Summary of Global Risks 2013

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Global Risks 2013 summary
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This wide-ranging study of daunting global risks lists all the major problems that are likely to occur in the world – and not just the impending threats but the biggest, most complex and most difficult threats for individuals, organizations or countries to tackle. However, as unsettling as that sounds, this report from the World Economic Forum is required reading: It synthesizes perspectives from a survey of more than 1,000 authorities and experts around the world, and its insights cross disciplinary and ideological boundaries. The research addresses risks ranging from the extremely probable – because they are already underway, such as climate change and the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria – to the more wildly speculative – such as the discovery of alien life on other planets. The result is thought-provoking and useful, and getAbstract recommends it to futurists, planners and anyone pondering what the future may hold. Open your mind to what might – maybe, possibly, perhaps – happen.

About the Author

Lee Howell is managing director of the World Economic Forum, an international, independent and nonprofit organization founded in 1971. It works with government, business, academic and other leaders to improve the world.



Addressing Risk

Around the world, political leaders are trying to instill confidence and produce new economic growth. Given the recent financial crises, that’s understandable, but concentrating on a single nation’s success isn’t useful or even possible anymore. Instead, to steer companies and countries in a viable way, heads of business and government must develop a mind-set that understands and prepares for new, different and widespread risks. For instance, as a business leader, you can mitigate “preventable risks,” like operational breakdowns or employee errors. You don’t control the outcome of the “strategic risks” you might take, like entering a new market, but you freely engage in them once you’ve examined their profit potential. “External risks,” or “global risks,” however, transcend your ability to manage them; they portend threats that are too big and too intricate for any single company or even any one nation to address alone.

Tackling global risks realistically requires different strategies and new decision-making approaches. The private and public sectors must work together to address global risks. In a time defined by such threats, resilience is essential...

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