At the World Economic Forum’s annual convening, the business network releases The Global Risk Report which identifies the most important risks and trends in shaping global development in the next 10 years. For the last 10 years, I have been fascinated to learn of the world’s 1,000 leading companies’ perspective on emerging threats to our global economy. Truthfully, I have been curious to watch the threat of climate change rise on their list—which originally popped up in their top five in 2011. But what does The Global Risk Report even mean?
The Global Risk Report is based on an annual Global Risks Perception Survey which is filled out by over 900 members of the World Economic Forum’s global business community. The survey presents 30 global risks and 13 global trends for the respondents to consider looking out over the next 10-years.
For example, last year, survey respondents were asked the following:
- Which are the three most important trends that will shape global development in the next 10 years?
- For each of the three trends identified in the previous question, select up to three global risks that are most strongly driven by these trends.
- Global risks are not isolated and it is important to assess their interconnections. In your view, which are the most strongly connected global risks?
The results of the survey are conveyed a number of ways, one of the more harrowing (yet well done systems map) is the Global Risks Interconnections Map. You can see here the strong interconnectivity between the “failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation” to “large-scale involuntary migration” and “profound social instability.”
It is worth reading more of the report and remembering that the first step toward change is awareness.