New Identity: Reflections From President Martin Boyer

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Risk and Insurance Association marks the culmination of an ambitious project to redesign the organization’s communication strategy with the goal of reaching out to the wider academic and professional communities in economics, finance, and all varieties of risk management. With a long tradition of being the major academic association for risk and insurance economists, many of ARIA’s members have hailed from the now disbanded Department of Risk and Insurance at the Wharton School. Over the years, as this and other risk management departments producing Ph.D.s and professionals in the field broadened their focus to include more than just insurable risks, and as even traditional risk managers started to focus on “Enterprise Risk Management,” ARIA has sought to welcome a more diverse group of colleagues with interests in these related areas. President Martin Boyer reflects on the transition the organization has been going through:

“ARIA is in the midst of overcoming an important identity crisis. Ever since the implosion of the Department of Risk and Insurance at the Wharton School, every ARIA president has tried to find a way make our organization great again. Some approached the problem with solutions focused on family and bibliometry of the type “we are collegial AND we love to cite ourselves.” Others focused on the teaching aspect of our professions. Others took us through a reflection of the alphabet. Are we an A? an I? an R? Clearly, ARIA has entered its mid-life crisis!

“Without losing who we are as insurance economists – nay, as risk economists – nay, as students of human behaviour in the presence of risk, uncertainty, randomness, multi-peril hazards, the unknown, and the future in general – we seek to attract many more interesting people to our organization, to our house, while confidently promoting who we are, what we believe in, and where we would like the organization to be in the future.

“The ARIA board has invested time, energy, and much resources in devising a new communication strategy which seeks to promote our organization confidently.

“With one year before the World congress, I believe that our new communication strategy, which includes a new web site, a new conference interface, and new and active social media accounts, will allow us to meet head on the challenges for the next decades to come.”