The 12th edition of The Global Risks Report is published at a time when deep-rooted social and economic trends are manifesting themselves increasingly disruptively across the world. Persistent inequality, particularly in the context of comparative global economic weakness, risks undermining the legitimacy of market capitalism. At the same time, deepening social and cultural polarization risks impairing national decision-making processes and obstructing vital global collaboration.
Technology continues to offer us the hope of solutions to many of the problems we face. But the pace of technological change is also having unsettling effects: these range from disrupting labour markets through automation to exacerbating political divisions by encouraging the creation of rigid communities of like-minded citizens. We need to become better at managing technological change, and we need to do it quickly.
Above all, we must redouble our efforts to protect and strengthen our systems of global collaboration. Nowhere is this more urgent than in relation to the environment, where important strides have been made in the past year but where much more remains to be done. This is a febrile time for the world. We face important risks, but also opportunities to take stock and to work together to find new solutions to our shared problems. More than ever, this is a time for all stakeholders to recognize the role they can play by exercising responsible and responsive leadership on global risks.