Six Shifting Themes That Will Shape The Future Of Humanity
One of the important points raised in The Future Book is that if you want to understand and prepare for the future, you need to know why democracies are not as democratic as they used to be.
This increasingly complex and interconnected world we live in played a big role in this transformation.
In the digital age, populism has taken hold and can swing away from traditional ideologies and constructed political classes, making it harder for anyone to tell how citizens will vote next – leading elected officials to take decisions that reflect their own interests rather than those of their constituents.
Moreover, these decisions tend to cater more towards special interest groups which leads to an increasing divide between bureaucratic elites and ordinary citizens.
These trends have been slowly taking hold over the past years, but now it is clearer than ever that modern democracies are not what they once were – ordinary people are no longer having their voices heard in the consensus-building process.
Understanding this phenomenon is crucial if we wish to continue progressing towards a better future for everyone.
To Survive In The New Global Economy, We Need To Redistribute Wealth And Create Job Opportunities For Displaced Workers
Outsourcing and robosourcing are becoming increasingly commonplace in today’s global economy, and their combined effects are taking their toll on workers around the world.
There is a rising trend of jobs being outsourced to developing countries where labor costs are cheaper, which has proven to be beneficial for those countries but damaging to employment rates in developed countries.
Coupled with this is the rise of robosourcing, whereby machines and computers take over jobs formerly performed by people, leading to no new jobs being created.
Even service industry jobs that traditionally relied on human workers for success have not been spared in some cases.
The result of these interlinked issues is an ever-widening gap between the rich and poor as well as a reduction in the overall middle class.
In many developed countries there are already symptoms of such economic inequality, while developing countries’ burgeoning middle classes may soon face the same travails.
The only possible solution to maintain fairness among all parties is for wealth redistribution from the richest few to substitute lost incomes from those who become unemployed due to outsourcing and robosourcing – but unfortunately, such measures face resistance so far from those with political sway.
The Rise Of Earth Inc. Is Leading To A Shift In Global Power, Away From The United States
The shift of global power away from the United States and towards private corporations is undeniable.
This is because corporations rule over half of the world’s largest 100 economies and are amassing political power as a result.
Politicians in many Western democracies, most notably in the United States, have become dependent on corporate funding for their campaigns, meaning they are beholden to their backers and will often push their agendas.
On top of this, powerful spending on advertising has allowed corporations to shape public opinion in their favor.
As an example, even though 90 percent of Americans want clear labeling on genetically modified food products, these labels still don’t exist due to the influence of agribusiness lobbyists.
Ultimately, this pandering to corporate interests has caused America to lose its standing as a global leader in maintaining world peace and stability- something that nobody can deny.
All the while China is quickly becoming a superpower to rival the US and projects predict that it will be the biggest economy on Earth within 10 years.
For a real resolution on this front citizens must call for nations around the world to place limits on how much corporations can affect policy.
The Rise Of The Internet: Harnessing Big Data And Spurring Democratic Debate
The internet is playing an increasingly important role in our lives and is a powerful tool for helping us improve it.
Now more than ever, people are connected through a huge global network, with internet users numbering 2.4 billion and counting.
The possibilities of what can be achieved through its capabilities seem almost limitless.
From the tracking of individual spending to the prediction of diseases outbreak by analyzing big data, the internet has enabled us to gain insights that could not have been gathered before.
We are harnessing real-time information on our health and economic conditions that we can use to ascertain better decisions.
Beyond its potential for increasing efficiency and analytics, the internet also provides citizens with an unprecedented opportunity for holding governments accountable for their actions.
This newfound power has been demonstrated in revolutionary political movements like Tahrir Square and Occupy Wall Street; allowing citizens to unite under shared causes and rally support from around the world.
In addition, lower barriers of entry offered by online platforms gives aspiring politicians access to run for office without having to rely heavily on corporate support – shifting focus away from large companies back to individuals in creating a fairer society.
Journalism is also being reinvented as it moves online, creating an open platform where news can be distributed without being censored or influenced by third parties.
Clearly, the internet is making big strides in helping us improve our lives while encouraging democracy – who knows where its capabilities will take us next!
Though The Internet Can Offer Many Benefits, We Must Also Ensure That Privacy And Security Are Protected From Its Potential Dangers
It’s no secret that criminals and autocratic governments can use the internet for nefarious purposes.
In the case of Iran’s Green Revolution, which took place in 2009, the government was able to track digital communications to identify and hunt down protesters.
And it’s not just repressive regimes that are taking advantage: Western democracies have also sought greater surveillance capabilities in order to better secure their citizens.
This, however, opens a dangerous path that could lead to the erosion of civil liberties if these governments are allowed unfettered access to online information.
Not only that, but cybercriminal activities such as identity theft are an all-too-real threat.
Norton put the annual global cost of cybercrime at a staggering $388 billion!
When you consider all this, it is evident that we need legal mechanisms to protect our information from misuse and abuse while maintaining our privacy online.
The Promises And Perils Of Biotechnology: Assessing The Impact Of Gmos And Gene-Based Medical Treatments
Biotechnology holds great promise for both agriculture and medicine, providing the potential for efficient crop production and the treatment of diseases beyond reach before now.
In agriculture, we can see how this technology has allowed us to modify crops like corn or tomatoes to give them desirable traits like resistance to pests.
In fact, in 2011 11% of the world’s farmland was planted with genetically modified crops!
However, biotechnological advances aren’t without their threats.
We are still trying to understand the long-term ecological impact of manipulating genes in organisms and releasing them into the wild.
On top of that, there is risk involved when dealing with genetically modified animals that we introduce into our food supply (e.g., US scientists applied for approval to introduce genetically modified salmon).
Moreover, since GM crops are genetically uniform by design, a pest or disease could wipe out entire crop species at once which would be catastrophic for the global food supply.
And finally, through biotechnology in medicine comes ethical questions about “using genes” to treat undesirable behavior patterns as well as creating more intelligent or attractive people.
Given these possible negative impacts of biotechnology on both agriculture and medicine, it is important that we have healthy democratic debate open up around this issue so that those affected maintain a say on matters such as regulation and governmental policy enforcement in relation to biotechnology.
The Impact Of Rapid Population Growth On Global Resources And Quality Of Life
Runaway population growth is putting immense strain on our natural resources.
As the world population continues to surge, hitting ca.
seven billion people and projected to increase by another two billion before stabilizing at just above ten billion near the end of the century, it’s clear that this rapid growth will have real consequences.
These include negative impacts such as increasing migration from developing countries to developed ones, fostering a resurgence in racism and xenophobia as well as hyperurbanization and slum overcrowding that put tremendous pressure on municipal governments.
However, even more concerning are the strain that runaway population growth has on the environment.
Natural resources like topsoil, freshwater and commodities such as iron, coal, corn, soybeans and palm oil are already beginning to feel the effects of surging consumption.
Over the past decade market prices for these resources have skyrocketed due to increased demand – we may unknowingly be reaching ‘peak everything’.
The Need For A New Way Of Thinking: Redefining Gdp To Include Environmental Goods
The future of our planet is uncertain, as population growth and over-consumption has put a strain on our natural resources.
While many turn to technology to find a solution, it’s not going to be enough on its own.
We must have policies in place that help to limit the consumption and depletion of these resources.
Techno-optimists may point out that the depletion of natural resources has been a worry many times before, without any detrimental effects.
However, this doesn’t mean that we can continue with reckless abandon – especially when it comes to those most indispensable ones: topsoil for farming and freshwater for drinking.
Technological advances can only do so much when it comes making up for our unsustainable rate of consumption – cost-effective solutions on a large scale are still far from being realized.
What’s especially concerning is that countries make political decisions based on maximizing Gross Domestic Product (GDP), completely ignoring the devastating environmental impacts and social inequality caused by such recklessnesses.
To move forward then, GDP should certainly be redefined to take into account environmental goods as well as economic goods.
Technology alone cannot save us; rather, we must encourage policies that limit our consumption of finite resources if we want true sustainability in the long run.
We Must Take Drastic Measures To Reverse The Climate Crisis Caused By Fossil Fuel Burning And Place Industries Influencing Governments In Check
The climate crisis is a real and pressing threat that we face now, and its effects are far-reaching, particularly when it comes to our food and freshwater sources.
CO2 and other greenhouse gases have been accumulating in our atmosphere at such an alarming rate that nine out of the ten hottest years ever recorded since 1880 have occurred within the past decade.
If this trend continues we can expect severe consequences for our resources – arable land will see a decrease as water evaporates quickly and dust storms become more prevalent, while polar ice caps will melt, causing sea levels to rise and flooding coastal farmlands with salt water.
What’s more, diseases and pests will proliferate in the hotter climates, putting further pressure on crops already minimised by a lack of land.
Additionally, freshwater sources could be depleted due to uneven rain patterns caused by global warming, leaving us both thirsty and hungry.
We still have the chance to reverse these trends but drastic measures must be taken.
It is necessary for us to cut down emissions by 80-90%, focussing on cutting out fossil fuel burning in favour of renewable energy sources.
This must be done through government policy – taxing Co2 emissions, enacting cap-and-trade schemes and providing subsidies to renewable energy companies instead of fossil fuel ones.
Ultimately though, if we want a future without this climate crisis we will have to stand up against the giant political power held by fossil fuel corporations who are misinforming governments and the public about this situation.
The Future Book offers a comprehensive and insightful look into the six major forces that will shape our world in the coming years.
It highlights both the potential risks that we may face, as well as the great opportunities at our disposal.
The author’s main message is clear: we must use this knowledge of these forces to actively curb the political power of corporations—especially in the United States—if we are to make wise decisions and build a better future for ourselves.
We must rise up together, learn from our choices, and march forwards into a brighter tomorrow.