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Cambridge Global Risk Index

The Centre has compiled a compendium of threat maps, analytics and data layers, as a toolkit for assessing international risk of business disruption. The Global Risk Index references the classical story of Pandora’s Box of All Ills and is the culmination of a research track that the Centre for Risk Studies has been pursuing since its inception.

This analysis suite consists of a probabilistic event set of over 12,000 catastrophe scenarios representing 22 threats, with potential to cause disruption to economic activity in 279 of the world’s most important cities, responsible for 41% of the world’s GDP. The consequences of these events are quantified in terms of their ‘[email protected]’ – a constant metric that can be used to compare and standardise different types of threat.

Expanding the cyber threat model

Building on years of cyber research the Centre has done, we plan to extend the cyber threat model to individual cyber models that represent real events that can occur within an organisation such as data breaches, cloud outages, extortion, financial theft and DDoS. Research is underway at the Centre to map these exposures to corporate balance sheets and city economies alike.

Additional consequence models

The consequences of the scenarios will be extended from estimating [email protected] by adding other types of impacts to the modelling of the events. For insurance use cases this will extend to insurance underwriting loss assessments, derived in terms of index values for different lines of exposure. For international businesses, the consequence modelling will be extended to revenue loss and other operational impact metrics resulting from the scenarios, as needed to support the use case applications.

Trillion dollar scenarios

Tail events are being explored by identifying all threat events with the potential to cause a loss to the global economy of a trillion dollars or more. The universe of trillion dollar events will continue to be developed to characterise the frequency and characteristics of the distribution of extreme potential shock events. 

Adding contagion and cascades

The analytical framework will be extended to incorporate contagion of shocks through the global economy, to improve the representation of impacts of localised events elsewhere in the world. The analysis will also explore the potential for one shock event to trigger other shock events in a cascade of consequences.

Real-time event interpretation

As part of our catastrophe scenario research, we are compiling historical case study precedents and calibrating models of likely consequences of unfolding events. We propose to explore the application of these techniques for businesses to respond to potentially threatening current events, by providing interpretation and analysis of the implication of events for various business activities.

For each release of the Cambridge Global Risk Index the Centre for Risk Studies has written an executive summary to highlight the significant changes in the threat landscape year to year based on our modelled results. These reports explain why we are seeing such changes in the 22 threats and for the 279 global cities modelled. For releases where significant modelling improvements were incorporated the Centre has written a Methodology document.

Impact of Cyber Attacks Continue to Increase on a Global Level: Global Risk Index 2019

The 2019 Global Risk Index sees a further increase in the level of global risk, with expected loss increasing to 1.57% (or $577 bn) of global GDP, from 1.54% in the 2018 Global Risk Index…

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Cambridge Global Risk Index 2018 sees 16% increased risk from geopolitical threats

The 2018 version of the Cambridge Global Risk index sees risk up, with expected loss increasing to 1.54% of the world’s 2018 GDP, compared to last year’s index of 1.48% of 2017 GDP…

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Global Risks Report: making the global into local

The Global Risks Report, now in its 13th edition, has become the vehicle for an international discussion of risk linked to the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) the following week. Its findings in 2018 are generally unsurprising. The overall picture is…

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Pandora event bulletin: [email protected] in Houston

Pandora scenarios suggest Houston economy could lose $27 to $60 billion of output as a result of Hurricane Harvey Flooding. The economy of Houston, Texas could lose $27-60 billion of economic output in the next year as result of Hurricane Harvey…

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Opening Pandora’s box: Using city-scale risk models to quantify the global cost of catastrophes, and the value of resilience

In the Centre for Risk Studies we have developed a framework to quantify the potential damage from a Pandora’s box of all ills…

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Interstate conflict is the new top concern for Global Risks 2015

The WEF Global Risks 2015 identifies ‘interstate conflict’ as the top catastrophe threat of concern, in a new ranking order of business risks for the next decade. Managing the business risk…

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Read all blogs from the Centre for Risk Studies



4 Dec 2018

Cambridge Global Risk Index 2019: Launch Event

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6 Jun 2018

Lloyd’s City Risk Index 2018 Launch

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6 Dec 2017

Cambridge Global Risk Index 2017

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6 Oct 2015

Lloyd’s City Risk Index – Methodology and Usage of City Economy Risk Analysis

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3 Sep 2015

Lloyd’s City Risk Index 2015-2025

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The annual updates of the Cambridge Global Risk Indices receive wide coverage from a variety of media channels such as the Financial Times, New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, CNN, Reuters, Sunday Telegraph, US News & World Reports, MarketWatch, Japan Times, Insurance Journal, The Insurance Insider and numerous other news outlets and online platforms. The 2018 Reuters article was syndicated and picked up by 22 different outlets including The New York Times, while 97 regional publications reviewed the index. Further the 2018 Index was mentioned on three live broadcasts: CNBC, CNN and CNBC Europe.

Media coverage

Impact of cyber attacks continues to increase across the world: Global Risk Index 2019

The potential impact of cyber attacks on the economy of the world's largest cities has risen by nearly 9% in the last…

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The Telegraph: Man-made disasters are now a much greater threat than natural ones

Man-made risks, such as market crash and cyber-attacks, now account for 60% of the total economic output at risk in major cities…

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Reinsurance News: Global economic output at risk from man-made events

Man-made risks, such as market crash and cyber-attacks, now account for 60% of the total economic output at risk in major cities…

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CNBC: Cybercrime the fastest developing risk globally

Lloyd's Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown discusses the findings of Global City Risk Index, produced in collaboration with the Centre for Risk Studies at…

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Asia Insurance Post: Report: Threats from conflict and terrorism account for more than half of Indian cities’ risks

The potential impact of geopolitical and security shocks on the economy of the world’s largest cities has risen by 16% in the…

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Forbes: Coming soon to a city near you – $320 billion in economic losses

Man-made risks, such as market crash and cyber-attacks, now account for 60% of the total economic output at risk in major cities…

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Reuters: Tokyo is world city facing greatest risks

According to the latest Lloyd’s City Risk Index, Tokyo is facing most risks globally to its annual economic output, due to its…

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Further resources

Global Risk Index Executive Summary

The Global Risk Index compiles the impacts of 22 types of threats into a single, annual measurement of economic loss. Cyber risk saw a nine per cent growth between the 2018 and 2019 index.

Access the report

Contact us

For further information and general enquiries, we’d be happy to hear from you.

[email protected]