WEF Global Risks Report 2018

Resource / WEF Global Risks Report 2018

By Anna Simpson / 06 Feb 2018

Environmental risks continue to rise in our perceptions, finds the World Economic Forum.

The Global Risks Report 2018 by the World Economic Forum shares the results of WEF’s annual Global Risks Perception Survey. It highlights extreme weather events, natural disasters and the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation as the risks most perceived to be both high impact and high likelihood over a ten-year period. For the second year running, extreme weather events are ranked highest in terms of likelihood, while weapons of mass destruction are ranked highest in terms of impact.

In the survey, the five most likely risks over a ten-year period are perceived to be: 

  • Extreme weather events
  • Natural disasters
  • Cyber attacks
  • Data fraud or theft
  • Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation


The five greatest impact risks over a ten-year period are perceived to be: 

  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Extreme weather events
  • Natural disasters
  • Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Water crises


The Report also presents ten potential future shocks: sudden and dramatic systemic breakdowns caused by the evolution and convergence of trends emerging today. These imagined shocks include: 

  • Insufficient food supply as harvests fail
  • AI ‘weeds’, or algorithms beyond human control, threaten the internet
  • Mature democracies fail in the face of populism
  • The automation of illegal fishing causes huge biodiversity loss 
  • A sharp rise in human inequality due to bioengineering and cognition-enhancing drugs. 


Please find the full report online here: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GRR18_Report.pdf

What might the implications of this be? What related resources have you seen?

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