An Unsettling Look At the Economic Reality of 2050

An Unsettling Look At the Economic Reality of 2050

What we do between now and 2050 will determine what happens beyond. So, are we headed towards disaster, or are we destined for something better?

Social & Lifestyle

Welcome to the second installment in the "Life in 2050" series! In the first installment, we looked at how advances in robotics, cybernetics, biotechnology, computing, and autonomous systems could shape warfare. In our second installment, we will look at how technological, political, social, and environmental change could shape the future economy.

Much like the size and shape of future battlefields, the evolution of trade, commerce, and global marketplaces is rather difficult to predict. After all, wherever human beings are involved (and in large numbers), chaos is sure to ensue! Still, there are a few significant changes on the way that cannot be denied, and which economists are preparing for. They include, in no particular order:

Population growth (predominantly in urban centers)

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Growth of non-western economies and markets

New technologies, industries, and professions

Changing temperatures, weather patterns, and water shortages

Renewable energy and sustainability

The bottom line is that the future economies will simultaneously be driven by abundance and scarcity, where more people will need to be sustained using less in the way of resources. This challenge not only has the potential for a lot of uncertainty and chaos, but it will also likely foster the development of solutions.