The Global Risks Report 2021 is the 16th edition of the Forum’s annual analysis and looks back at a year ravaged by a global pandemic, economic downturn, political turmoil and the ever-worsening climate crisis. The report explores how countries and businesses can act in the face of these risks.
The report presents the results of the latest Global Risks Perception Survey, followed by analysis of growing social, economic and industrial divisions, their interconnections, and their implications on our ability to resolve major global risks requiring societal cohesion and global cooperation. It concludes with proposals for enhancing resilience, drawing from the lessons of the pandemic as well as historical risk analysis.
This edition of the Global Risks Report reflects on global preparedness by looking at four key areas of the response to COVID-19: institutional authority, risk financing, information collection and sharing, and equipment and vaccines. It then looks to national level responses—acknowledging the varied starting points for individual countries—and draws lessons from five domains: government decision-making, public communication, health system capabilities, lockdown management and financial assistance to the vulnerable.
The report argues that the response to COVID-19 offers four governance opportunities to strengthen the overall resilience of countries, businesses and the international community: (1) formulating analytical frameworks that take a holistic and systems-based view of risk impacts; (2) investing in high-profile “risk champions” to encourage national leadership and international co-operation; (3) improving risk communications and combating misinformation; and (4) exploring new forms of public-private partnership on risk preparedness.