Between Britain voting to exit the EU, and Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States, the world had its fair share of turbulent news in 2016. A general disenchantment with a liberal, global political environment has aided in the rise of populist leaders. According to the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risk Report for 2017, these factors will have a profound impact on international cooperation, putting an added strain on relationships between countries as the masses around the world lose their faith in institutions. Given these factors, here are the new and bigger risks that the world faces in 2017.
Top risks by likelihood
According to the WEF report, the risks the world faces in 2017 will stem from the current geo-political scenario of the world.
Extreme weather events
As people lose their faith in institutions and academia, backed by populist political framework, the growing perception among people that climate change is hoax will result in fewer measures to tackle climate change effectively. While the long-term effects of climate change are undeniable, in the near term, it will be visible as erratic, extreme weather patterns and some extreme weather events across the world over the year.
Large scale involuntary migration
The people affected by wars in Syria and other parts of Asia and Middle East have resulted in an influx of refugees largely to Europe. Incidents like the assault on women on New Year’s Eve in Germany have led the authorities to revisit the policy provisions for these refugees. The local population of Europe too has expressed a clear displeasure with the policies of the EU that ultimately resulted in the Brexit vote and threatens to install a hardlined government in France over the upcoming Presidential elections.
Major natural disasters
Winter storm Jonas in Northern United States and Canada, to the raging wildfires in California, and the high-intensity earthquakes in Italy, Taiwan, New Zealand, Chile and Fukushima (Japan) left many dead and injured in their wake. Some of these events highlighted the dismal preparations of the local authorities to handle such eventualities and at times, even the international community’s ability and intent to come to the aid of those affected by these events.
Large-scale terrorist attacks
2016 saw a slew of terror attacks across the globe. The Brussels airport and subway attack that left 32 people dead and many more wounded was among the largest in Europe. The assassination of Russian Ambassador in Turkey, the truck attack in Nice on Bastille Day and a steady increase in the number of attacks in Turkey by ISIL have raised the suspicions of security experts around the world that a large scale terror attack is imminent in the coming months.
Massive incident of data fraud/theft
Global internet major Yahoo suffered two major data breaches within the year. And if the reports of a Russian hand in manipulating the 2016 US elections are true, it could well be the biggest data frauds of all times. Internet security experts, however, believe that this might just be beginning and bigger data frauds and internet attacks are on the anvil.
These incidents and the perceived risks according to the WEF report, highlight the need for local governments and international community at large to come together and formulate better policy framework with actionable risk management throughout the business and societal structures. Environmental issues will be critical in shaping the future and can no longer be neglected to re-establish the faith of the masses in institutions, and to ensure a stable and sustainable growth for societies and economies around the world.