Mitigating Risks in the Innovation Economy

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The world stands on the brink of a Fourth Industrial Revolution characterized by the advent of cyber-physical systems and technological breakthroughs bringing a radical shift in the nature of risks to society. The goal of Phase II of this project is to realize the highest priority recommendations from Phase I: in order to enable innovation to continue to enhance the lives of society, we must understand and develop resilience against the interconnected risk build-up inherent in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The cascading effects of cyber-physical systems can cause previously minor technology failures to be catastrophic in nature. Thus, Phase II of the World Economic Forum’s project, Mitigating Risks in the Innovation Economy, will focus on “Building Resilience.” We will bring together infrastructure and technology developers, insurers and government officials across the world in order to study current prevention, response and recovery mechanisms to specific risk scenarios across geographies. Such scenarios may include: cyberattack on the smart grid, contagion from aging legacy infrastructure and supply chain disruption. Further scenarios may assess the implications of advanced AI superseding human intelligence and the socio-economic consequences of the innovation economy.

By assessing current resiliency mechanisms across the world, this phase will isolate key gaps and develop best practices across multiple themes, such as: clarifying data needs and establishing data governance models to facilitate the sharing of data in the future; defining roles and responsibilities of the private and public sector; delivering liability protocols for an autonomous system or advanced supply chain; and developing a clear vision for minimizing the negative ethical implications of the innovation economy.