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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.  

 

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Tools to prepare for future global shocks

Most systems that involve multiple interactions by humans and their various activities are inherently complex. These systems are at the heart of future global shocks and, as a result, merit the increased attention of policy makers. Advances in information and communication technology have enhanced the capacity of a new generation of mapping and modelling tools to demystify complex systems, by helping to anticipate, prevent and mitigate adverse extreme events. This chapter describes the need for and utility of such tools as risk maps and threat models to improve situation awareness and support decision making at the planning and operational levels. Mapping and modelling techniques applied to complex systems have made important progress, but their accuracy and predictive power face limitations, some of which could be improved upon with changes to public policy. Even with greater access to data and information, they will require continued refinement to translate results into actionable and effective policies and interventions.

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