2014 Palisade Regional Risk Conferences: Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis
Palisade Conference Addresses
Key Trends in Risk Management

The 2009 Palisade Conference was held in New York City on October 21-22, and drew over 120 practitioners and decision-makers from a broad spectrum of industries. The event focused on risk analysis, applications, and training in the context of the global economy a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson River, overlooking lower Manhattan.

Dr. Sven Roden from the Decision Analysis Group of Unilever’s Finance Academy delivered the keynote address, entitled “Think Clearly, Act Decisively, Feel Confident.” Dr. Roden articulated the culture change within Unilever in the way the company approaches decision making across its many business units. Dubbed Decision Making Under Uncertainty, the Unilever approach brings together problem definition, commitment from stakeholders, quantitative analytics, and a long-term partnership with Palisade and its solutions.

Unilever’s Andrea Dickens, also from the Finance Academy, added further value by hosting an interactive workshop on data collection and interpretation. A key point of the talk was the importance of data for sound analyses, as no model structure will produce good results if the underlying data are invalid.

The Unilever sessions were underscored by a general session given by Palisade president Sam McLafferty and vice president Randy Heffernan. Sam covered recent developments at Palisade over the last year and where the company is going. Randy went over trends in enterprise risk management in a variety of key sectors. In addition, the conference featured presentations on ethical and interpretive issues in Monte Carlo simulation, software sessions on the latest versions of @RISK and DecisionTools Suite, and modeling best practices workshops. Specific applications of risk analysis in energy, pharmaceuticals, environment, sports, project management, and other fields were also covered, providing a 360-degree view of risk in today’s economy.

Throughout the conference, common threads emerged regarding risk analysis in today’s business environment. For example, best practices in defining uncertain variables, establishing common model structures for analysts across work groups, and assessing risk at the organizational level were all discussed from various angles.

“This year’s discussions were particularly practical,” noted Sam McLafferty. “We saw professionals demonstrating specific techniques that were used to improve decision making within their companies. As a result, many discussions were sparked and business cards exchanged, even across industry sectors. We are very pleased with the value participants received.”

Building on Sam’s comments, Harvard University Global Systems Chief Architect Alain Martin commented, “I appreciated the networking opportunity with other @RISK users.”

The forum wasn’t all work, however. Over the two days, participants relaxed and networked over drinks and dinner at O’Connell’s Bar & Grille as well as the Hyatt’s Vu Lounge, offering spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline.

The conference is the second in Palisade’s 2009 conference series, which includes events in Munich, Germany, and Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

» See the conference schedule
» View photos from the conference
» Download a zip file of the 2009 NYC presentations


Testimonials from Conference Attendees

“I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar. Great people showed up and I have to admit, I was surprised many people from all corners of the world were there! ”
- Thomas G. Gasparetti, Manager, Project Controls, Engineering, Site Services, Sanofi Pasteur

“The conference was well run . . . Andrea Dickens’s session was interactive and important. ”
- Andy Sleeper, Successful Statistics

“I appreciated the networking opportunity with other @RISK users . . . All Michael Rees' sessions as well as Javier Ordóñez’s and Erik Westwig’s were my favorites. ”
- Alain Paul Martin, Chief Architect, Harvard University Global Systems

“Both Unilever presentations were my favorites. Very practiced. Frame breaking. Great content . . . Great conference overall. ”
- Ed Biernat, Consulting with Impact

“The RISKOptimizer session was precise, logical, and useful. The keynote was highly informative. The conference was very informative and I am determined to attend in the future. ”
- 2009 conference delegate

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