IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT

MANKIND HAS MADE EXTRAORDINARY PROGRESS

IT'S IMPERATIVE TO RECOGNISE AND CELEBRATE THE POSITIVES

ALL THOSE MANY AMAZING ACHIEVEMENTS AND TO KEEP A
‘CAN DO’ ATTITUDE

AS WE LOOK AHEAD AT A NEW SET OF 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES

In the last hundred years, the twentieth century and the start of this century, humankind has managed to “do the impossible” and rein in famine, plague and war, in a century of astonishing achievements.

For the first time in evolution, starvation kills fewer than obesity. Plagues kill fewer people than old age. Violence kills fewer people than accidents. Extreme poverty declined from “over 90% to under 10%” in the last 200 years. And adult literacy went from 10% of the population to over 90% and so on. 

To inspire our approach to the future, let’s look more closely at just how much has happened over the last 100 years. As you can see, we have made amazing progress in many fields. 

THINGS HAVE DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED IN THE 100 YEARS 

Our global income has grown 3x. Our lifespan has doubled. Food is 20x cheaper. Energy is 50x cheaper. Transportation is 100x cheaper. And communication is 1,000,000x cheaper.

EXTREME POVERTY DOWN

The number of people living in poverty has plummeted from 92% to %10. It could be 0% if we really try. 

LITERACY UP 80%

Has gone from 10% to near 90%.

LIFE EXPECTANCY DOUBLED 

The average life expectancy has doubled and is likely to double again. That is a great achievement but it has consequences too, for providing care, for global resourcing and financial planning.

CHILD MORTALITY DOWN

200 years ago about 50% of children did not reach the age of five.

WORRIED ABOUT POPULATION GROWTH?

It’s up to us. Two things will reduce population growth. Make people better educated and healthier and the growth rate plummets.

WE LIVE IN THE MOST PEACEFUL TIME IN HISTORY

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WHY IS IT SO EASY FOR US NOT TO KNOW ALL THIS GOOD NEWS?

Too many headlines blare death, destruction and damage.

• That’s what gets our attention.
• Our brains, our amygdala are wired to pick up negative rather than positive news.
• Media Channels know this and often manipulate us with negative stories – to hook our attention, for the benefit of advertising sales.

SO YES, GREAT THINGS HAVE HAPPENED

But, when you delve deeper this progress shows only one side of the coin. The last hundred years has had more than its share of negatives for the majority of mankind.

Fifty years ago the developing world was witnessing the steady rise of a middle class, owning businesses, properties and shares. Fewer manual workers were being taken advantage of.  Today that positive picture is in retreat.  There is a distortion in the economy and many of our global institutions. Society has been moulded to serve the economy, instead of the economy serving all members of society.  

INEQUALITY

This inequality of income and ownership is shocking and in much of the world the gap is getting wider not narrower.  This drives increased migration, as one of many consequences.

All major revolutions in the past have been caused by a rising wealth gap. We ignore this at our peril.

DEBT HAS RISEN

Global debt reaches new records…$257 trillion in Q1, 2020

• Of that figure, the non-financial sector accounted for $200 trillion. The global debt-to-GDP ratio exceeded 320 percent in Q3 2019.
 
• HNWIs and major corporations have very high liquidity.
• Bottom 50% of population struggle with high personal levels of debt.
 
• In 2020 Government Debt will exceed $70 Trillion. Most governments are crippled with debt, limiting their ability to tackle the changes needed.

THOSE IN POWER IN EVERY SOCIETY ARE FIXATED BY A HIGH LEVEL OF ECONOMIC GROWTH.

THIS INCREASES THE DEGRADATION OF THE PLANET, HAMPERS STEPS TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE AND RAISES PRESSURES ON NATURAL RESOURCES