There are many who are easily comparing the woes of 2022 to the troubles of the 1970s. It is an easy comparison – petrol and energy shortages, rising energy costs, inflation and the popularity of Abba. However, that is where it does stop. It is a very different age.
The major difference today, of course, is technology which has in the last two years alone changed traditional working patterns and empowered many to be able to work from home. Many argued that the rail strikes were far less effective as so many could as easily operate from their home desk and from the workplace. Three of the most important companies in the world today are Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) and these have emerged to global positions in only the last twenty years. Even just a decade ago, there was no Uber or GoFundMe, no Snapchat, Instagram, or WeChat.
The next decade is set to advance at an even faster rate. The U.N. predicts that there will be be over 8.5 billion people on the planet in 2030 (a billion more than today) and that a billion of us will be older than 65. 66% of the population will live in cities which will naturally drive even greater change. It does support the view, often expressed via EP, that city centres will see new audiences dominate – the young, aspiring talent and those aged over 65 which in turn will change the nature of cities with stronger travel and housing infrastructures. City centres will see record levels of investment as their natures do change.
However, many forecasts do suggest a slowing in the growth of economies. There is a growing theory that growth will slow as people feel safer, more comfortable and what drives growth is insecurity and a need to catch up. As challenging as 2022 is, are many hungry to improve their lives?
The view is that the world’s leading economies will look very different by 2030. New emerging economies do possess the drive and desire to see their wealth and position improve. One can argue that China is the world’s leading economy today with the U.S in second place but India is projected to remain in third place until after 2030 and then followed by a new order which will include the likes of Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico. Some experts forecast that Egypt and Turkey could well join the top ten by 2030.
By that year, a number of models show the percentage of the global economy in emerging markets overtaking the proportion in the advanced economies with Asia matching or pulling ahead of Europe and North America. All this will, it is forecast, lift hundreds of millions into the middle class over the next decade, and see real improvements in the lives of billions across the world.
The good news is that it will lead to increased globalisation, greater social diversity and inclusion and increased numbers of tourists visiting the traditional economies.
Are we ready for the journey ahead?