The Global Risks Report 2023: Global Challenges and Impending Policrisis?

“Exploring the 18th Edition of the World Economic Forum’s Report and its implications for our future, from climate crises to global public health

The year 2023 marks the 18th edition of the Global Risks Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), a detailed account of imminent global challenges that require immediate attention and unprecedented cooperation. Over nearly two decades, this report has become the primary source of original data on global threats, revealing emerging trends and potential crises that await us in the coming years.

Dominant Themes: From the Cost of Living to Climate Change

The report outlines a series of global risks, with “the cost of living” predicted to dominate in the next two years, followed by the “failure of climate action,” a prevailing concern in the next decade. The surprising prevalence of environmental risks becomes evident, with six out of ten among the top ten risks in the next 10 years. The loss of biodiversity and the collapse of ecosystems emerge as the globally deteriorating threats in the next decade.

Technology: Between Progress and Inequalities

A significant chapter addresses risks related to technology, highlighting how innovation can exacerbate global inequalities. While some countries will invest significantly in artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, and quantum computing, others risk being left behind. Cybersecurity remains a constant concern, with the risk of widespread cybercrime and insecurity entering the list of major threats.

Policrisis: A New Concept to Confront

The report introduces the concept of “policrisis,” emphasizing the possibility of a crisis involving multiple aspects or issues simultaneously. Simultaneous shocks, deeply interconnected risks, and the erosion of resilience create fertile ground for a policrisis, where the overall impact far exceeds the sum of its parts.

Risks to Climate and Environment: A Point of No Return?

Climate change and the loss of biodiversity emerge as the primary threats in the coming years, with the report highlighting the lack of preparation to address such risks. The consequences of global warming are evident, from heatwaves to species extinctions, creating a network of interconnected risks that require urgent action.

Public Health: Healthcare Systems Under Pressure

Human health is at the forefront of concerns, with the pandemic further highlighting challenges related to physical and mental health. Emerging threats such as antimicrobial resistance and diseases caused by climate change place healthcare systems worldwide on the brink of collapse. People’s longevity is threatened, with the risk of living longer but in precarious health conditions.

Solutions and Preparedness: A Global Call to Action

The report concludes with four key principles to address this new era of global risks: strengthening risk identification and prediction, recalibrating the current value of future risks, investing in multi-domain risk preparedness, and enhancing preparedness and cooperation in response. In a world marked by complex risks, the need for a balance between national preparedness and global cooperation emerges as imperative.

The Global Risks Report 2023 presents us with a detailed map of the challenges we will face in the coming years. The crucial question remains: are we ready to cooperate to address this imminent policrisis and build a more prosperous future?

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