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Andreas Kluth

So We’re In a Polycrisis. Is That Even a Thing?

Coining apocalyptic neologisms won’t help anybody. Better to attack complexity with simple words and work on solutions.

Cleaning up another polycrisis.

Cleaning up another polycrisis.

Photographer: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

A lot of the folks trying to sound profound in the hallways at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week had just the word: “Polycrisis.” That’s what we’re in, apparently. 

If so, this polycrisis presumably replaces the “tripledemic” we recently survived, and may yet blend into the “permacrisis” (Collins Dictionary Word of the Year in 2022). It could also join the “megathreats” out there. Or it may revert to being a good old-fashioned “perfect storm.”