This report provides information on the major threats that may impact global prosperity in 2020 and over the next decade. The 15th edition of the report draws on feedback from nearly 800 global experts and decision-makers who were asked to rank their concerns in terms of likelihood and impact.
- National politics in many countries has evidenced intense divisiveness and ‘pushbacks’, coupled with increasingly fractious international relations. These volatilities will likely persist, challenging cooperation on key priorities.
- As economic confrontations between major powers grow, the global economy shows greater signs of a concerted slowdown.
- Weak international agreements belie rising investor and popular pressure for action, against a backdrop of a multitude of natural catastrophes and indicators of longer-term disruptions. 2020 is a critical year for nations to accelerate progress towards major emissions reductions and boosting adaption investments.
- Many ecosystems are in decline or at risk of distinction. Biodiversity loss poses irreversible consequences to societies, economies, and the health of the planet.
- Emerging technology risks can erode social discourse, threaten economic stability, exacerbate geostrategic competition, and pressure national and international security. Getting a better handle on systemic risks will require a significant technology governance refresh at all levels.
- Changing societal, environmental, demographic, and technological trends are straining health systems globally. While transformative technology, medicines, and insurance can improve healthcare, they also introduce new risks and trade-offs.