These Are The Top Global Risks For 2017 According To The World Economic Forum

Tyler Durden's picture

Ahead of next week's Davos meetings organized by the World Economic Forum, in which the world's top politicians, financers, and celebrities will mingle, today the WEF released its annual report on what it believes are the top global risks for 2017.

For those who would prefered to just focus on the charts, please skip this part.  For the rest, and especially those pressed for time, and unable to read the 78 page report, here is the exeutive summary:

For over a decade, The Global Risks Report has focused attention on the evolution of global risks and the deep interconnections between them. The Report has also highlighted the potential of persistent, long-term trends such as inequality and deepening social and political polarization to exacerbate risks associated with, for example, the weakness of the economic recovery and the speed of technological change. These trends came into sharp focus during 2016, with rising political discontent and disaffection evident in countries across the world. The highest-profile signs of disruption may have come in Western countries – with the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union and President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election – but across the globe there is evidence of a growing backlash against elements of the domestic and international status quo.


The Global Risks Landscape


One of the key inputs to the analysis of The Global Risks Report is the Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS), which brings together diverse perspectives from various age groups, countries and sectors: business, academia, civil society and government. This year’s findings are testament to five key challenges that the world now faces. The first two are in the economic category, in line with the fact that rising income and wealth disparity is rated by GRPS respondents as the most important trend in determining global developments over the next 10 years. This points to the need for reviving economic growth, but the growing mood of anti-establishment populism suggests we may have passed the stage where this alone would remedy fractures in society: reforming market capitalism must also be added to the agenda.


With the electoral surprises of 2016 and the rise of once-fringe parties stressing national sovereignty and traditional values across Europe and beyond, the societal trends of increasing polarization and intensifying national sentiment are ranked among the top five. Hence the next challenge: facing up to the importance of identity and community. Rapid changes of attitudes in areas such as gender, sexual  orientation, race, multiculturalism, environmental protection and international cooperation have led many voters – particularly the older and less-educated ones – to feel left behind in their own countries. The resulting cultural schisms are testing social and political cohesion and may amplify many other risks if not resolved.


Although anti-establishment politics tends to blame globalization for deteriorating domestic job prospects, evidence suggests that managing technological change is a more important challenge for labour markets.  While innovation has historically created new kinds of jobs as well as destroying old kinds, this process may be slowing. It is no coincidence that challenges to social cohesion and policy-makers’ legitimacy are coinciding with a highly disruptive phase of technological change.


The fifth key challenge is to protect and strengthen our systems of global cooperation. Examples are mounting of states seeking to withdraw from various international cooperation mechanisms. A lasting shift  in the global system from an outward-looking to a more inward-looking stance would be a highly disruptive development. In numerous areas – not least the ongoing crisis in Syria and the migration flows it has created – it is ever clearer how important global cooperation is on the interconnections that shape the risk landscape.


Further challenges requiring global cooperation are found in the environmental category, which this year stands out in the GRPS. Over the course of the past decade, a cluster of environment-related risks – notably extreme weather events and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as water crises – has emerged as a consistently central feature of the GRPS risk landscape, strongly interconnected with many other risks, such as conflict and migration. This year, environmental concerns are more prominent than ever, with all five risks in this category assessed as being above average for both impact and likelihood.


Social and Political Challenges


After the electoral shocks of the last year, many are asking whether the crisis of mainstream political parties in Western democracies also represents a deeper crisis with democracy itself. The first of three “risks in focus” considered in Part 2 of the Report assesses three related reasons to think so: the impacts of rapid economic and technological change; the deepening of social and cultural polarization; and the emergence of “post-truth” political debate. These challenges to the political process bring into focus policy questions such as how to make economic growth more inclusive and how to reconcile growing identity nationalism with diverse societies.


The second risk in focus also relates to the functioning of society and politics: it looks at how civil society organizations and individual activists are increasingly experiencing government crackdowns on civic space, ranging from restrictions on foreign funding to surveillance of digital activities and even physical violence. Although the stated aim of such measures is typically to protect against security threats, the effects have been felt by academic, philanthropic and humanitarian entities and have the potential to erode social, political and economic stability.


An issue underlying the rise of disaffection with the political and economic status quo is that social protection systems are at breaking point. The third risk in focus analyses how the underfunding of state  systems is coinciding with the decline of employer-backed social protection schemes; this is happening while technological change means stable, long-term jobs are giving way to self-employment in the “gig  economy”.


Managing the Fourth Industrial Revolution


The final part of this Report explores the relationship between global risks and the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). We face a pressing governance challenge if we are to construct the rules, norms, standards, incentives, institutions and other mechanisms that are needed to shape the development and deployment of these technologies. How to govern fast-developing technologies is a complex question: regulating too heavily too quickly can hold back progress, but a lack of governance can exacerbate risks as well as creating unhelpful uncertainty for potential investors and innovators.


Currently, the governance of emerging technologies is patchy: some are regulated heavily, others hardly at all because they do not fit under the remit of any existing regulatory body. Respondents to the GRPS saw two emerging technologies as being most in need of better governance: biotechnologies – which tend to be highly regulated, but in a slow-moving way – and artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, a space that remains only lightly governed. A chapter focusing on the risks associated with AI considers the potential risks associated with letting greater decision-making powers move from humans to AI programmes, as well as the debate about whether and how to prepare for the possible development of machines with greater general intelligence than humans.


The Report concludes by assessing the risks associated with how technology is reshaping physical infrastructure: greater interdependence among different infrastructure networks is increasing the scope for systemic failures – whether from cyberattacks, software glitches, natural disasters or other causes – to cascade across networks and affect society in unanticipated ways.

And now, for the visual summary, first the The Risks-Trends Interconnections Map:


Next, the WEF's summary of The Evolving Risks Landscape, 2007-2017. It shows how the "world's most important people" have seen the transformation of risks over the past decade. We find it curious that after years of Social issues dominating the top spot, suddenly it is "extreme weather events" are the biggest risk for the world. Ironically, this takes place just as the social upheavals of the past year have converged to result in the biggest fallout against the status quo in modern history.

Next, is a simple summary of the WEF's Global Risks Landscape of 2017.

It's not just standalone risks - the next chat shows how global risks are interconnected.

Finally, here is a breakdown of all the various global risks the WEF can envision, which likely means that if anything threatens the system, it won't be on this list.


Full presentation below (pdf link)

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brooklinite8's picture

My software said Fake News... Lol

WTFRLY's picture

Yea, the number one threat is missing as usual. Joo World Order.

Soul Glow's picture

So Trump's cabinet then?

SilverRhino's picture

Climate Change Mitigation?  What kind of half assed idiot bullshit report is this? 

ANYTHING that calls this out as a fact is automatically suspect.  


Oh and these charts?  Meaningless art.  No one is really going to use this shit.  SHOW ME THE NUMBERS 


ultraticum's picture

Greatest fear of the statist and central bankster, one that has unfortunately caused millions of "savers" of capital to remain: a) working stiffs long after they initially planned; and b) speculators in a ZIRP world for the last 10 years . . . . ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:


A S S E T     P R I C E     C O L L A P S E




Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Moe Hamhead Jan 11, 2017 4:12 PM

I thought we decided at Davos that we were doing "large-scale involuntary migration" again this year.

Syrin's picture

This looks like a consensus derived from a ouija board, chicken bones and dice

Wang Dang SP's picture

It's a snowflake for snowflakes.

anarchitect's picture

It's utterly lame horseshit.

geno-econ's picture

Mass unemployment in the Intelligence Community leaves millions of Spooks without a source of income leading to drop in consumer spending and decreased sales of electronic listening devices, sunglasses, trenchcoats, wigs and binoculars.  Call girl demand also plummets 


LawsofPhysics's picture

LOL!  Allow me to simpify it for everyone.  The number one eCONomic risk moving forward will be telling the truth.

Anyone else remember "mark to market" accounting rules?

ZoroAustrian's picture

What a load of horseshit.

Number one risk as far as they are concerned, and one that they can't identify publicly (speaking to your risk too) is that their kleptocracy will finally be overturned by the pitchfork-wielding masses.

Still sadly low probability but it grew a lot last year and will continue to grow until the tipping point, whenever and wherever that my be.

LawsofPhysics's picture

You sir, are an optimist.

The historical record is clear on relatively few things, one of them is that the average person is in fact cannon fodder. Regardless, yes, the tree of liberty will be fed once more, eventually.

ZoroAustrian's picture

Agreed, I certainly didn't mean to imply that the pitchfork-wielders would somehow do well out of this, only that the current plutocracy will eventually experience, if not full retributive justice, at least a loss of their power

Moe Hamhead's picture

Ah, the good ol' days, when accounting meant hold accountable.

Vin's picture

Blah blah blah.

The greatest economic global risk is the globalist/bankers plan to destroy all currencies in order to enslave us in their new global central bank.

They're going to crush us and blame Donald.

Bill of Rights's picture

Yes after all it was a calm cool collected world during Barry's 8 year abortion fest...

cwsuisse's picture

Incompetent political leaders and central bankers are missing on the list of global risks.

GraveDancer's picture

These are the REAL risks going forward:
1) Rise of Islamic Jihad (new Nazism)
2) China's military muscle
3) Economic delevraging of the western world.

Boils down to WW3!

Book> The Road to World War III: Can the Dark forces of anti-Freedom trump Humanity?


fbazzrea's picture

my takeaway, extreme weather events and natural disasters are most likely with the most impact.

no climate change here. everything's fiiiine...

no causal inferred nor intended

never mind severe weather, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc., the massive breakaway Antarctic glacier will raise sea level measurably... by itself. coastal cities need to start serious discussions, if they have not already. sea level is not static.

LawsofPhysics's picture

One thing I believe most people agree on is that "stupid is as stupid does"...

What I think most of us are tired of is paying for the stupid choices of others!!!!

If the costal cities don't get their shit together and they get fucked up, fuck em! In the current model, the taxpayer is on the fucking hook for this stupid behavior!!

fbazzrea's picture

agreed... maybe Trump needs to make it clear, no taxpayer bailouts for non-proactive cities without a plan. give 'em a little nudge to start preparing. otherwise, declare the entire city a floodzone, ineligible for property insurance. or something... doing nothing is a bad plan.

A. Boaty's picture

Keep an eye on Hank the K., and things start to make more sense.

From the article:

The more we look under the rocks and at the key foreign policy choices of neophyte Trump, we find the pawprints of Henry A. Kissinger. The choice of General James “Mad Dog” Mattis to be Secretary of Defense intersects Kissinger. Mattis and Kissinger both served until early 2016 on the Board of Directors of a bizarre and very controversial California medical technology private partnership, Theranos, together with (until recently) former US Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry, retired U.S. Navy Adm. Gary Roughead, former Wells Fargo Bank chairman Dick Kovacevich….

…As well, the pawprints of the sly Kissinger appear with the surprise naming of ExxonMobil head Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State. ExxonMobil is of course the original core of the Rockefeller family wealth. Kissinger issued a decisive and strong recommendation of Tillerson, stating that because Tillerson has strong personal relations with Russian President Putin and Russian state oil company, Rosneft, it is no reason to disqualify Tillerson: “I pay no attention to the argument that he is too friendly to Russia. As head of Exxon it’s his job to get along with Russia. He would be useless as the head of Exxon if he did not have a working relationship with Russia.” As with Kissinger and Mattis, Kissinger also serves on a Board of Trustees with Tillerson. Both Tillerson and Kissinger are Trustees of the very influential Washington Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), along with such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

A. Boaty's picture

The globalists won't feel satisfied until we export everything we produce, and import everything we consume, with their parasitic middlemen taking a cut at every turn. To the extent global trade falls off, those who advocate local control have an opportunity to put their program forward.

any_mouse's picture

Biggest risks are results of failures of central planning.

Do they ever suspect that is inherent in central planning? Nope.

Need more central control to offset the risks of central planning.

TacticalTrading's picture

All that to say the biggest fear is the weather and thus the rejection of AGW
Odd, in previous years, the fears were of real things like Debt and markets 

Raging Debate's picture

WEF: Ya mon, the core issue is like the weather.' 

gdpetti's picture

True... aka 'climate change'.... as we've already passed the 'global warming' phase that signals the impending end of our intergacial period which, when it starts, will shift in 3-4 months into the next ice age... all those comets punching through the atmosphere should help make it a nice and smooth process, no? Just watch for the main warning sign, that 'dark star' when it crosses the ecliptic plane and discharges.. should be entertaining... not sure about that Rim of Fire though... might be a little 'active' around the campfire there... but the tsunamis should take care of some of that... when they stop... if the other factors don't give you any concern first.

When the Fat Lady starts singing, no one is going care abou the rest of these issues, as survival comes first... the economic crap will be meaningless, but then so will our fiat by then... PMs should shine, if there's any food etc to buy then. All those 'climate' charts have gone parabolic for a very good reason... truth doesn't take sides, only consciousness does.

JailBanksters's picture

it does seem a bit wierd that the past few they haven't been worried about the Economy at all, but more concerned about the weather.

What kind of nonsense is this