WEF 2015: Income disparity tops list of global risks

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Every year around 1 000 experts (700 in 2014) from industry, international organizations, government, academia and society are asked to give their assessment of a list of global risks. The results are reported on the WEF webpage, where you can also find the survey itself and graphic analyses of the results.

Here the link to this years WEF report.


First launched in 2005 by the World Economic Forum, the Global Risks report is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading publications on global risks. The report identifies risks of global relevance and offers leaders from business, government and civil society a tool to understand them as well as a way of identifying interconnections between them. www.weforum.org/issues/global-risks

Last year’s post on the newly published WEF report stated the possible ramifications of income disparity. Income disparity had topped the list for the third time in 2014 and was not limited to developing countries, but also included Europe. Especially unemployment among the younger generation (in Europe) and the increase of low-income jobs was seen to hold a potential for future social unrest.

The findings of the survey are not only of general, social and political interest, but also highly relevant for the insurance and reinsurance industry and their risk management, which is why Swiss Re (one of the biggest reinsurance companies world-wide) and Zurich Insurance Group were partners of the survey and its analysis. Risks like the one on second position in the category Environmental Risks – extreme weather phenomena like storms and floods -, consequences of  climate change (forth position) and problems related to critical water supply (or lack thereof) are of significant concern to insurance and reinsurance companies.

Thus, the topic could be interesting for classes in insurance companies. I am considering sampling some of the survey questions, discussing the issues behind the questions, maybe adding some case studies or other reports on single risks and comparing the class results of the survey with the results reported in the Global Risk report.

The video conference for 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ3N4Q7dwv0

You can watch the video conference on the report 2014 at forumblog.org/2014/01/press-conference-global-risks-2014-report/

See also articles in The Guardian

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