In January, the World Economic Forum released The Global Risks Report 2021: The pandemic and its aftershocks (GRR). The 2021 report highlights several challenges, including climate change, a growing digital divide, and increasing economic uncertainty. Each of these risks are also top agenda items for U.S. policy makers.
The report provides valuable insight for policymakers as they work on public policy solutions to address the issues outlined in the 2021 GRR.
Once again, climate-related risks continue to dominate the list of concerns, making up four of the top seven risks by likelihood and impact. The Biden Administration has made it clear that addressing climate change is a priority by including it as one of the President’s four main policy pillars. In fact, during his first couple of weeks in office, the President has already signed several executive orders concerning climate change, while appointing several high- ranking officials whose sole focus will be to address this issue.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated existing technology trends in e-commerce, digitization, and telework. The 2021 report highlights the risks associated with those trends, including a widening of the digital divide and social and economic inequity and uncertainty. Economic recovery and social equity are also top priorities of policymakers at the state and federal levels.