The 16th edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2021: Fractured Future analyses the risks from societal fractures—manifested through persistent and emerging risks to human health, rising unemployment, widening digital divides, youth disillusionment and geopolitical fragmentation.
Businesses risk a disorderly shakeout which can exclude large cohorts of workers and companies from the markets of the future. Environmental degradation—still an existential threat to humanity—risks intersecting with societal fractures to bring about severe consequences. Yet, with the world more attuned to risk, lessons can be drawn to strengthen response and resilience. In 2020, the risk of a pandemic became reality. As governments, businesses and societies grapple with COVID-19, societal cohesion is more important than ever.