14 Major Risks That Used To Be The Stuff Of Science Fiction

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Risk management is a part of our everyday personal and professional lives.  We know to look both ways before crossing the street.  We also know that we must diversify our investment portfolios to mitigate the impact of a stock market crash.

But, what about the less obvious risks?

The World Economic Forum is out with their list of 50 Global Risks of 2012.  It includes well-known ones: chronic fiscal imbalances, severe income disparity, rising greenhouse gas emissions, cyber attacks, terrorism, etc.

It also includes risks we don’t think about every day like cyber neotribalism, the militarization of space, and a volcanic winter.

What follows is a list of risks once believed only to exist in science fiction novels.  They’re also risks highlighted by 469 experts and industry leaders surveyed by the World Economic Forum.

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[slide
permalink=”militarization-of-space-1″
title=”Militarization of space”
content=”Targeting of commercial, civil and military space assets and related ground systems as core to defence strategy.

Source: World Economic Forum
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[slide
permalink=”unintended-consequences-of-nanotechnology-2″
title=”Unintended consequences of nanotechnology”
content=”The manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular level raises concerns on nanomaterial toxicity.

Source: World Economic Forum
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[slide
permalink=”massive-incidence-of-data-fraud-or-theft-3″
title=”Massive incidence of data fraud or theft”
content=”Criminal or wrongful exploitation of private data on an unprecedented scale.

Source: World Economic Forum
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[slide
permalink=”vulnerability-to-pandemics-4″
title=”Vulnerability to pandemics”
content=”Inadequate disease surveillance systems, failed international coordination and the lack of vaccine production capacity.

Source: World Economic Forum
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[slide
permalink=”entrenched-organized-crime-5″
title=”Entrenched organised crime”
content=”Highly organised, disciplined, and deep-rooted global networks committing criminal offences.

Source: World Economic Forum
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e661c5a49e2ae152a000048/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”vulnerability-to-geomagnetic-storms-6″
title=”Vulnerability to geomagnetic storms”
content=”Critical communication and navigation systems disabled by effects from colossal solar flares.

Source: World Economic Forum
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4efcd6a0ecad04d20b000038/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”unintended-consequences-of-new-life-science-technologies-7″
title=”Unintended consequences of new life science technologies”
content=”Advances in genetics and synthetic biology produce unintended consequences, mishaps, or are used as weapons.

Source: World Economic Forum
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[slide
permalink=”unmanaged-migration-8″
title=”Unmanaged migration”
content=”Mass migration driven by resource scarcity, environmental degradation and lack of opportunity, security or social stability.

Source: World Economic Forum
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[slide
permalink=”unintended-consequences-of-climate-change-mitigation-9″
title=”Unintended consequences of climate change mitigation”
content=”Attempts at geoengineering or renewable energy development result in new complex challenges.

Source: World Economic Forum
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4cbc6525ccd1d5406a010000/image.jpg”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”rising-rates-of-chronic-disease-10″
title=”Rising rates of chronic disease”
content=”Increasing burden of illness and long-term costs of treatment threaten recent societal gains in life expectancy and quality.

Source: World Economic Forum
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4c2224ef7f8b9a8a1d4d0000/image.jpg”
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]
[slide
permalink=”unprecedented-geophysical-destruction-11″
title=”Unprecedented geophysical destruction”
content=”Geophysical disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic activity, of unparalleled magnitude or unforeseen frequency, that overwhelm existing precautions.

Source: World Economic Forum
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bc7b9757f8b9a9074a00300/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”rising-religious-fanaticism-12″
title=”Rising religious fanaticism”
content=”Uncompromising sectarian views that polarize societies and exacerbate regional tensions.

Source: World Economic Forum
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e31a58369beddd92b000036/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”persistent-extreme-weather-13″
title=”Persistent extreme weather”
content=”Increasing damage linked to greater concentration of property in risk zones, urbanization or increased frequency of extreme weather events.

Source: World Economic Forum
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4df60a234bd7c8420f130000/image.jpg”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”proliferation-of-orbital-debris-14″
title=”Proliferation of orbital debris”
content=”Rapidly accumulating debris in high-traffic geocentric orbits jeopardizes critical satellite infrastructure.

Source: World Economic Forum
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eeb412c6bb3f7a97800003b/image.jpg”
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]
[slide
permalink=”now-that-you-know-the-risks-how-do-you-protect-your-assets-15″
title=”Now that you know the risks, how do you protect your assets?”
content=”How To Protect Yourself From The Biggest Risks Of 2012 >
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