The Global Risks Report 2022, published by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Marsh McLennan, examines how global divergence across multiple domains in the post-COVID-19 recovery threatens to widen disparities and aggravate societal fractures.
Drawing upon insights from over 950 experts and decision-makers worldwide, the 17th edition of the report unpacks some of the critical global tensions that may worsen the pandemic’s cascading impacts and complicate the coordination needed to tackle common challenges that include strengthening climate action, enhancing digital safety, restoring livelihoods and societal cohesion, and managing competition in space. It concludes with reflections on enhancing national and organizational resilience, informed by lessons from year two of the pandemic.
Disparities in progress on vaccination are creating a divergent economic recovery that risks compounding pre-existing social cleavages and geopolitical tensions. These tensions and the economic overhang of the pandemic will make it difficult to ensure a coordinated and sufficiently rapid approach to global challenges.
Mounting conviction for a fast climate transition is being slowed by social, political, and economic complexities, which risks creating a kaleidoscope of net-zero trajectories—each with different speeds and complications. A disorderly climate transition with divergent approaches could trigger economic volatility, hasten the adoption of untested technologies with unknown ramifications, and further drive apart countries and societies.
Challenges relating to forced displacement in ‘origin’ countries are clashing with greater protectionism in ‘destination’ countries. Constraints on normal patterns of mobility risk are aggravating global insecurity, hampering economic growth and stability, worsening humanitarian crises, exacerbating international tensions, and stirring immigrant skepticism and social unrest among populations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened thinking about how organizations can leverage different capabilities and strategies to enhance resilience and align that with other objectives. Moreover, collaboration opportunities exist for governments, businesses, and communities to pursue a whole-of-society approach that will improve national preparedness for the many types of crisis on the horizon.