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Global Risks Report Predicts Bleak Outlook for Economy and Development

Photo by Evangeline Shaw / Unsplash

Geneva, Switzerland - The World Economic Forum's latest report, produced in collaboration with Zurich Insurance Group and Marsh McLennan, highlights growing global risks. 

Based on data collected from more than 1,400 experts, the report reveals a bleak outlook for the global economy.

Key findings include

  • Human development at risk: Progress in human development is declining due to various emerging and resurgent risks.
  • Systemic global shifts: Adaptive capacity is being strained by shifts in power dynamics, climate, technology, and demographics.
  • Declining cooperation: Cooperation on pressing global issues may be lacking.

The experts predict 

  • Short-term outlook: 30% of experts see an increased likelihood of global disasters in the next two years.
  • Long-term outlook: Nearly two-thirds predict worsening conditions over the next decade.
  • Rising disinformation and conflict: Concerns include AI-driven misinformation, societal polarization, and interstate conflict.

Economic and development concerns:

Economic insecurity and technological divides could worsen. Barriers to economic mobility could lock populations out of opportunity.

Conflict- and climate-vulnerable countries risk isolation from investment and technology. Environmental issues such as extreme weather, biodiversity loss, and resource scarcity are top concerns for the next decade.

Private sector experts see most environmental risks as long-term, while civil society and government see them as more immediate.

What they say:

Carolina Klint (Marsh McLennan): Emphasized the need for resilience to AI disruptions, complex supply chains, and cyber threats.

John Scott (Zurich Insurance Group): Emphasized structural changes such as AI and climate change. Emphasized the importance of collective and local strategies to reduce risk.

What global societies should do:

  • Global cooperation: Focus on agreements for AI in conflict decision-making.
  • Build resilience: Increase digital literacy, guard against misinformation, and invest in climate technology.