Global risks threatening the world: what do we face?

The analysis in the Global Risks Report of the World Economic Forum

In a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty and fragmentation, predicting and managing global risk becomes increasingly critical for business leaders and policy makers. The Global Risks Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF) has positioned itself as the leading point of reference for understanding and addressing global risks, playing a key role in strategic decision-making for almost two decades. Produced in collaboration with Marsh McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, the Global Risks Report 2024 explores the most pressing challenges the world will face in the coming yearsproviding valuable guidance for global decisions.

The 2024 report explores the global risks we may face in the coming years, with a focus on rapid technological change, economic uncertainty, and issues related to climate and conflict. Geopolitical tensions, combined with climate crises and economic uncertainties, contribute to an unstable global landscape, characterized by polarizing narratives and growing insecurity.

As societies adapt to these challenges, the ability to cooperate globally is tested. The report highlights the need for greater consensus and cooperation to effectively address global risks, identifying the possibility of a “minimum viable effort” to address these problems based on their nature.

The report’s insights are supported by original data on global risk perception, collected through the Global Risks Perception Survey, which involves global leaders from diverse areas, including academics, businesses, governments and civil society. Additionally, the report draws on the insights of more than 200 thematic experts, including members of the Global Risks Report Advisory Board and the Global Future Council on Complex Risks.

Looking to the future, the report highlights the need for open and constructive dialogue between leaders in government, business and civil society to address global risks and develop long-term opportunities and solutions.

The deterioration of the global outlook in 2023

The report also analyzes the events of 2023, highlighting multiple developments that have influenced the global landscape. From the persistence of deadly conflicts in various regions of the world to extreme weather linked to climate change, 2023 has been marked by a number of challenges.

Social discontent has grown in many countries, with violent protests and riots dominating news cycles. While globally destabilizing consequences have largely been avoided, the long-term outlook suggests the possibility of further global shocks.

The report outlines four structural forces that will shape global risk management over the next decade: climate change, demographic bifurcation, technological acceleration and geostrategic shifts. These transitions will be characterized by uncertainty and volatility, testing the ability of societies to adapt and respond effectively to global risks.

The role of the Global Risks Consortium

The new born will support the initiative of the World Economic Forum in managing global risks Global Risks Consortium. The new consortium will focus on developing proactive actions to address global risks, improving understanding and dissemination of risk prediction, and promoting concrete action through national and industry dialogue.

The primary goal of this initiative is to ensure that political and business leaders around the world make critical decisions based on the best available information, with a clear understanding of potential futures and their implications.