The Downside of Globalization – Considering Risk in an Interconnected World

World-Connected Risk

2013 was an exciting year for us, as Willis became an active member of the World Economic Forum. Participation in some of their key events and interaction with the thought leadership in this organization has been a personal highlight for this Willis blogger.  Thus, I suggest it appropriate to share  a suggestion that “The Downside of Globalization” is a critical emerging risk for corporate leadership to consider in 2014.

Global Risks of 2014

The table below summarizes the findings of WEF’s Annual Ten Global Risks of Highest Concern in 2014.  The risks fall into five categories:

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Geopolitical
  • Societal
  • Technological
World Economic Forum’s Ten Global Risks of Highest Concern in 2014

Source: World Economic Forum

What is fascinating is how many of these risk factors are subject to global interconnectivity and each on its own or in connection with the other risk factors could trigger significant impact to people, countries and, by default, my personal field of interest: large multi-national corporations.

It has been fantastic to watch the positive by-products of globalization as borders virtually dissolved and those firms first in or with the best strategy reaped massive rewards from expanding markets, more efficient production and simple economies of scale.

Risks Are Interconnected Too

There can be a negative side to globalization, as evidenced by the worldwide tumult created by the economic uncertainties of the European Union as one example.  The reality of globalization is that no crisis is truly distant anymore.  Increasingly we find that what happens in Germany, China or Mexico has a broader implication to our own lives in terms of economic, financial and political fallout.

Managing this new reality from a corporate standpoint is, for me, a key emerging risk that will remain at the forefront of the new realities of risk management for 2014.

About George Haitsch

George is Executive Vice President and Practice Leader of Willis Global Solutions – North America, based in our N…
Categories: Global Risks

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