The world in 2030
In the coming decades mankind will face a new global setting with challenges and opportunities and large-scale trends. The world’s economic center of gravity will shift from the North Atlantic to Asia-Pacific, where it was located before the Industrial Revolution, when India and China accounted for more than 50% of world GDP. An ageing population in the developed countries will undermine potential growth but will also transform their societies, probably making them more immobile and conservative. By contrast, most of the emerging countries will follow a different demographic pattern, with a much younger population, especially in Africa.
At the same time, world population will continue to grow until it exceedes 8.5 billion people in 2030, some 60% of whom will live in cities. There will be 40 cities, most of them in the emerging nations, with more than 10 million inhabitants, which will accommodate a total population of 721 million people. This progressive urbanization process will require enormous investments in infrastructure, both physical (supply networks, transportation, telecommunications, logistics) and “soft” (welfare, health and education, business services), and will increase pressure on the environment: it will be essential to preserve and manage natural resources, especially water, and to address power generation because of its impact on climate change. An emerging middle class will be concentrated in these cities. By 2030 it is expected that the world’s middle class will grow by 3 billion people, of whom more than two-thirds will live in the emerging markets, principally in the Asia-Pacific region. This larger middle class will bring significant advances in educational levels and the use of technology on a world scale. The importance of these cities will also be reflected in the location of the large companies. By 2030 there will be 7,000 new large companies, 70% of them in emerging economies, 40% of them in China.
Finally, the growing technological revolution, by means of disruptive technologies, will lead to a change in the way we consider traditional employment and talent. At the same time, the global interconnectivity and the Fourth Industrial Revolution are giving rise to a society that is becoming more independent and that demands greater transparency and new solutions to our global problems.
Current and future challenges are conditioned by a more multipolar world, digital transformation, environmental threats and a sector of society that suffers the inequalities caused by the deficiencies of the market economy. Our main priority is to redesign our economic and social system, by giving a greater role to people. The coming inclusive and sustainable capitalism should keep innovation and competitiveness as the drivers of economic growth and social progress, taking into account not only the material needs of citizens but also guaranteeing that they feel part of societies more prosperous, fair and cohesive.
This new world economic order will have geopolitical consequences that will surely affect the future development of globalization. Faced by the possible risk of fragmentation and regionalization, the coming world must be analyzed in all the aspects mentioned previously (demographics, middle classes, digitalisation, energy, environment…) from the perspective of the principal economic blocs:
- Latin America
What is your vision of the world in 2030? What are the main challenges for your region? How can a more inclusive and sustainable new capitalism be generated on the regional and global levels? What is the role of business leaders in redesigning it?