The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is best known to the world as “Davos” – and participation is by invitation only.

A new comprehensive report “Global Risks 2011” is now available as a digital PDF. This is a high-level overview report to share insights and thought leadership of the WEF, created with partners Marsh & McLennan Companies, Swiss Reinsurance Company, Wharton Center for Risk Management, University of Pennsylvania, and Zurich Financial Services.

In 2011, a new Risk Response Network (RRN) was launched to “build on the understanding embodied in Global Risks 2011, Sixth Edition to provide a platform for our partners and constituents to collaborate in multistakeholder efforts to shape a more secure, innovative and resilient future,” according to Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman.

The “water-food-energy” nexus is the demand for water, food and energy that is expected to rise by 30 to 50 percent in the next 20 years. Shortages could cause social and political instability, geopolitical conflict and irreparable environmental damage.

Five risks to watch that may have “severe, unexpected or underappreciated consequences” include:

Cyber-security issues, from theft to the little-understood possibility of all-out cyber warfare;

Demographic challenges adding to fiscal pressures in advanced economies and creating severe risks to social stability in emerging economies;

Resource security issues causing extreme volatility and sustained increases over the long run in energy and commodity prices, if supply is no longer able to keep up with demand;

Retrenchment from globalization through populist responses to economic disparities, if emerging economies do not take up a leadership role.

Effective risk response is not only about proactively reducing the downsides associated with global risks; it is also about seizing the opportunities for innovation and growth that may arise.

To view the report online, or read others, visit