Longer-Term Risks Dominated by Technological and Environmental Concerns
Reflecting a year of acute global inflationary pressures and geopolitical tensions, respondents to the Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) ranked economic and societal issues as the most severe risks for 2023. However, environmental and technological risks dominated respondents’ concerns over the longer-term.
“Adverse outcomes of frontier technologies” and “biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse” experienced the largest percentage increases in severity relative to the short-term (35.9% and 21%, respectively). On the other hand, “cost-of-living crisis,” ranked by respondents as the most severe short-term risk, experienced the largest percentage decline over the longer-term (15.5%).
The differences in perceived severity over time horizons likely reflects the attention these issues receive in the short-term; as businesses, governments, and societies look to address the imminent challenges they face, climate and technological issues may get overlooked. But doing so poses threats to their future resilience.
Crucially, in a time of heightened uncertainty over the long-run trajectories of environmental and technological risks, only businesses and policymakers who proactively manage their exposure to both acute as well as slow-burn challenges can build long-term resilience.
More detailed insights can be found in the 2023 Global Risks Report.