It seems as if by the time we memorise a new global term, another newer term enters the scene. For example, we recently learned about frontier technologies, then pandemic terminologies and now we are starting to hear a new term echoed several times in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos 2023- “Polycrisis”.
While WEF is sometimes perceived as an elitist forum, the fact that it shares its insights of 1,200 experts from around the world in its Global Risks Perception Survey Report (GRPS) is impressive, and worth paying attention to by all stakeholders; public, private, civil society and media. The term polycrisis refers to the fact that humanity for the first time since World War II is facing a crisis in five categories- Societal, Technological, Environmental, Economic, and Geopolitical/economic crises.
What is interesting about this discussion is that it invites us to think beyond what polycrisis means: How can we as societies develop our resilience through this convergence of the said polycrisis five categories of crisis? Here are five thoughts:
Societal polarisation and cyber insecurity are spreading due to the global reach of the internet. Cultural misunderstandings, such as arguments during the FIFA World Cup, and cyber bullying tell us that the internet can be used for interactive people-to-people connections. Interactive people-to-people connections and education could better serve the purpose of current and future generations sharing intercultural positive thoughts and vibes.
We are becoming increasingly better at building computer systems, with basic cognitive skills. This means we need to innovate ways where basic workers find meaningful sources of income in this age of digital disruption.
Irrefutable science proves that around 8 billion human beings live only on one planet, this earth, and we share it with billions of animals and plants. Building a resilient society entails demonstrating our appreciation with all creatures that share the air we breathe and the soil that feeds us.
Supply chain disruptions are still affecting the world two years into the pandemic, and some aspects of it seem to be here to stay. On a positive note, the challenges we faced due to mandatory lockdowns in China, the manufacturing powerhouse of the world, has taught many markets about in-country value and local content development.
The very power that keeps cool in the summer and warm in the winter became right, front and centre because of the Russian war on Ukraine. The repercussions of what started as Russian-EU Military conflict escalated to a worldwide scramble for basic human needs, shelter, food and energy security. Stable and prosperous regions such as the GCC could benefit greatly from actively contributing towards a just, peaceful, and sustainable conflict resolution, because conflicts in Europe do not stay in Europe, as the whole world learned in WW I and WW II.