Jan 30 2007
World Economic Forum: world is more vulnerable to global risks
By Marina Brutinel
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Last week the World Economic Forum (WEF) held its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, providing an occasion for politicians and business leaders to discuss the current global economic and political situation.
Speeches by Blair et al may have grabbed the limelight this time around (at least in the absence of the celebrities of previous years), but perhaps more overlooked has been the WEF’s significant focus on global risks and our collective capacity to respond.
Global risks – global responses required
Back in 2004, the WEF founded the Global Risk Network in an attempt to bring together cross-sectoral responses to a new set of emerging global risks:
In an increasingly complex and interconnected global environment, risks can no longer be contained within geographical or system boundaries. No one company, industry or state can successfully understand and mitigate global risks.”
For this year’s WEF annual meeting, the network’s Report on Global Risks highlights that the world is neither prepared nor adequately equipped to effectively deal with increasing global risks. Companies, governments and global governance structures all need to respond better.
Out of 23 global risks studied by the Global Risk Network, almost all have increased over the last year, although at different rates. At the same time, processes to detect and mitigate risks have not progressed accordingly, despite improvements in some areas such as collaboration on counterterrorism.