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The Global Risks Report 2019


The 14th edition of the Global Risks Report, prepared by the World Economic Forum with the support of Marsh & McLennan Companies and other partners, examines the evolving macro-level risk landscape and highlights major threats that may disrupt the world in 2019 and over the next decade.

The most striking aspect of this year’s report is the level of concern about geopolitical issues. Of the top ten risks expected to deteriorate in 2019, seven are connected to the political environment. Over 90% of respondents expect economic confrontations/frictions between major powers to deteriorate in 2019, with a similar number anticipating the erosion of multilateral trading rules and agreements.

91% Economic confrontations/frictions between major powers 88% Erosion of multilateral trading rules and agreements 85% Political confrontations/frictions between major powers 82% Cyber attacks: theft of data or money 80% Cyber attacks: disruption of operation and infrastructure 73% Loss of confidence in collective security alliances 72% Populist and nativist agendas 69% Media echo chambers and ‘fake news’ 67% Domestic political polarization 64% Personal identity theft Source: World Economic Forum, Global Risks Report 2019

Navigating a fractious world

New political agenda and regulatory uncertainty are both making it harder for companies to carry on replicating the business models and successes they have enjoyed in recent decades and inhibiting their ability to make crucial business decisions and investments.

At a time when opportunities from emerging technologies are demanding boldness and agility, an uptick in state-affiliated cyber attacks is aggravating points of failure within company operations, infrastructure, supply chains and customer interactions.

Extreme weather and climate change are undermining the expectations of many businesses, requiring not only better resilience measures but also bolder action to get ahead of likely regulatory developments and negative customer reactions.  

And let’s not underestimate the psychological impact of all this volatility and uncertainty, both in the workplace and society at large.  The imperative for enhancing employee wellbeing has seldom been higher.

Is your company responding effectively to the risks it is facing? Find out more by reading the Global Risks Report 2019.