World Economic Forum Global Risks Report Summary for CAEs


Put the kettle on for our annual internal audit perspective on the 2023 Global Risks Report produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF). We do the hard work for you, distilling 98 pages and overlaying the internal audit lens. The insights are relevant to members in the UK and Ireland across all sectors.

Key Message

“Things are eerily familiar” according to Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, WEF reminding delegates that many of the crises today were recognised over a decade ago with mitigations attempted through the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

There are no new risks. Now is the time to focus on mitigation, adaption and preparedness.

For leaders this is challenging in the age of the polycrisis; a situation where different risks collide and their interdependency is acutely felt. Decision-making is complex and possibly harder than it’s ever been. The tension between immediate crises – food shortage, energy, cost of living – and climate change is resulting in trade-offs and consequences.

Climate action hiatus in the face of so many immediate crises is a major concern. Especially as 70% of respondents to the report’s survey rate existing measures to prevent or prepare for climate change as “ineffective” or “highly ineffective.”

The reality of a disorderly climate transition is becoming more and more likely.

Respondents also anticipate consistent volatility over the next two years. Financially, geopolitically and also in society as social unrest continues to escalate.

Audit leaders imperative

Delegate. Trust your team to deliver (without compromising supervisory Standards in the IPPF)) to make more time to engage with management. The majority of today’s leadership teams/boards do not have experience of high inflation, recession or winters of discontent. To navigate the age of the polycrisis is going to take good risk management principles.

  • How risk mature is your organisation?
  • Do your…