A “global risk” is the possibility of the occurrence of an event or condition which, if it occurs, would negatively impact a significant proportion of global GDP, population or natural resources.
Table A.1 presents the list of 32 global risks and definitions adopted in the Global Risks Perception Survey 2022-2023.
To ensure legibility, the names of some of the global risks have been abbreviated in the figures. The portion of the full name used in the abbreviation is in bold.
Table A.1 | Definitions of Global Risks
The Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) is the World Economic Forum’s source of original risks data, harnessing the expertise of the Forum’s extensive network of academic, business, government, civil society and thought leaders. Survey responses were collected from 7 September to 5 October 2022 from the World Economic Forum’s multistakeholder communities.
The list of 32 global risks included in the survey was updated in 2022.
Two new risks were added in response to observed economic, geopolitical and environmental trends:
1. “Cost of living crisis”
2. “Misinformation and disinformation”
In addition, “Climate action failure” was delineated into two separate risks:
1. “Failure of climate-change adaption”
2. “Failure to mitigate climate change”
The names and definitions of the remaining risks have been revised and, where applicable, merged, modified and/or expanded to reflect new ways in which the risks may materialize and the potential adverse outcomes they may cause. However, to ensure comparability over time, although names and definitions were modified, the fundamental concept of each risk has remained consistent with that of previous versions of the survey.
The GRPS 2022–2023 was further refined this year to gather more granular perceptions of risk and to incorporate new approaches to risk management and analysis. The GRPS 2022–2023 was comprised of six sections:
– Outlook for the World asked respondents to characterize their outlook for the world over the short term (two years) and the long term (10 years). Respondents were provided with five options: (1) Progressive tipping points and persistent crises leading to catastrophic outcomes, (2) Consistently volatile across economies and industries with multiple shocks accentuating divergent trajectories, (3) Slightly volatile with occasional localized surprises, (4) Limited volatility with relative stability, and (5) Renewed stability with a revival of global resilience. A simple tally for each of the five options was calculated. The result is illustrated in Figure 1.10.
– Currently Manifesting Risks asked respondents to rank the top five risks among 14 pre-selected risks in order of how severe they believe their impact will be on a global level in 2023. The final rank is the average rank estimated by the respondents, weighted by the number of respondents who selected the particular risk. Options included: Continued waves of COVID-19, Cost of living crisis, Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, Debt crisis, Deployment of chemical and biological weapons on a catastrophic scale, Deployment of nuclear weapons on a catastrophic scale, Disruptions in global supply chains for non-food goods, Energy supply crisis, Failure to set and meet national net-zero targets, Food supply crisis, Rising inflation, Structural failures in health systems, Weakening of human rights, and Weaponization of economic policy such as sanctions and trade controls. To ensure legibility, the names of some of the global risks have been abbreviated in the figures. The portion of the full name used in the abbreviation is in bold. The result is illustrated in Figure 1.1
– Global Severity 2 Years and 10 Years asked respondents to estimate the likely impact (severity) for each of the 32 global risks, on a 1-7 scale [1 – Low severity, 7 – High severity], over both a two-year and 10-year period. Respondents were asked to evaluate the severity, considering the impact on populations, GDP or environmental resources on a global scale. They were also allowed to nominate any other risk considered missing from the 32 global risks. A simple average based on the scores selected was calculated. The results are illustrated in Figure 1.2 and Figure 2.1.
– Global Risks Consequences seeks to understand the potential consequences of risks, to create a network map of the global risk landscape. Respondents were provided 10 randomly selected global risks (from the full list of 32 global risks), and were then asked to select up to five global risks (from the full list) likely to be triggered by each of the 10 risks materializing. In visual results, “Nodes: Risk influence” is based on a simple tally of all bidirectional relationships identified by respondents. “Edges: Relative influence” is based on a simple tally of the number of times the risk was identified as a consequence. However, visual results do not show all connections: weaker relationships identified by less than 25% of respondents were not included as edges. "Employment crises" was not offered as a randomly selected risk, and is shown only as a consequence. “Prolonged economic downturn” was not offered as a consequence, and is only shown as a cause.
– Risk Preparedness and Governance asked respondents to indicate the current effectiveness of risk management across economies and multiple stakeholders, taking into account any mechanism in place to prevent the risk from occurring or prepare to mitigate its impact. The respondent was provided 10 randomly selected global risks, and was asked to rate current effectiveness based on five options: (1) Highly ineffective, (2) Ineffective, (3) Indeterminate effectiveness, (4) Effective, and (5) Highly effective. A simple tally of the number of times a risk was identified on each level of the five-point effectiveness scale was calculated on this basis. The result is illustrated in Figure 4.1.
– Respondents were then asked to identify up to three stakeholders who can effectively manage the most severe risks identified in Section 3. Respondents could choose among the following eight entities: local government, national government, bilateral, multi-country, regional, international organization, businesses, public-private cooperation. A simple tally of the number of times a stakeholder was identified was calculated on this basis. The result is illustrated in Figure 4.1.
– Future Outlook for the World captured the respondents’ outlook on global cooperation over the next 10 years. Respondents were asked to select from among three options: (1) Broad-base convergence to a multilateral rules-based order, (2) Fractures between competing economies which consolidate into blocs and new structures for cooperation, and (3) Wide-scale division of economies into competing blocks with divergent standards, values and paradigms with limited collaboration. A simple tally for each of the three options was calculated.
A total of 1,316 responses to the GRPS were received. From these, 1,249 were kept, using as a threshold at least one non-demographic answer.
– Outlook for the World: 1,244 respondents selected at least one of the short-term and long-term world outlook options.
o Short-term outlook for the world: 1,233
o Long-term outlook for the world: 1,231
– Currently Manifesting Risks: 1,180 respondents ranked at least one manifesting risk.
– Global Severity 2 Years and 10 Years: 1,091 respondents evaluated the severity of at least one risk in one time frame.
o Short-term severity: 1,086
o Long-term severity: 999
– Global Risks Consequences: 877 respondents paired at least one materializing risk with its consequence.
– Risk Preparedness and Governance: 869 respondents answered at least one of the preparedness and governance questions.
o 839 respondents scored the effectiveness level for at least one risk
o 789 respondents mapped at least one stakeholder against at least one risk
– Future Outlook for the World: 869 respondents answered the Future Outlook for the World question.
– Sample distribution: the 1,249 respondents who answered at least one non-demographic question were used to calculate the sample distribution by place of residence (region), gender, age, area of expertise and organization type.
Figure A.2 presents some key descriptive statistics and information about the profiles of the respondents.