Interconnected Risks at Unprecedented Level

Events of the past year have revealed a fundamental need to change thinking on global risks and how they are managed, according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks 2010 report. Release of the report comes ahead of the WEF annual meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. With unprecedented levels of interconnectedness between all areas of risk, the report stresses that the need to combat governance gaps globally is greater than ever. Global Risks 2010 identifies fiscal crises and unemployment, underinvestment in infrastructure – especially in energy and agriculture – and chronic disease as the pivotal areas of risk over the next years. Other risks identified as equally systemic in nature and requiring better global governance are transnational crime and corruption, biodiversity loss and cyber-vulnerability. The report notes that the response to the impact of the financial crisis and downturn has been a greater willingness to cooperate on common strategies and develop more effective global governance to address global risks. However, Sheana Tambourgi, editor of the report and director and head of the WEF’s Global Risk Network warned: “The next few months will put the willingness among global decision makers to cooperate on addressing global risks to the test. Simply reverting to ‘business as usual’ could have serious implications in the long term in several risk areas.† The WEF report is published in partnership with Citigroup, Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), Swiss Re, the Wharton School Risk Center and Zurich Financial Services.

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