2052: What will the future hold? | Print This Page

2052: What will the future hold?

Over the next 40 years the world population is likely to grow from close to 7 billion to 8-10 billion (the estimates vary) people, with a corresponding increase in demand for energy, land, water and food, resulting possibly in a tripling of GDP. It is assumed that the population will level off at around 8-10 billion in 2045 – a unique era in human history.


These developments are bound to further increase humanity’s footprint and to reduce resilience in  natural and social systems. They even carry the potential of propelling us into an unknown world, driven by non-linear processes, largely out of human control.


How can we maximise our chances that, by 2052, in 40 years time, we can look back and understand, that we have succeeded in transiting into a fundamentally more sustainable, equitable and peaceful world?  By

  • Redefining the values which effectively guide the development of society
  • Developing a new economy, both in theory and practice, so that
    • natural and social capital are correctly valued
    • new financial markets deliver the goods and services mankind needs in and for a sustainable world
    • sufficient jobs are created to allow a decent income for all
  • Creating appropriate governance institutions on a global, national and local level