The central question for this year's report is how governance systems can evolve to better address the systemic risks of the future. In today’s crowded and interconnected world, disaster impacts increasingly cascade across geographies and sectors, as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change are rapidly making clear. Despite progress, risk creation is outstripping risk reduction. Disasters, economic loss, and the underlying vulnerabilities that drive risk, such as poverty and inequality, are increasing just as ecosystems and biospheres are at risk of collapse. The report highlights that a) the climate emergency and the systemic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic point to a new reality; b) understanding and reducing risk in a world of uncertainty is fundamental to achieving genuinely sustainable development; and c) the best defense against future shocks is to transform systems now, to build resilience by addressing climate change, and to reduce the vulnerability, exposure, and inequality that drive disasters.