The 15th edition of the Global Risks Report has been published by the World Economic Forum with support from Marsh & McLennan. Drawing on feedback from nearly 800 global experts who were asked to rank their concerns in terms of likelihood and impact, this year’s report highlights two core threads across the risks landscape: Intensifying confrontations, both between and within countries, and a heightened sense of urgency around climate, public health, and technology systems.
The report forecasts a year of increased domestic and international divisions with the added risk of economic slowdown – 78 percent of survey respondents expect “economic confrontations” and “domestic political polarization” to rise in 2020.
Global experts also see the risk of extreme heatwaves and destruction of natural ecosystems increasing in 2020, as well as a rise in cyber-attacks targeting operations and infrastructure and data/money theft.
And for the first time in the history of the survey’s 10-year outlook, environmental threats dominate the top five long-term risks by likelihood and occupy three of the top five spots by impact. Short-term concerns also became sharply focused on environmental risks, reflecting a renewed sense of urgency with respect to climate change. As the interconnectivity of these risks increases, there is a clear clustering around climate and associated societal implications, and around emerging tech and socio-political concerns.
The Global Risks Report 2020 offers a rich perspective on the major threats that may impact global prosperity this year and over the next decade, and organizations can use the report to further understand their exposures.