RIMS Canada tackles risks from around the globe and around the block

September 19, 2019

Attendees gathered to learn more about the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report and a new study of the Fort McMurray wildfire.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report is both a barometer of worldly risks and a prognosticator of future risks. In the 2019 edition, environment-related risks dominated the report’s Global Risks Perception Survey, accounting for three of the top five risks by likelihood and four by impact.

During a panel discussion at RIMS Canada on September 9, the speakers drew a clear connection between risks happening around the world and those happening just a few hundred kilometers away.

The session was titled, “Global Risks Report 2019: Is the World Sleep-Walking into a Crisis?” Alban Laloum, Head of Marketing, Zurich Canada, and Michael Lewis, Managing Director, Marsh Canada, highlighted some key findings of the annual report. Both Zurich and Marsh are strategic partners of the WEF in producing the report.


Paul Kovacs, Executive Director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, spoke about the new report from Zurich and ICLR, Fort McMurray Wildfire: Lessons learned from Canada’s costliest disaster.

Laloum discussed how environmental and weather risks have shifted to occupy the upper-right quadrant of the diagram of risks, meaning they are both more likely and more impactful. He then shared a global map showing the coastal cities at greatest risk from rising sea levels caused by global warming. They include New York, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Jakarta, Shanghai, Seoul and Dhaka.


Lewis focused on the global need to improve and replace critical infrastructure to build better resilience to natural catastrophes, noting that the top 10 fastest-growing cities are in India.

Kovacs closed the presentation by sharing key details of the new Fort McMurray wildfire report. He talked about the role that insurance played in helping the community recover from the catastrophe—70 percent of direct damage was covered by insurance and the industry paid .6 billion in claims. Those numbers might have gone higher, but not everyone had insurance for their homes or businesses, he said.


The 45-minute discussion concluded with questions from audience members, most of whom were interested in more details about the Fort McMurray report.

In the short video below, Laloum explains why the WEF’s Global Risks Report resonates with RIMS attendees.