Saturday, January 31, 2015

World Economic Forum - Global Risks 2015

Each January the World Economic Forum (WEF) has a grand meeting in Davos, Switzerland.  This meeting brings together the major decision makers and influencers in the world to review the current state of the world and its risks.

As part of this annual event the WEF compiles and publishes its Global Risks assessment.  The 10th Edition was published this for assessing the global risks for 2015.  A picture of the report's cover is below.  The report can be downloaded at: 

As a student of infrastructure and security I find this report to offer tremendous insight into the challenges faced by society today.  Also, the report includes some excellent graphics to help the reader get a better sense of the interplay between the various risks and what they refer to as "risk constellations."

The authors have first established five categories of risk including economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological.  Then, for each category there are a collection of different risks that are graded and assessed.  The individual risks are then evaluated on a quadrant (below) assessing the risk's Impact and Likelihood.

Then, based on the above mapping/assessment the top 10 risks are determined by Likelihood and Impact as shown in the next graphic.

Finally, an aspect I normally consider with these lists are those risks listed in both columns.  These include:

  • Water Crises
  • Unemployment or Underemployment
  • Failure of Climate Change Adaptation
Even though this is a short list, please consider how they are interrelated and how the water crises are aggravated by failure of climate change adaptation which can result in job loss thus unemployment.

Overall, I would highly recommend that you review the report and especially get a sense of the risk themes raised and how they impact your profession and personal life.