The Two Sides Of Population Growth

My last two posts focused on labor shortages and population growth; two critical societal building blocks that converge in ways that shape our future. Continuing with that theme, this recent article looks at these building blocks through the lens of China.

China has edged over a demographic precipice: Its population has begun to shrink. United Nations data published on Monday showed that the long-anticipated tipping point came in the first half of the year; it’s a significant moment for a country whose large population helped transform it into a manufacturing powerhouse

Lili Pike – The end of China’s population boom has arrived. How will the country’s changing demographics shape its future?

According to the referenced United Nations Data, the world’s population is projected to reach 8 billion on 15 November 2022. The report titled World Population Prospects 2022 provides the latest United Nations projections that suggest the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100. Another data point from the U.N. report highlights that population growth is driven in part by declining levels of mortality, as reflected in increased levels of life expectancy at birth. Life expectancy reached 72.8 years globally in 2019, increasing 9 years since 1990. Mortality reductions are projected to result in an average longevity of around 77.2 years globally in 2050

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Population Growth

Recent estimates for population growth are at odds with one and other. Where the United Nations sees 11 billion people on the planet by 2100, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation sees growth to 9.7 billion initially and then a decline back to 8.8 billion by the end of the century. Future population sizes underpin future strategies for governments and industries around the world. This article via the World Economic Forum underscores the point. The quick video snippet in the Tweet below is fascinating.

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The Journey: The Next Phase Of Human Development

In a continuation of my series titled “A Journey through the Looking Glass”, I will touch on the next phase of human development. The post picks up from the last one where I explored two historical paths of innovation. To this point in our story about the future, we have explored the past, identified signals that may help us understand the future, and applied that learning in a way that helps us envision it. In telling this story, a common reaction is split between fear and fascination. Indeed, both reactions are human responses we must consider when gazing into the future. In truth, we are part optimist and part pessimist. I explored that sentiment in a poll dating back to 2016. In that poll, 44% identified as optimists, 16% as pessimist, and 38% were somewhere in the middle. What do you think?

In this segment, I will view the future through the lens of fascination and optimism.


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The Journey: Our Current World Order

My previous posts launched a series that will tell the full story of my reimagined future. Described as a journey through the looking glass, the story began with a description of the series title and a look backward in time. The series continues, with each post featuring a piece of our journey. We explored the growth of knowledge in the last post. In this post, I will return to history to explore the role that historical cycles have played in shaping our recent history.

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Floating Cities

OCEANIX, an ambitious floating architecture concept envisioned to be built off the South Korean coast by BIG – Bjarke Ingel‘s design group. It was first revealed in 2019 and now has received the green light from UN-Habitat and the Metropolitan City of Busan to begin construction. The futuristic sustainable city can also withstand category 5 hurricanes!

Chi Thukral – The World’s First Floating City Designed by BIG & Backed by U.N. Can Withstand Category 5 Hurricanes!
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Sustainability: Not Just Talk Anymore

Sustainability is not a new topic. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have been in place since 2015 and were adopted by 193 countries. At the heart of these goals lies our desire to advance our Human Development. We may be in a better position to do so now then we have in quite some time. In fact, History tells us that the last time we experienced a period of great human development spanned the century from 1870 to 1970. While there have been notable efforts to realize these U.N. goals, progress has been slow. Let’s take energy as an example. It is a big part of the sustainability story and the Future of Energy has been discussed for years. However, progress towards that future has been slow. That could all change in the next decade. Several forces are Converging to accelerate the path of energy. One of those forces is a shift in orientation to purpose:

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Human Development Index

Human development has advanced considerably since the start of the industrial revolution. Future Innovation Wheel - White backgroundEconomist Robert J. Gordon describes this Human Development Journey and concludes that, as far as standard of living is concerned, we have journeyed as far as we can. While thinking about that assessment, I set out to consider this new age of great invention and its impact on human development. The result was the development of this innovation wheel (click to enlarge).

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