The recent publication of the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risk Report highlights a significant focus on environmental risks and the challenges posed by misinformation and disinformation.
The survey, which included responses from nearly 1,500 leaders in academia, business, government, international organizations, and civil society, aimed to identify the primary risks on a global scale for 2024. Participants selected up to five risks from a predefined list of 20, considering their likelihood of causing a material crisis.
The results showed that extreme weather is the top concern, identified by two-thirds of respondents. AI-generated misinformation and disinformation were also prominent, noted by just over half of the participants. Societal and political polarization, the cost of living crisis, and cyberattacks were among the other major risks identified.
In addition to identifying 2024 risks, participants evaluated the severity of 34 global risks on a scale from 1 (low severity) to 7 (high severity), considering both short-term (2 years) and long-term (10 years) impacts. In the short-term perspective, extreme weather and misinformation were predominant. For the long-term, environmental issues such as extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, and natural resource shortages were most noted.
The report also segregates survey results by stakeholder groups, as shown in figure 2.3. A key observation is the consensus among all groups regarding the significance of environmental risks, with the top three concerns in each category being different environmental challenges.
- World Economic Forum, Global Risks Report 2024