Global Risk Report, 2021

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The World Economic Forum(WEF) has released the 16th edition of the Global Risk Report, 2021.

Report findings are based on the Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS). GRPS was undertaken by more than 650 members of leadership communities of WEF (World Economic Forum).

Aim: To highlight the risks and consequences of widening inequalities and increasing societal fragmentation,  due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2021 and over the next decade.

 Key Takeaways: 


  • Top Risk by Impact: The risk posed by infectious diseases has been ranked as no. 1 on the list of risks, while in 2020 was listed at 10th place. 
  • Impact of Covid-19: The immediate human and economic cost of COVID-19 is huge. It threatens to scale back years of progress on reducing global poverty and inequality. It will also damage social cohesion and global cooperation. 
  • Climate concerns: Despite the impact of COVID-19, climate-related matters make up the bulk of this year’s risk list. The report has described these threats as an existential threat to humanity.  
  • Widening digital gaps: Digitalization which was accelerated by the pandemic is widening the digital gap between individuals and across countries. Thereby it is aggravating existing inequalities, polarization, and regulatory uncertainties. 
  • Intensifying pressures on businesses: Businesses under increasing pressures from inward-looking national agendas, greater market concentration, and popular scrutiny and volatility. 

 Recommendations: According to the report, response to COVID-19 offers four governance opportunities to strengthen the overall resilience of countries, businesses, and the international community: 

    • Formulating analytical frameworks that take a holistic and systems-based view of risk impacts. 
    • Investing in high-profile risk champions to encourage national leadership and international cooperation. 
    • Improving risk communications and combating misinformation. 
    • Exploring new forms of public-private partnership on risk preparedness. 

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