Future of Humanity Institute Report: 12 Risks That Threaten Human Civilisation

In 2015, the Future of Humanity Institute published a report analyzing 12 potential existential threats facing human civilization. The report is available as a PDF download (13.2mb). The 12 threats the Institute identifies are,

  1. Extreme Climate Change
  2. Nuclear War
  3. Ecological Catastrophe
  4. Global Pandemic
  5. Global System Collapse
  6. Major Asteroid Impact
  7. Super-volcano
  8. Synthetic Biology
  9. Nanotechnology
  10. Artificial Intelligence
  11. Unknown Consequences
  12. Future Bad Global Governance

The authors of the report say they have four goals in highlighting these risks,

The first of the report’s goals –acknowledging the existence of risks with potentially infinite impact – seeks to help key stakeholders to acknowledge the existence of the category of risks that could result in infinite impact, and to show them that we can reduce or even eliminate most of them.

The second goal is to inspire by showing the practical action that is taking place today. This report seeks to show that helping to meet these global challenges is perhaps the most important contribution anyone can make today, and highlights concrete examples to inspire a new generation of leaders.

The third goal is to connect different groups at every level, so that leaders in different sectors connect with each other to encourage collaboration. This will need a specific focus on financial and security policy, where significant risks combine to demand action beyond the incremental.

The fourth goal is to deliver actual strategies and initiatives that produce actual results. The report is a first step and its success will ultimately be measured only on how it contributes to concrete results.

Leave a Reply