Majority Optimistic About Tech in 2021, But Health, Jobs and Environment Top Personal Risk List

  • A 28-country World Economic Forum/Ipsos survey found a majority of adults think accessing digital tools, training or technology will improve in the year ahead
  • But, most view deteriorating mental and physical health, loss of income or employment, and more frequent weather-related natural disasters as the biggest personal risks
  • Now more than ever, public and private institutions must come together, rebuild trust and address the changes needed following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The Davos Agenda will bring together G7 and G20 heads of state, chief executives and leaders from civil society to discuss how to catalyze impact in a crucial year ahead
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GENEVA, January 22, 2021 – A new World Economic Forum/Ipsos survey found most adults are optimistic about accessing technology, digital tools and training in the next 12 months, but have serious concerns about the state of the climate, job market and global health. These findings ahead of the Davos Agenda week highlight the importance of leaders across the public and private sectors to come together and address the changes needed in a crucial year ahead.

According the the survey, the percentage of those expecting the availability of digital tools and technology to improve in 2021 exceeds the percentage of those who think it will get worse in all countries surveyed. This is most of all the case in Saudi Arabia (by 57 points), Peru (55 points), and India (48 points). Italy is the only country where, while the proportion of optimists is greater than that of pessimists by 3 points, the difference is not statistically significant.

Significantly larger proportions of people expect opportunities for training and education to improve in 2021 than to get worse in 12 countries – most of all in Saudi Arabia (by 45 points), Peru (44 points), Mexico (36 points), and China (36 points).

Level of personal concern for 7 possible developments
Image: IPSOS/World Economic Forum

However, there are global concerns with deteriorating health, loss of income or employment, and more frequent weather-related natural disasters each perceived as a real threat by three out of five adults across the world.

Pessimists outnumber optimists on the other five issues measured: The pace of climate change (by 20 points); Employment opportunities (by 15 points); General health conditions (by 5 points); Inequality (by 4 points), and Relations between one’s country and other countries (by 2 points).

Expected Change in 2021
Expected Change in 2021
Image: IPSOS/World Economic Forum

The pandemic has accelerated systemic changes that were apparent before its inception. The fault lines that emerged in 2020 now appear as critical crossroads in 2021. The Davos Agenda will help leaders choose innovative and bold solutions to stem the pandemic and drive a robust recovery over the next year.

In regards to the Davos Agenda, Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum said: “In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to reset priorities and the urgency to reform systems have been growing stronger around the world. Rebuilding trust and increasing global cooperation are crucial to fostering innovative and bold solutions to stem the pandemic and drive a robust recovery. This unique meeting will be an opportunity for leaders to outline their vision and address the most important issues of our time, such as the need to accelerate job creation and to protect the environment.”

Methodology

These are the results of a 28-country survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform. Ipsos interviewed a total of 23,004 adults aged 18-74 in United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, 21-74 in Singapore, and 16-74 in 22 other countries between Wednesday, December 23, 2020 and Friday January 8, 2021.

Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don’t knows or not stated responses

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

/WEF Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.