New York Times, 2012. Paper abstract bibtex
Most of us are taught to think about the long-term consequences of our actions, but it is a life lesson that is easily forgotten — both on an individual and an organizational level. This is why, each year, the World Economic Forum poses the question, “What risks should the world’s leaders be addressing over the next 10 years?” In response, the Global Risks 2012 report presents three “risk cases” that explore facets of a common theme: governance failure in a hyperconnected world. The first risk case, “seeds of dystopia,” starts from concern that globalization is not delivering on its promises. Gallup polling shows that people everywhere perceive their living standards to be falling, and express decreasing levels of confidence that the ir governments know what to do about it. The second risk case focuses on “how safe are our safeguards” — the policies, norms, regulations or institutions through which we manage the complex systems on which global prosperity depends. Experts in many domains, from climate to finance to emerging technologies, worry that governance is lagging behind accelerating complexity. The final risk case addresses the global system on which so many others now depend: the Internet. Connectivity has transformed the ways in which we conduct business and personal relationships. Almost a third of the global population is online and the connectedness of “things” — from hospital beds to domestic electricity meters — is growing even more rapidly.