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How the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2016 can benefit your business

January 11, 2016

This comprehensive risk forecast can be an invaluable planning tool for your organization’s future.

Missing Individual Global Risks A1

Each January, insights on the future emerge from multiple organizations. Few releases are as highly anticipated as the Global Risks Report — produced by the World Economic Forum supported by leading academic and financial institutions, including Zurich —as it represents the collective thinking of more than 700 corporate leaders, policymakers and academics around the world.

Once again, we eagerly await the release of the Global Risks Report 2016 this Thursday, January 14. For more than a decade, businesses across North America have used the report’s extensive analysis to identify emerging risks that could dramatically impact both current operations and future growth.

One of the unique aspects of the Report is that it ranks the top 5 most likely global risks across key sectors of the evolving risk landscape—political, economic, social, environmental and technological. In a radical departure from previous years’ reports, the Global Risks Report 2015 for the first time ever ranked geopolitical risks ahead of economic risks.


There are many reasons why the Global Risks Report can be a robust planning tool for your organization, including the use of these report features: 

Interconnections maps

  • The world is more interconnected than ever before. Generally, risks do not evolve in isolation, nor is the impact felt in one silo. The report graphs various risk connectionsand shows which ones have the strongest link.
18-month and 10-year forecasts

  • Although your organization may not be able to change the cause of risk, it can take steps both in the short- and long-term to lessen the impact. The two forecast timelines in the report help you determine your response more tactically in the coming months and more strategically over a period of years.
Regional analysis

  • What’s fascinating is that the report can show how very different the risk concerns and preparedness are in each region of the world. For example, in 2015, North America’s focus was more on technological risks such as cyber security, while Europe’s was on social instability and East Asia/Pacific’s on interstate conflict and lack of urban planning.


How can your organization leverage the deep knowledge of the Global Risks Report 2016? As a strategic partner with the World Economic Forum, Zurich has a role in helping guide businesses in developing a more resilient future based on the report’s risk identification. The impact of these risks can be significant to an organization’s finances and reputation. We encourage organizations to prepare for their potential in various ways, including, among other things: 

  • Model the external risks and impact on the organization
  • Develop crisis scenarios and exercises
  • Assess your vulnerabilities and potential for cascading effects
  • Train top decision makers in risk planning

For more information regarding the release of the Global Risks Report 2016, follow @zurichnanews on Twitter.

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