suee Chieh provides an overview of his series of videos and podcasts examining the ways in which the profession is changing
We live in a time of unprecedented change. Even before the seismic events that unfolded across the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear that there was a pressing need for the actuarial profession to evolve and rediscover its sense of purpose.
Upon taking up the role of your president, I outlined what I described as the ‘five pillars of change’ that I believed would come to define the next 12 months and beyond. These pillars comprised a renewed emphasis on thought leadership, a commitment to broadening the reach of the profession with our Visions, Skillsets, Mindsets and Domains agenda, and the cultural transformation of the IFoA, its governance and indeed of the profession itself.
This ambitious and far-reaching programme of change has permeated every aspect of my work in the past year.
As a key element of this activity, I have been personally ‘exploring the change’ through an ongoing series of videos and podcasts under the banner of ‘Reinventing the profession’. Each of these touched upon a different aspect of the five pillars of change, and I was delighted to be joined by some of the most exciting actuarial voices in the industry today.
A vision of the future
In the first of this series, I explained why I believe the confluence of technology, professional culture and globalisation means that change is crucial, and indeed inevitable, for the profession if it is to truly achieve its potential.
Skills for tomorrow
Actuaries increasingly work beyond their traditional domains. This is leading to a more diverse and thriving profession, providing greater opportunities for our members worldwide.
However, given the advent of digitisation and advances in technology and artificial intelligence, the future of any profession is no longer fully secure. The domains that actuaries primarily work in are also undergoing fundamental change. It is crucial for our individual and collective success that we understand the skills and approaches that will ensure the profession can adapt and thrive in this new era.
Throughout the past 12 months, the profession has proudly risen to the challenge of the pandemic, contributing its unique expertise to the fight against COVID-19. The crucial role that actuaries can play in helping the world foresee and adapt to these hard-to-predict events was the focus of the third in this series of podcasts and videos, which looked at everything from the pandemic to the emergence of artificial intelligence.
A global profession
Finally, we turned to the incredible rise of Asia, both as a rapidly expanding professional community of actuaries and a source of innovation and inspiration for the profession more generally. This conversation showed the opportunities afforded by this global shift for those working in the quintessential actuarial fields of pensions, life and general insurance, and indeed those actuary-entrepreneurs who have used the unique skills and mindset provided by our training to explore new fields.
What comes next?
The impetus to evolve and reinvent can never be fully satisfied. However, by raising our sights to the horizon we can understand the changes that are shaping our professional lives, so that we may better adapt and flourish.
For those of you with a keen interest in ‘what comes next’, and how the profession can and will rise to the challenge of this new era, you can find the entire Reinventing the Profession series at bit.ly/3gx4aOC