Systemic risks are a product of profound and rapid technological, economic and social changes associated with three major transformations. They are characterized by high complexity, trans-boundary effects, stochastic relationships, and nonlinear cause-effect patterns with tipping points and often associated with less public attention than they deserve. The full range of sys-temic risks from natural hazards to cybersecurity will be used to illustrate these characteristics and their implications. Due to these characteristics, systemic risks are overextending established risk management and creating new, unsolved challenges for policy making in risk governance. Their negative effects are often pervasive, impacting fields beyond the obvious primary areas of harm. The paper relates to an integrative risk concept including evaluation criteria, different risk classes and corresponding management strategies for the handling of systemic risks. The paper argues that a deliberative approach is needed for risk management and policy making in risk governance to prevent, mitigate or control systemic risks.