Census News

News Release: A New Global Effort to Anticipate Risks Together




Ottawa, Canada – April 25, 2022 – As the world becomes more complex and uncertain, there is an increasing need to anticipate risks. A new online questionnaire, The Global Risk Census (riskcensus.org), is gathering local observations to help identify potential risks before they become dangers. By filling out a 20-minute questionnaire, participants become the eyes and ears of the world in their neighborhood. The questions cover topics in health, urban infrastructure, the economy, crime, and many other aspects of society that can threaten people, homes, communities, countries, and indeed the entire planet.

The problem today is that most data used to identify global risks comes from governments, academia and large international organizations, and though the creators of The Global Risk Census believe this data is useful and necessary, they believe that tapping into millions of grassroots observers will enhance our ability to anticipate risks. Cemil Alyanak, co-founder and General Manager of the Census, believes in this power of observation: “If we can successfully tap into what millions of citizens see, experience and feel, we will unlock a treasure of useable data that, when properly analyzed, can help identify risks on the horizon long before they occur.” He adds: “Then it is up to us to ensure that the right people get the message that something needs to be done.”

Dr. Daniel Krewski, co-founder and Director of Science of The Global Risk Census, and leading risk scientist from the University of Ottawa, says: “There has never been a more important time for risk scientists to help identify real-world risks that we face daily.” Dr. Krewski believes that The Global Risk Census is the missing dataset that policymakers need to make more informed decisions.

Homepage of The Global Risk Census
News Release: A New Global Effort to Anticipate Risks Together 2

The question some ask is how ordinary citizens will recognize risks. According to Cemil Alyanak: “They don’t have to. We are asking them to observe the world around them. Take infrastructure for example, if one person tells you that their water is becoming bad, maybe their house pipes are at fault, but if one thousand people in the same city tell you the same thing, then something has to be done about it.” He adds: “Yes, we still want to hear from leaders and policymakers, but what about an electrician in Malaysia, a baker in France, or even the Captain of a cruise ship? Each of them is close to so many risks; if we can hear from them, then we can act much faster.”

The Global Risk Census consists of several questionnaires. The Main Questionnaire asks the same questions to all participants worldwide. It currently consists of 84 questions and takes about 20 minutes to complete. The Census team emphasizes that there is no cost associated with taking the Census and that all answers are entirely anonymous.

The Census is open to anyone, in any country. Although currently available only in English and French, other languages will follow. Risk Sciences International, based in Ottawa, Canada funds The Global Risk Census as a non-profit, public interest project. If you would like to participate in The Global Risk Census, the website address is https://riskcensus.org.

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