A hypothetical risk scenario


You are the founder of a startup that aims to develop beneficial genetically modified crops using a technology that helps tailor plants to changing climates, while being socially responsible. Your product uses gene editing to rapidly prototype and produce crops that include rice, corn, and bananas to shifting climate conditions, while serving the needs of local communities. As part of your business model, you work with local communities to identify agricultural challenges and opportunities, and produce products that are tailored to their needs. While your products are sold at a premium price, you do not place restrictions on how farmers use seeds and plants once they have been purchased.

Your company has a guiding set of principles that promote the socially beneficial use of genetic technologies, empowering local communities, supporting sustainable practices, and making evidence-based decisions. You are convinced that your technology is safe, although little research has been carried out on the long term safety of your products, and that your company will benefit the lives of millions of people if it succeeds. At the same time, you need to convince investors that you are a safe bet, and that your business model is scalable and has the potential for substantial long term profits, especially within developing economies.

Critical Risk Dimensions

  • Ethics
  • Perception
  • Social Trends
  • Worldview
  • Black Swan Events
  • Health & Environment
  • Geopolitics
  • Governance & Regulation
  • Organizational Values & Culture
  • Reputation & Trust

Additional Resources

  • TBD

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Key questions for identifying orphan risks


How might perceptions by key stakeholders and influencers affect your business?


How might the cultural practices, beliefs and lifestyles of key stakeholders affect your business? 


How might your product lead to long term health impacts? 


How could your product potentially impact the environment? 


How could your product potentially impact the environment? 

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