Risks are what inspires opportunities. Risks are great challenges facing societies and putting pressure on business-as-usual. In the Global Opportunity Reports, opportunities can be described as strategies for using that pressure to push for the construction of more resilient and sustainable societies.
Though opportunities are the main focus of the work, the selection of risks for each year’s analysis is vital for the outcome.
In the Global Opportunity Reports, the risks are defined by four criteria:
Global scale: We might not all be hit directly each risk, but the risks must have indirect global impact and be significant enough to make headlines everywhere. In addition, it shall be a risk felt by multiple stakeholders.
Timely: The risks shall be felt now or at least be acknowledged to be important within the nearest future, defined as a ten-year scope from report launch. The time to take action is now and in the coming decade.
Actionable: We must be able to act upon the risk to counter the negative effects springing from it. This implies that risks are not too big or overarching (like resource scarcity, rising levels of atmospheric CO2, or global warming) but are more focused e.g. extreme weather, increased greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture or from energy use, or a lack of fresh water.
Systemic in nature: The risk has far reaching consequences, and it requires multi-stakeholder action to be effectively addressed.
The purpose of the Global Opportunity Reports is to demonstrate how the Opportunity Mindset can reveal the opportunities these risks also present and introduce ideas for how we can wisely use the pressure they exert to create more resilient societies. The report is an investigation into these risks by uncovering the opportunities they also represent.
For the Global Opportunity Report 2015 the following risks were investigated:
Each of the risks is described in detail further down this page.
Extreme weather refers to meteorological events of great destructive power including but not limited to heat waves, sudden heavy downpours, tropical cyclones, flooding and droughts. Extreme weather is by far the most costly type of natural disaster, while flooding is the main source of both human and economic losses.
How do we respond wisely to extreme weather? Get the answers in Global Opportunity Report 2015.
Lock-in refers to the inertia created by large economical and infrastructural investments. In the energy system lock-in to fossil fuels inhibits public and private efforts to introduce alternative energy technologies. Today the share of fossil fuels account for 87% of all energy use and despite growing investments in renewable energy, this figure has been constant the last twenty years.
How do we respond wisely to lock-in to fossil fuels? Get the answers in Global Opportunity Report 2015.
While urbanization in itself is not a problem, uncontrolled city growth can be a hazard to health, the economy and the environment if the ongoing urban expansion is not planned properly taking into account environmental, social and economic needs of the population as well as climate mitigation and adaptation.
How do we respond wisely to unsustaianble urbanization? Get the answers in Global Opportunity Report 2015.
The accelerating demand pushed by demographic pressure and increasing competition for water reserves results in the risk of water resources not meeting demands. Demographic pressures, the rate of economic development, urbanization and pollution are all putting unprecedented pressure on the worlds water resource.
How do we respond wisely to lack of fresh water? Get the answers in Global Opportunity Report 2015.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases are not passed from person to person, but are mainly a consequence of environmental and lifestyle influences. NCDs affect an increasing number of people globally, most are suffering from a range of detrimental effects including loss of life expectancy or quality, lower (to no) income, loss of education and weakened family ties.
How do we respond wisely to NCDs? Get the answers in Global Opportunity Report 2015.