Davos 2014: Takeaways for the Year to Come

I was honored to attend the 2014 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which wraps up a season of predictions for the year ahead and helps set the coming agenda for world business, civil society and political leaders.

The lack of a pressing economic crisis this year allowed delegates to focus on looming but threats that are crucial to address now before they become worse -many of them highly probable, high impact Gray Rhinos, using the term I coined in a talk at Davos a year ago. I laid out some of these issues in a scene-setter Predictions from Davos on the World Policy blog: inequality, climate change, youth unemployment, fiscal crises, extreme weather, and China’s economy.

And once the week was over, what did it all mean? In Taxonomy of the Gray Rhino, also on the World Policy blog I draw a picture of the types of highly probable threats facing leaders: inconvenient truths, meta Gray Rhinos, conundrums, emerging threats, and those for which there appear to be no good answer. Each requires a different kind of effort to get out of the way to avoid being trampled.

I’m looking forward to seeing how leaders deal with each of them as 2014 advances.

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