The Top Ten Strategic Security Risks Facing Humanity

DEPOSITPHOTOS

Introduction

Emerging technologies: quantum physics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, gene editing, artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, 3D printing, and more are dual in nature. While they bring the promise of fundamentally transforming the contested commons of the human ecosystem, these same disruptive technologies can enable the development of asymmetric, next-generation weapons and warfare for which no one is yet prepared. As the dual-use nature of these emerging technologies begins to re-write the rules of competition, cooperation and collaboration, complex challenges are emerging for governing the contested commons of cyberspace, aquaspace, geospace and space (CAGS). This is a cause of great concern for human survival and security—and necessitates an understanding of strategic security risks facing humanity.

Since the survival of humanity necessitates developing insights about integrated CAGS security risks, Risk Group issued a Strategic Security Risk Report for 2019.

Risk Group identifies the Top 10 Strategic Security Risks Facing Humanity

  1. Dual-Use Technologies
  2. Clash in Contested Commons
  3. Failing Governance Models
  4. Quantum Physics and Technologies
  5. Technological Singularity
  6. The Integrity of Information: Disinformation and Misinformation
  7. Growing Natural Disasters
  8. Social Isolation and Loneliness
  9. Natural Resources: Scarcity and Geopolitics
  10. Antibiotic Resistance

Future of Humanity

As we stand on the periphery of a technological tsunami in the contested commons of CAGS, the scale, scope and complexity of the risks and rewards will be nothing like anything any of us has ever experienced before in any of the prior technological revolutions. The emerging strategic security risks have no historical precedent and are fundamentally disrupting the very nature of security and the future of humanity.

As the breadth, depth and impact of the emerging changes herald the transformation of entire interconnected and interdependent systems of the contested commons, geopolitics, governance, security, and more; we must ask if today’s technology trends continue, what does our future look like? While there is no way to compute just how the impact of the emerging strategic security risks will unfold, one thing is clear: it changes the very fundamentals of human survival and security.

Acknowledging this evolving reality, Risk Group initiated a much-needed discussion on the Future of Humanity with Dr. Lubomir Todorov, a Former Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bulgaria, on Risk Roundup.



Disclosure: I am the CEO of Risk Group LLC. Risk Group discusses “The Future of Humanity” with Dr. Lubomir Todorov, a Former Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bulgaria, Founder of Universal Future Foundation, Researcher and Lecturer in Civilizational Studies, Social Anthropology, Digital Democracy, AI, Geopolitics and Future Global Strategy on Risk Roundup.

Strategic Security Risks

While independent risks are generally well understood, talked about, and accounted for, little attention is paid to integrated strategic security risks associated with the changing security fundamentals in CAGS. However, it is the integrated strategic security risks that are the most significant emerging threat facing individuals and entities across nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA)—and the very future of humanity.

One thing is undeniable: if we continue to follow the traditional path of managing security risks, the very future of humanity is at risk. Interconnected, interdependent, and integrated risks from the contested commons will find their way to create more significant and more sophisticated security risks—threatening the very future of humanity.

As seen, the current governance models are proving ineffective. Any risk management governance initiative that is not integrated (NGIOA/CAGS integration) will likely not be effective. And not even the best tools and techniques can make up for risks that are not identified and understood. So, to manage any strategic security risk, an effective integrated global governance system needs to be defined and designed—that is enforceable, transparent, accountable, valid, legally binding, collaborative, and can be trusted by everyone.

What Next?

Since strategic security risks are emerging from all contested commons, the global approach concerning silo risk management versus collective action will determine the future of humanity.


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Jayshree Pandya, Ph.D. is Founder of Risk Group & Host of Risk Roundup. Jayshree Pandya (née Bhatt), Founder and CEO of Risk Group LLC, is a scientist, a visionary, an expert in disruptive technologies and a globally recognized strategic security thought leader and influencer. She is actively engaged in driving the global discussions on existing and emerging technologies, technology transformation and nation preparedness. Her work focuses on the impact of existing and emerging technological innovations on nations, nation preparedness and the very survival, security and sustainability of humanity.