World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2018 was recently released and the focus centers on four key risk areas: environmental degradation, cybersecurity breaches, economic strains and geopolitical tensions. Also presented are the results of the Global Risks Perception Survey (GPRS) where approximately 1000 experts were surveyed about the likelihood and impact of 30 global risks over a 10-year horizon. Environmental and cyber risks ranked the highest for concern. A few highlights:
- The reduced prominence of economic risks continues as environmental risks increase.
- For both likelihood and impact\All of these five environmental risks were ranked highly: extreme weather; biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; major natural disasters; man-made environmental disasters; and failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation.
- Growing inequality was prominent with “rising income and wealth disparity” ranking third as a driver of global risks, in addition to automation’s impact on the labor market.
- Cybersecurity risks are growing, with large-scale cyberattacks ranked third in terms of likelihood, while rising cyber-dependency is ranked as the second most significant driver shaping the global risks landscape over the next 10 years.
- The overall message of the report: “The prospect of strong economic growth in 2018 presents leaders with a golden opportunity to address signs of severe weakness in many of the complex systems that underpin our world, such as societies, economies, international relations and the environment.”