Brexit and the popularity of Donald Trump have confirmed the unthinkable that many political and corporate leaders would not even accept: the scale of public disillusionment at leaders’ assumptions that they know what is best for their people and customers. Brexit confirmed how out of touch the UK government was, and the strategic error of believing they held the high ground of political wisdom. Now, the new strategic uncertainties about the intentions of Russia, China, plus the global migration crisis add a new series of unthinkables. Overall: the only certainty for leaderships is that old norms are being replaced by a host of unthinkables. Why do most leaders still try to find comfort in the old conformity? Why do they face difficulty embracing the scale and intensity of change? How can new processes to “Think the Unthinkable” be embedded into daily leadership processes? Based on several hundred executive conversations and extensive one-on-one C-suite interviews, Nik Gowing sets the scene for three hours of intense G1 discussion on why today’s leaders find such difficulty think about “unthinkables.” In this session, an expert panel debates the implications, including for Japan.

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