World leaders face six interconnected challenges, and although approaches and solutions will differ by country, taking key actions will benefit all.
The year 2020 was full of challenges for world leaders. No country was spared from the COVID-19 pandemic or the related economic, educational and national security crises. Issues of climate change became even more acute than they already were, with a record number of natural disasters, including fires, hurricanes and droughts. And geopolitical instability became a shared experience within and across nations, affecting countries that have been fragile for a long time and those that were previously viewed as stalwarts of democracy and stability. These challenges persist in 2021.
Citizens and businesses are looking to their government leaders to help them navigate and emerge stronger from these large-scale, complex problems. Most stakeholders have accepted that going back to the way things were in 2019 is not an option—or even a goal. Thinking ahead to 2022, they want a better future, informed by the lessons of 2020 and now 2021.