Skoll World Forum: Catastrophic Risk and Threats to the Global Commons

by XiXiDu 1 min read5th Apr 201210 comments


More: Skoll Global Threats Fund | To Safeguard Humanity from Global Threats

The panel surfaced a number of issues that contribute to our inability to date to make serious strides on global challenges, including income inequality, failure of governance and lack of leadership.  It also explored some deeper issues around pysche and society  – people’s inability to convert information to wisdom, the loss of sense of self, the challenges of hyperconnectivity, and questions about economic models and motivations that have long underpinned concepts of growth and wellbeing.  The session was filmed, and we’ll make public that link once the file is available.  In the meantime, here are some of the more memorable quotes (which may not be verbatim, but this is how I wrote them down):

“When people say something is impossible, that just means it’s hard.”

“Inequality is becoming an existential threat.”

“We’re at a crossroads.  We can make progress against these big issues or we can kill ourselves.”

“We need inclusive globalization, to give everyone a stake in the future.”

‘Fatalism is our most deadly adversary.”

“What we’re lacking is not IQ, but wisdom.”

“We need to tap into the timeless to solve the urgent.”

What we mean by global threats

Global threats have the potential to kill or debilitate very large numbers of people or cause significant economic or social dislocation or paralysis throughout the world. Global threats cannot be solved by any one country; they require some sort of a collective response. Global threats are often non-linear, and are likely to become exponentially more difficult to manage if we don’t begin making serious strides in the right direction in the next 5-10 years.

More on existential risks:


A list of organisations and charities concerned with existential risk research.