From the collapse of ancient Rome to the fall of the Mayan empire, evidence from archaeology suggests that five factors have almost invariably been involved in the loss of civilizations: uncontrollable population movements; new epidemic diseases; failing states leading to increased warfare; collapse of trade routes leading to famine; and climate change.

In this video for the World Economic Forum, Ian Morris, Willard Professor of Classics and Professor of History at Stanford University, asks if we should be concerned about these five factors today.

“It’s hard not to feel that we are now encountering some of the same kind of forces that have traditionally been involved in the fall of civilizations," he says.

“Which leads us to the question: are we doomed?”