Global Risks and Resilience

Links to Pages with Lesson Plans for Global Risks and Resilience

This page provides links to pages with lesson plans with learning activities that cover everything in the IB guide for this topic. Lesson plans include resources to use on an interactive whiteboard and worksheets to print. The pages have full student access to give maximum flexibility to the teacher and the student. There are theoretical notes for extended reading and teacher notes at the top that provide timing information lesson objectives and activity instructions.


1. Geopolitical and Economic Risks

Threats to individuals and businesses:

  • hacking, identity theft and the implications of surveillance for personal freedoms
  • political, economic and physical risks to global supply chain flows

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How the advantages of globalization must be weighed against heightened possibilities of new geopolitical and economic risks

Modern Threats

This page addresses the Modern threat of cybercrime and personal surveillance. It begins with a look at the spatial patterns of the fantastic real-time Norse map of cyber attacks, before using an infographic  on the types of cyber attacks. Students then look in more depth at the 2017 ransomware attack that affected the NHS in the UK among many other organizations. Students explore the threat to individuals through a number of other infographics and a gallery of well chosen graphs, before looking at the potential for mis-use and the infringement on people's personal freedom.

Risks to the Global Supply Chain

This page provides ressurces on a full variety of risks to global supply-chain flows. Student begin by trying to identify these risks themselves. It develops a number of key worksheets and video resources which look at specific risks in more depth. Japan is developed as a more detailed place example and then students research examples of their own real supply-chain risks based on a mind map. This exercise is aimed at synoptic links from across the course.

New and emerging threats to the political and economic sovereignty of states:

  • profit repatriation and tax avoidance by TNCs and wealthy individuals
  • disruptive technological innovations, such as drones and 3D printing

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How the advantages of globalization must be weighed against heightened possibilities of new geopolitical and economic risks

TNC Piracy

This provocatively titles page address the problem of TNC Tax avoidance and capital flight. It also covers the issue of tax avoidance schemes by wealthy individuals. The lesson begins with two graphics on tax avoidance as well an BBC news report addressing the reasons for tax avoidance and its impact. Students then complete a mapping activity on tax losses using the data within a Daily Mail news report. Students then go on to look at the spatial pattern of tax avoidance at the global scale by analyzing a shocking infographic map on showing the vast scale of capital flight from developing countries. The lesson briefly develops the problem of wealthy individuals and tax avoidance from celebrities, featuring a comical analysis from David Mitchell.

Disruptive Technologies

This page begins with a photo activity leading to a student definition of disruptive technologies. They then look at the application of drones in the economy in terms of positives but also a threat to economic sovereignty. They then examine the future security threat of drones. Students then explore the opportunities, and economic sovereignty threats of 3D printing through a number of resources, including an infographic, video and a very interesting article exploring the wider impact of 3D printing of different geographies

The correlation between increased globalization and renewed nationalism/tribalization

  • Two detailed examples to illustrate geopolitical tension/conflict

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How the advantages of globalization must be weighed against heightened possibilities of new geopolitical and economic risks

Globalisation and Renewed Geopolitical Tensions

This page provides resources on two key examples of rising nationalism as a consequence of globalization. It develops the rise of Islamism as a totalitarian ideology and movement as well as the increasing regional and global geopolitical tensions around Syria. The lesson begins with a  number of graphics introducing rising nationalism, before students look at the social-political tensions that lead to radicalization and the rise of Islamism. This is provocatively framed as a totalitarian ideology that (to some) conflicts with the western totalitarian ideology of neoliberalism.The page further develops the geopolitical/religiosity tensions around the conflict in Syria as well as the emerging 'second cold war' and proxy war between USA and Russia in Syria.


2. Environmental Risks

Transboundary pollution (TBP) affecting a large area/more than one country

  • One TBP case study including the consequences and possible responses

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How global interactions affect the physical environment by varying degrees at different scales

Transboundary Pollution

Students explore the global problem of plastic waste through the great ocean garbage patches or gyres. Students begin with the interactive map showing the spatial extent of ocean plastic waste. This map is then explained through an informative video. Student investigate the global spatial patterns and causes further through a large gallery of graphs. Students look deeper at the impacts of plastic on marine health and biodiversity before investigating the solutions and responses to plastic waste and evaluating these efforts.

Environmental impacts of global flows at varying scales:

  • localized pollution, including impacts along shipping lanes
  • carbon footprints for global flows of food, goods and people

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How global interactions affect the physical environment by varying degrees at different scales

Localized Pollution due to Global Flows

This page develops resources on localized pollution associated with shipping lanes, modes of transport, cruise liners and agriculture. It begins with a radio podcast explaining the problems of pollution problems from shipping. This is followed up further through a number of maps on Particulate Matter and localized concentrations with shipping lanes. Students briefly contrast the pollution levels from different types of transport before looking in more depth at the localized problems of cruise liners. Student go on to the scale of pollution from agriculture, which has both considerable local and global impacts. To conclude student work with Google Drive to flash research the environmental impacts of food,tourism and exported goods.

Environmental issues linked with the global shift of industry:

  • polluting manufacturing industries
  • food production systems for global agribusiness

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How global interactions affect the physical environment by varying degrees at different scales

Environmental Consequences of the Global Shift

This page develops resource on the environmental impacts of the global shift both in terms of the blight of deindustrialization and the environmental shocks of rapid industrialization. It begins by defining the term global shift through a simple graph of economic activity as well a GIF map which shows global change in coal production over time. Student then look at the cycle of decline resulting from deindustrialization and look at its impacts in Durham, UK and Detroit, USA. Students then use a number of maps to investigate the spatial pattern of the world's most polluted places before examining the almost apocalyptic scale of pollution in China. This includes a source investigation into the causes of cancer villages in China.

Environmental Issues of Global Food Agribusiness

This page addresses the environmental impacts of agribusiness through a number of examples. It begins with the stunning visuals from the HOME documentary, before examining a number of resources, such a video, text and graphics to explore place specific examples of environmental impact, such as Hog farms in the North Carolina, Soya plantations in Paraguay, Palm plantations in Indonesia, deforestation in the Amazon, pesticide use, and groundwater loss. The lesson concludes by looking at some of the reported benefits of biotech industries.


3. Local and Global Resilience

The success of international civil society organizations in attempting to raise awareness about, and find solutions for, environmental and social risks associated with global interactions

  • Detailed examples of one environmental and one social civil society organization action

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How perspectives vary on the severity of different risks and priorities for action

Civil Society Success for the Environment

This page looks in depth at the Greenpeace victory campaign that targeted the partnership between Lego and Shell and develops its clever media strategy of posters and digital videos. It goes on to look at Greenpeace's lobbying of the Obama administration and his decision to ban future oil drilling. Students then investigate the Greenpeace website to develop the solutions that Greenpeace proposes as well as the challenges and obstacles with the campaign.

Civil Society Success on Social Issues

This page takes an in-depth look at the Fly Kites Not Drones social justice group. It introduces the organization first and student sue the website to establish its aim and organization. The page then makes use of the organization's own education resources to teach students about the social justice issues focused on ethics of warfare. Students use the resources to learn but at the same evaluate the organization in terms of its role and impact on the topic of drone use in warfare.

Strategies to build resilience:

  • re-shoring of economic activity by TNCs
  • use of crowd-sourcing technologies to build resilience by government and civil society
  • new technologies for the management of global flows of data and people, including cybersecurity and e-passports

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How perspectives vary on the severity of different risks and priorities for action

Re-shoring of Economic Activity by TNCs

This page develops resources on the growing trend of reshoring and how governments like the US and UK are promoting it. The site uses a number of videos, text resources and graphics to explore the growth in reshoring and the drivers of that change. It pays particular attention to the automotive industry in both the USA and UK and develops the reshoring of Vodaphone call centers form South Africa to the UK.

Crowd Sourcing Technologies

This page develops the growing importance of crowdsourcing for developing more resilient governments and communities. It begins by exploring through a number of different resources the different types of crowdsourcing. Students are introduced to its broad range of uses through a card sort activity with many examples, which they categorize into types of crowdsourcing. Students then focus on how crowdsourcing can be used to develop improved resilience both for governments and communities.

New Technologies for Global Flows

This page develops resources on cybersecurity and e-passports. It begins with some interesting videos revealing the types of possible cybersecurity threats and responses to it. Students then explore some new innovative technologies through a ranking card activity. Students follow a video based on the cybersecurity center in London before looking at the merits of e-passports through a number of diagrams and an informative video. Students can then decide their own debate topics and prepare a class debate on the merits of cybersecurity and e-passports.

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