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Marsh has published its annual Global Risks Report. In this year’s edition, 750 experts assessed 30 global risks, as well as 13 underlying trends that could amplify them or alter the interconnections between them. Against a backdrop of mounting political disaffection and disruption across the world, three key findings emerged from the survey:

  • Patterns persist. Rising income and wealth disparity and increasing polarization of societies were ranked first and third, respectively, among the underlying trends that will determine global developments in the next ten years. Similarly, the most interconnected pairing of risks in this year’s survey is between high structural unemployment or underemployment and profound social instability.
  • The environment dominates the global risks landscape. Climate change was the number two underlying trend this year. And for the first time, all five environmental risks in the survey were ranked both high-risk and high-likelihood, with extreme weather events emerging as the single most prominent global risk.
  • Society is not keeping pace with technological change. Of the 12 emerging technologies examined in the report, experts found artificial intelligence and robotics to have the greatest potential benefits, but also the greatest potential negative effects and the greatest need for better governance.

The top ten risks in terms of likelihood identified in The Global Risks Report 2017 are:

1) Extreme weather events
2) Large-scale involuntary migration
3) Natural disasters
4) Terrorist attacks
5) Data fraud or theft
6) Cyber attacks
7) Illicit trade
8) Man-made environmental disasters
9) Interstate conflict
10) Failure of national governance.

The top ten risks in terms of impact are:

1) Weapons of mass destruction
2) Extreme weather events
3) Water crises
4) Natural disasters
5) Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
6) Large scale involuntary migration
7) Food crises
8) Terrorist attacks
9) Interstate conflict
10) Unemployment or underemployment.

The Global Risks Report 2017 has been developed with the support of Strategic Partners Marsh & McLennan Companies and Zurich Insurance Group. The report also benefited from the collaboration of its academic advisers: the Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford), the National University of Singapore, the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center (University of Pennsylvania), and the Advisory Board of the Global Risks Report 2017.

  • Read the Executive Summary here
  • Watch the introductory video here
  • Read the full report here.

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