Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
Conceptual models are needed to define, characterize and measure the potential negative impacts of interconnected global risks. It is in this spirit that I present the Global Risks 2014 report, now in its ninth edition. This report aims to enhance our understanding of how a comprehensive set of global risks is evolving, how their interaction can lead to unexpected and often systemic impacts, and the trade-offs involved in managing them.
Global Risks 2014 is a stimulus for reflection for policy-makers, chief executive officers, senior executives and thought leaders around the world. It is also a call to action to improve international efforts at coordination and collaboration, going beyond the traditional roles and responsibilities of the public and private sectors to equip institutions to understand, map, monitor, manage and mitigate global risks.
The report emphasizes the importance of understanding systemic risks, long-term thinking to address and mitigate them and the critical role of the younger generation. To do so, it offers deep-dive analytical insights into interconnected risks with the potential to have systemic consequences in the geopolitical, socio-economic and digital spheres. The report features an analysis of a survey of over 700 leaders and decision-makers from the World Economic Forum’s global multistakeholder community on 31 selected global risks. For the first time, survey respondents were asked directly to nominate their risks of highest concern, which placed economic and social issues firmly at the top.
I would like to thank the partners of the Global Risks 2014 report, without whose expert contributions this report would not have been possible: Marsh & McLennan Companies, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance Group, as well as the National University of Singapore, Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania. My appreciation also goes to the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils for their important insights, under the leadership of Martina Gmür. I am also grateful to Jennifer Blanke, Chief Economist, and the Global Risks 2014 project team members Beñat Bilbao- Osorio, Ciara Browne, Gemma Corrigan, Roberto Crotti, Attilio Di Battista, Gaëlle Dreyer, Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz, Caroline Galvan, Thierry Geiger and Tania Gutknecht for their critical contributions to making this report possible.
Moving from urgency-driven risk management to more collaborative efforts to strengthen risk resilience would benefit global society. Together, leaders from business, government and civil society have the foresight and collaborative spirit to shape our global future.
Founder and Executive Chairman
World Economic Forum