Report: International Disputes Could Damage Collective Will To Solve Global Problems

Credit: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released The Global Risks Report 2019, which highlights ongoing geopolitical and geoeconomic tension as the biggest risk factor facing humanity’s progress. The WEF, an independent organization that focuses on economic and societal issues, published the report ahead of its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, where the world’s leaders in business, media, and politics have gathered for high-level discussions.

Børge Brende, WEF’s president, said in the report, “The world is facing a growing number of complex and interconnected challenges—from slowing global growth and persistent economic inequality to climate change, geopolitical tensions, and the accelerating pace of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In isolation, these are daunting challenges; faced simultaneously, we will struggle if we do not work together.”

Top 5 Risks by Likelihood

  • Extreme weather events (e.g., floods, storms)
  • Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation
  • Major natural disasters (e.g., earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, geomagnetic storms)
  • Massive incident of data fraud/theft
  • Large-scale cyberattacks

Top 5 Risks by Impact

  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Extreme weather events (e.g., floods, storms)
  • Water crises
  • Major natural disasters (e.g., earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, geomagnetic storms)

Top Risk Interconnections

  • Extreme weather events plus the failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation
  • Large-scale cyberattacks plus the breakdown of critical information infrastructure and networks
  • High structural unemployment or underemployment plus adverse consequences of technological advances
  • High structural unemployment or underemployment plus profound social instability
  • Massive incident of data fraud/theft plus large-scale cyberattacks
  • Failure of regional or global governance plus interstate conflict with regional consequences

Top 5 Trends

  • Changing climate
  • Rising cyber dependency
  • Increasing polarization of societies
  • Rising income and wealth disparity
  • Increasing national sentiment

Read the report here (PDF).

 

 

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