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 will include both past and future scenarios, such as: cyberattack on the smart grid, contagion from aging legacy infrastructure and supply chain disruption (the failure of the cloud), and a cyber-attack on a large autonomous fleet. 

This project will not only assess current resiliency mechanisms across the world, but 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 risk and incidence data in the future; defining roles and responsibilities of the private and public sector; delivering liability protocols for cyber-attacks and errors; evolving the role of the insurance industry in the cyber/technology market; and developing best practices for local, national, and international incidence response mechanisms.