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James Blake  

Journalist, Analyst & Advisor

James Blake was motivated to study terrorism after learning that his uncle was killed by the IRA in Northern Ireland. After being born in a rural town in central Scotland, this interest has taken him from the corridors of power in meeting the former Vice President in the White House through to advising the International Monetary Fund following terrorist attacks and in the most insecure environments in the world.

Among his career highlights are designing humanitarian access strategies during some of the largest humanitarian crises of our time, including those perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State.

Helping to advise the IMF on resilience building to its Afghanistan office following a complex assault on a nearby international organisation.

Work including interviews and on-the-ground analysis in some of the most complex environments in the world, such as around organised cartels in El Salvador.

More recent work includes resilience building strategies for a humanitarian organisation operating in Palestine and Gaza, a book on Crisis Readiness and articles which were among the first to warn about disinformation risks to the US elections and the rise of the far-right terrorism in the US two years before the US Capitol attacks.

Speech Topics

How CEOs and Boards Should Manage Disinformation and Misinformation Risks

Based on extensive work for some of the most powerful organisations in the world, assessing how businesses and high-profile executives can mitigate risks to their organisations and their personal brands from dis and misinformation.

This would include an assessment of the current threat actors within this space.

A look in terms of case studies how expensive and damaging such incidents are to organisations in terms of reputational and financial damage

And how CEOs and boards should mitigate their risks from such incidents, with proven resilience-building strategies, incident response tool kits and other information

How Businesses Can Prepare for Tomorrow: Moving from Reaction to Resilience

An assessment at the emerging strategic risks related to the climate, cyber and emerging technology risks

A consideration on how organizations can better prepare for these issues through:

  • Establishing early warning systems
  • Designing adaptable resilience structures which prioritizes the hiring of Chief Risk Officers and moving corporate security teams to a structure which incorporates cyber and physical risks
  • Engaging in risk management solutions which are proactive and based on establishing and promoting community leadership
  • Building crisis plans which are robust, resilient and emphasize flexibility.


World Mental Health Day
We do not talk about it. But we are in a mental health crisis. The impact of COVID-19, widespread unemployment among the young and old and failing businesses have all exacerbated a silent but powerful health issue. It is only almost fifteen years into my career that I realized my mental health struggle began when I was young. I just did not understand what the symptoms meant and how they impacted me: crippling anxiety, a lack of self-confidence and a blurry view of the world surrounding me must be a me problem I thought. Stiff upper lip, I persevered and few if any noticed anything abnormal. Still, despite this, I was encouraged to push myself and reached the workplace earlier than many — perhaps with hindsight too early, at the tender age of 21. It was a train-wreck. I was not prepared.

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