With the year coming to a close, hopes are shifting to the new beginnings that 2022 may bring.
To help prepare for what lies ahead we must also review what has transpired over the past year – and notably, if actual events aligned with the risks we predicted.
Four risks are summarized below, based on how they were assessed in January of 2021 and then again in January of 2022.
Prolonged Recovery and Economic Strain
Prediction | Troubling signs around public trust of vaccines and distribution challenges may prolong containment efforts and stifle more optimistic recovery forecasts.
Update | Concern around vaccine trust and global access has been validated.As economic recovery efforts gained traction, new COVID variants have emerged to stymie their impact.
Rising Polarization of Societies and Geopolitical Tensions
Prediction | Distrust in government institutions and the democratic process may impede leaders’ ability to govern while creating vulnerabilities adversaries can expose.
Update | A deeply divided U.S., in an era of highly distributed misinformation, has added another layer of uncertainty. While saber rattling from China and Russia have brought additional geopolitical tensions to bear.
Global Food Shortages and Increased Poverty
Prediction | As supply chains are disrupted by COVID-19, the crisis of global food supply chain fragility in the face of extreme weather events will be accelerated.
Update | The disruption across production and supply chains has lingered, fueled by labor shortages. The impacts are most visible to consumers as inflated food and fuel prices.
Cyber, Cyber, and More Cyber
Prediction | Cyber has been a growing risk category for all industries over the last couple of years, even well before the pandemic, but it has certainly exacerbated the risk and the impact of cyberattacks due to increased remote working environments and sustained rise in number of attacks.
Update | Last year not only saw increased attack attempts, but also an increase in average data breach costs to the highest in 17 years.
As the world begins another year of the pandemic, the risks created by the novel coronavirus continue to impact humanity. Our 2022 predictions include four key challenges, which we’ll keep in our sights throughout the year.