Economic inequality top trend to shape global development in next 10 years — report

LONDON -- Economic inequality, societal polarization and intensifying environmental dangers are the top three trends that will shape global developments over the next decade, according to a report released here on Wednesday.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s Global Risks Report 2017, experts assessed 30 global risks, as well as 13 underlying trends that could amplify them or alter the interconnections between them.

Rising income and wealth disparity and increasing polarization of societies were ranked first and third, respectively, among the underlying trends that will determine global developments in the next 10 years, the report noted.

The survey also found the environment dominates the global risks landscape. Climate change was the number two underlying trend this year.

According to the report, society is not keeping pace with technological change. Experts found artificial intelligence and robotics to have the greatest potential benefits, but also the greatest potential negative effects and the greatest need for better governance.

"Urgent action is needed among leaders to identify ways to overcome political or ideological differences and work together to solve critical challenges," said Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz, Head of Global Competitiveness and Risks, World Economic Forum.

"We live in disruptive times where technological progress also creates challenges. Without proper governance and re-skilling of workers, technology will eliminate jobs faster than it creates them...Cooperation is essential to avoid the further deterioration of government finances and the exacerbation of social unrest," said Cecilia Reyes, Chief Risk Officer of Zurich Insurance Group.

How to address the world's most pressing risks will be the subject of discussions at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017, which convenes Jan. 17-20 under the theme Responsive and Responsible Leadership.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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