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Global Risks 2014

The World Economic Forum has published its annual review of the worldwide threat profile. Taking a 10-year outlook, the report assesses 31 risks that are global in nature and have the potential to cause significant negative impact across entire countries and industries if they take place. The risks are grouped under five classifications – economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological – and measured in terms of their likelihood and potential impact.

Highlights include:

Most likely global risks: increasing income disparity is seen as the greatest threat followed by extreme weather events. These are followed by unemployment and underemployment, climate change and cyberattacks.

Most potentially impactful global risks: Fiscal crises feature as the global risk that experts believe has the potential to have the biggest impact on systems and countries over the course of the next 10 years. This economic risk is followed by two environmental risks – climate change and water crises – then unemployment and underemployment, and fifth critical information infrastructure breakdown, a technological risk.

“Each risk considered in this report holds the potential for failure on a global scale; however, it is their interconnected nature that makes their negative implications so pronounced as together they can have an augmented effect,” said Jennifer Blanke, Chief Economist at the World Economic Forum. “It is vitally important that stakeholders work together to address and adapt to the presence of global risks in our world today.”

In addition to measuring the seriousness, likelihood and potential impact of these 31 global risks, Global Risks 2014 includes special investigations into three specific cases: the increasing risk of ‘cybergeddon’ in the online world; the increasing complexity of geopolitical risk as the world moves to a multipolar distribution of power and influence; and youth unemployment and underemployment.

The report can be read in full at http://reports.weforum.org/global-risks-2014 and an introductory video can be viewed at http://wef.ch/GRR2014video

•Date: 17th January 2014 • World •Type: Article • Topic: Operational risk management

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