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Sponsored by: Mercer Marsh
February 26, 2024

What risks are keeping you up at night?

What risks keep more than 1,400 global leaders and experts up at night?

The Global Risks Report 2024 developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with Marsh McLennan and other partners is considered one of the leading sources of information on the current and emerging risk. This report dives deep into the minds of 1,490 experts and 11,098 business executives from around the world. What’s clear is the outlook for the next decade moves from unsettled to turbulent (Figure A). Let's explore the major takeaways from this report that shed light on the challenges and concerns identified by these global experts.

Current Risk Landscape – Globally for the first time, technological concerns infiltrated the top five concerns with AI-generated misinformation and disinformation as well as cyberattacks rounding out the list (Figure B). The widespread use of misinformation and cyberattacks poses significant risks especially as elections approach in many places around the world which may call into question the legitimacy of newly elected governments, leading to potential unrest. The polarization of perceptions of reality can deepen divisions within society and hinder productive discourse on important issues. The erosion of truth also increases the risk of domestic propaganda and censorship in parts of the world.

Longer Term Outlook – The critical changes to Earth systems, including severe weather, biodiversity loss and natural resource shortages are now recognized as one of the most severe risks facing the world in the next decade (Figure C). While these changes may unfold gradually, their impacts on food, water, and health security are significant as are the implications, including involuntary migration, chronic health conditions, infectious diseases, and economic downturns.

Economic Outlook in the US – For US responders, financial concerns rounded out the top five (Figure D), with most concerned over a potential economic downturn, inflation, and potential energy shortage. Continued supply-side pressures and demand uncertainty may contribute to persistent inflation and high interest rates. This can particularly impact small- and medium-sized companies and heavily indebted countries who supply them, exposing them to slowing growth. Contrasting narratives about economic downturns and inflation make it more difficult for central banks, governments, and companies to accurately calibrate their responses to these risks, further deepening economic uncertainties. 

Taking a proactive approach to risk management and staying agile in decision-making will enable business leaders to navigate the financial risks ahead and position their companies for success in an ever-changing global landscape.


To access the full Global Risks Report 2024, please visit Marsh McLennan.