By Børge Brende (@borgebrende)*
Many points in the global political economy are under enormous strain. The West is wrestling with an economic crisis that has been underway for over three years, while Asia is managing its ascent through myriad micro-problems brought on by rapid growth. Many parts of the Middle East are facing wrenching political change, and Africa is facing economic, political and humanitarian challenges.
On all fronts – from the political and economic to the environmental and the technological – the global agenda in 2012 is full with items that require global solutions.
2012 will be an important historic juncture when the shape of the global frameworks that will help humanity through the 21st century start to become clear. It is a year when the world will begin to come to terms with a new political, economic and technological order that requires new approaches to problem solving, new models for the conduct of human affairs, and new ways of relating to each other and the world in which we live. If we are to thrive as a global community of almost 10 billion – the projected population by 2050 – these new models are not optional, they are an absolute necessity. Human ingenuity got us into this mess, and it will get us out.
The Outlook on the Global Agenda 2012 is a briefing for those answering the call to action to address the state of the world. Produced by the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils, it is the zenith of the Network’s annual work cycle that takes this group of 1,500 world experts through issues-based collaborative workstreams culminating in an Annual Summit held in the United Arab Emirates.
In October 2011 in Abu Dhabi, discussions were dominated by the euro crisis; the political gridlock facing the world’s biggest markets in the United States and Europe; the critical loss of trust in many societies in the institutions of leadership and governance; resource scarcity; demographic challenges; and the impact of new technologies on the way we live, work and relate to each other. The report is a summary of those discussions, compiled from the contributions of many of the Global Agenda Councils.
*Børge Brende is Managing Director, Government Relations and Constituent Engagement at the World Economic Forum