Top Global Risks of 2020


The Top Global Risks 2020 Report offers a review of the most relevant risks regarding impact, scope, and probability for the public and private sectors. Our team has analyzed the strategic, operational, financial, and compliance risk trends from 2019 to construct a risk landscape outlook for 2020. Understanding the causes, development, and impact of these risks will permit improved risk preparedness and resilience in 2020.

Here are our Top 10 Global Risks in alphabetic order:

  • Authoritarian Leadership
  • Compounding Effects of Climate Change
  • Data Insecurity
  • Global Recession
  • Impact of AI on Employment
  • Political Polarization
  • Political Unrest
  • Regionalization & Isolation
  • Terrorism
  • Trade Wars



The risk topics selected for this report were chosen by Global Risk Intelligence’s panel of subject matter experts and risk analysts during a series of risk workshops. The first round of workshops entailed the identification of risk and the allocation within a risk category as per strategic, financial, operational and compliance. Once the significant global risks were selected for evaluation by the panel, they were scored based on the probability of occurrence and the potential impact of each risk topic.

The selected risks were given a score of 1 through 10, (1 being the lowest score and 10 the highest) for both probability and impact. These two scores were multiplied together to create a combined Risk Score. The combined risk scores from each evaluator were compiled to create a total risk score which was then ranked. Thus, the 10 risk topics selected for this report were those given the highest total Risk Scores by the panel of Subject Matter Experts and Risk Analysts.

About the Author

Dr. Nadir Gohari

Dr. Nadir Gohari is President & CEO of Global Risk Intelligence. He earned his doctorate in Government and International Affairs from Durham University in the UK. Previously, he earned his MA in International Relations with a focus on the Middle East from the same institution. Dr. Gohari is currently based in the USA.

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Global Risk Intel

Global Risk Intelligence is a global risk advisory firm. We provide mitigation solutions for clients and are committed to helping them in their operations to understand current and unperceived threats, ensuring that they are resilient in an increasingly uncertain era.

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David Hutchins

David Hutchins is a Risk Analyst at Global Risk Intelligence. He earned his MSc in Defence, Development, and Diplomacy from the Durham Global Security Institute at Durham University in the United Kingdom. He maintains 6 years of military experience having served in the United States Marine Corps Forces Reserve. David is currently based in the United States.

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Yasemin Zeisl

Yasemin Zeisl is a Risk Analyst at Global Risk Intelligence. She earned her MSc in International Relations and Affairs from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is currently based in Austria. Yasemin is fluent in German and English and possesses advanced Japanese language skills.

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Alexander Lykoudis

Alexander Lykoudis is a Risk Specialist at Global Risk Intelligence. He is fluent in English and Mandarin with a basic command of Greek. Alexander earned his MA in International Economics and China Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. He previously earned a Certificate in Chinese Studies as well as International Relations and Affairs from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in China. Alexander is currently based in the USA.

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Kristen Abramowicz

Kristen Abramowicz is an Associate Risk Advisor at Global Risk Intelligence. She earned her JD from Georgia State University College of Law in 2012. She is currently a LLM candidate at The George Washington University Law School in National Security and US Foreign Relations Law. Kristen is currently based in the USA.

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Anna Spiro

Anna Spiro is a Research Analyst at Global Risk Intelligence. She earned her BSc in International Politics and Government with a focus on economics from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Anna is fluent in English and Hungarian with advanced command of Spanish as well as an intermediate command of Italian.

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