The future is full of tremendous opportunities according to the “Global Opportunity Report” released earlier this year. If you are looking for a positive spin on some of the most serious risks we face, this report is for you. The study was done by the Global Opportunity Network, a sister organization to the nonprofit Sustainia. The opportunities are drawn from over 200 experts and 6,000 private sector leaders from over 21 different countries. We’ve noted other reports that identify our risks, like the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Risks Report. This one is unique because it emphasizes the opportunity side of the equation, highlighting those that are ripe for the picking. 

The report focuses on 5 worldwide risks and how we can reframe them into 15 unique opportunities. The research also revealed some interesting trends happening around the globe. For instance China and India are the most optimistic about seizing future opportunities. The younger generations are more positive in their outlook, and there was a strong belief that water-related opportunities will be the most impactful to both society and business.

The two risks with the greatest potential benefits included extreme weather and a lack of fresh water. In response to the risks of extreme weather, resilience and early warning systems are top-rated opportunities for North America. If you are worried about water security, you could focus on very rewarding opportunities in areas such as water efficient agriculture. In some cases it can multiply crop yields from 2x to 4x in parts of Africa or Asia. Drip irrigation can reduce water use by 30-70%. Innovative technologies have positive potential in the areas such as ocean wave-powered desalination. 

The report demonstrates how businesses and global citizens can transform risks into viable rewards that have positive results for society.  Read the full report here.