Mitigating Risks in the Innovation Economy

How emerging technologies are changing the risk landscape

The core purpose of the insurance industry is to enable risk-taking, support economic growth, encourage innovation and enhance the resilience of society and the economy. Fundamentally, insurance allows individuals or entrepreneurs to manage risk better than they would without insurance.

In the past, when new risks emerged, the insurance industry was able to adapt and offer the necessary protection to society. However, the age of globalization combined with the digital era has led to unprecedented technological advances and breakthroughs globally. These developments will bring a radical shift in the nature of risks to society, and the insurance industry is expected to struggle to use its old playbook to address these emerging risks.

The growing interconnectedness in society will, in many ways, mitigate the risks with existing systems. However, accelerated digitization and growing open and connected digital environments are creating new vulnerabilities and potential consequences that are less predictable than ever before. The key challenge will be finding the balance between the risks and rewards of new technologies.

As the world stands on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the large benefits that these technologies bring must be embraced while preparing for a potential array of unforeseen implications.

Over the last year, the World Economic Forum project Mitigating Risks in the Innovation Economy has worked to examine how emerging technologies are causing a radical shift in the nature of risks faced by individuals, businesses and society. This information, gathered through research, interviews and roundtable discussions, was used to develop a shared set of recommendations among the Steering Committee and Working Group members to support society in anticipating and tackling the changes arising from the emergence of technological innovations.

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