The World Economic Forum, a Swiss-based NGO whose motto is “entrepreneurship in the global public interest”, has recently released its Global Risks Report for 2008. They view four main issues as presenting the most potential global risk over the next twelve months and beyond.
The present report looks at global risks from a range of different perspectives. The first part of the report focuses on four emerging issues that are shaping the global risk landscape: systemic financial risk, food security, supply chains and the role of energy. On systemic financial risk, we put current market turmoil in the historical context and ask how the transformation of the global financial system over the last two decades may require us to rethink our expectations and understanding of systemic risk in the future. On food security, we discuss how the subject has moved from the periphery of the global risk landscape to its centre, and ask whether the world is ready to cope with the various trade-offs that the new food economy is generating. On supply chains, we investigate a potentially hidden set of vulnerabilities in the global economy to supply chain disruptions. Finally, on energy, we outline the emergence of a range of energy-related risks and ask if the world can move towards secure and sustainable energy.