Fredrik Karlsson 

Project Leader, Prize Competition, Global Challenges Foundation


In this Professional Development podcast, host Alistair Edgar speaks with Fredrik Karlsson, Project Leader for the Global Challenges Foundation Prize Competition. The Foundation was founded by Laszlo Szombatfalvy, a Hungarian who moved to Sweden in 1956. Szombatfalvy spent his career in finance, and increasingly applied his theory of risk on large global challenges with catastrophic risks. In his analysis of scenarios with a low probability and high impact nature, Szombatfalvy noticed that such challenges were receiving little attention from decision makers. The Foundation was established in 2012 to increase the understanding of the most pressing global risks and stimulate research on new ways of tackling those risks. The Foundation also supports a global challenges track at the Stockholm School of Economics.

One of the Foundation’s main projects is the New Shape Prize, which “is a quest to find new models of global cooperation capable of handling global risks.” The prize recognises the tension between legitimacy and effectiveness of ideas, and is seeking new forms of global governance that are both legitimate and effective. There are four ambassadors promoting the competition, Maria Ivanova, Malini Mehra, Wanjira Mathai, and Anote Tong, and the prize has drawn attention from a wide sector. At present, there are over 12,000 individuals registered to compete including a number of high-calibre teams. The Foundation hopes that the prize is a starting gun for a sustained dialogue on the ideas while the Foundation can provide a platform for that dialogue.

Global Challenges Foundation website

2017 Global Challenges Prize, A New Shape click here for more details

Global Catastrophic Risks 2017 (Annual Report). To download the full report click here.

Fredrik is Project Leader, Prize Competition, Global Challenges Foundation