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The Global Risk Report works in conjunction with different decision makers and other experts from across the world every year to identify and examine the most critical risks faced by the world. Risk interconnections deepen every year due to the pace of accelerating changes in the world. For instance, the 2018 global report released a tone of frightening scenarios which included resolute unfairness and inequality, increasing political tensions across the globe, cyber vulnerabilities and environmental concerns related to global warming and carbon dioxide emissions (The Global Risks Report 2018. 2018).
The most consistent concern from the report is that humanity has become unbelievably skilled at understanding ways in which they can mitigate common risks that are easy to manage using simple risk management strategies (The Global Risks Report 2018. 2018). However, they are very complacent when it comes to handling complex risks accrued to the interconnected systems of the world such as the environment, societies, organizations, and economies among others. The global risk report concluded that these systems have been straining due to the accelerating speed of change, which includes technological, economic, environmental and political reforms. Individuals, communities, and institutions are unable to keep up with these changes, and therefore when a specific risk occurs, the effects are brutal.
The report shows that environmental risks have grown substantially such that in 2018, all the five categories of ecological risks were ranked higher than the average in the past ten years. This report followed years characterized by extreme temperature rise, destructive hurricanes and increased rise in carbon dioxide emissions. Human activities like deforestation, air, and water were identified as the primary causal effects of environmental degradation, and they were also recognized as a threat to human health.
The report also shows that cybersecurity is an issue of concern following its disruptive and prevalence potential. Business attacks have doubled in the past few years according to the report, and cybersecurity issues that were seemingly extraordinary are now routine. Also, the financial effect of cybersecurity has also been on the rise due to increased ransomware attacks and contemplating emails (The Global Risks Report 2018. 2018). Cyber attackers have also come up with a new trend of targeting important infrastructure and other strategic industries. This has instilled fear in crucial business stakeholders who fear that the high-end attackers may trigger a breakdown of systems that maintain the society.
On the positive side, the report confirmed that economic indicators show that the world is finally getting back on its toes after an international financial crisis that occurred ten years ago. However, this does not mean that the world's economic problems are over. Far from it, there are new vulnerabilities that have emerged in the recent years including unmanageable asset prices, elevated debt levels and consistent strains in the world's financial system. There is also the problem of limited policies in the event of a new crisis.
Finally, the report warns that risks can accelerate at an alarming speed thus human beings should avoid complacency. The world has transformed into an interconnection of complex systems, which if not well managed can cause more harm than good to human beings (The Global Risks Report 2018. 2018). Therefore, potential breakdowns have to be identified and examined to come up with the best approaches to respond to them. The best way to do this is by analyzing the prior Global Risk Reports to trace the origin of risks and the already administered global responses. Revisiting past reports can give me insights on risk-mitigation plans to adopt in the future.
The Global Risks Report 2018. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2018
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