Summary of Global Risks 2014

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This overview of the world’s most complex problems is required reading for anyone who wants to be prepared for just about any eventuality that could affect a business. Once a year, World Economic Forum researchers survey experts from around the globe on what they consider to be the most pressing challenges facing the world today. The interview results, along with existing research, provide a roadmap of risks and their interconnections across economies and societies. This report defines systemic risk, discusses emerging and current threats, and explains how these intersect within systems and networks. The study also offers ideas on how organizations can better prepare for the unknown. For such a complex and ambitious project, the text is exceptionally clear, and the report’s conclusions are useful and sobering. getAbstract recommends this telescope into the future to government planners, NGOs, financiers, futurists and investors.

About the Author

The World Economic Forum is an independent global organization that engages leaders in business, politics, academia and society to improve the state of the world.



Systemic Risks in a Changing World

Even the way that the world is changing is itself changing. Rather than a single wave of transformation moving through society, multiple mutations constantly occur. National boundaries no longer constrain these changes, and no single individual, organization or nation can address them alone. “Business, government and civil society” have to work together to produce solutions that are as global as these problems. All those involved in these collective efforts must lengthen their perspectives from the short to the long term. New “conceptual models” have to emerge to address the “interconnected global risks” on the horizon.

Global risks are those defined as affecting multiple countries and industries over an extended period of “up to 10 years.” Damage wrought by systemic risks spreads throughout larger, interconnected networks. Everyone in a system shares risks. Hazards may cause a “tipping point” – when small initial damages create larger, far-reaching effects. Systems must become resilient to shocks and regain function quickly.

The Top 10 Risks

The World Economic Forum surveyed thinkers and stakeholders from all around...

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