The Next 20 Years: A Time of Transformation
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Optimists point out that every year humanity becomes better educated, wealthier and more interconnected: the Gates Foundation predicts that if current trends continue there will be almost no poor countries by 2035. In contrast, more pessimistic analysts warn that business as usual is unsustainable: catastrophic climate change and increasing shortages of water, food and cheap energy could collapse human civilizations by mid-century. Is one forecast right and the other wrong? Or can we reconcile these opposing views? In this paper I suggest that the key to understanding future developments is recognising that the two major trends shaping global events—worsening problems and emerging solutions—are interconnected. Growing economic and environmental crises will soon reach tipping points that focus public attention on the existence of both dangerous threats and viable solutions. Then (and only then) will most leaders begin to make transformational decisions.
Journal of Futures Studies
Copyright 2014 Tamkang University. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Ethology and Sociobiology
Studies in Human Society