Future Global Shocks

Improving Risk Governance

image of Future Global Shocks

Recent global shocks, such as the 2008 financial crisis, have driven policy makers and industry strategists to re-examine how to prepare for and respond to events that can begin locally and propagate around the world with devastating effects on society and the economy. This report considers how the growing interconnectedness in the global economy could create the conditions and vectors for rapid and widespread disruptions. It looks at examples of hazards and threats that emerge from the financial world, cyberspace, biological systems and even the solar system, to reflect on what strategic capacities are called for to improve assessment, mapping, modelling, response  and resilience to such large scale risks.  



Emergency management of future global shocks

Large scale disasters provide some indication of the hardship and suffering societies could encounter due to future global shocks. When many countries are simultaneously managing their own crises, however, the capacity to lend resources to neighbours is severely diminished. Effective emergency management for future global shocks entails an even higher order of co-operation than that needed to cope with national level disasters, and should be built on enhanced upstream preparation and downstream co-ordinated interventions. Policy makers need to address capacity gaps in surveillance and monitoring capabilities, readily available countermeasures and automatic back-up systems. In addition to these gaps, and in some cases at their heart, is a lack of appropriately trained human capital to manage external and internal risks that could destabilise systems and create widespread negative spillovers. This chapter considers the global capacity to conduct surveillance of potential global shocks, to activate early warning systems, and the challenge of providing incentives for the production of countermeasures and robust or diversified critical systems.


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