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Global trends in 2024: A look into the future

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-12-06 10:48
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As we approach the dawn of 2024, it is essential to explore the pivotal trends that will undeniably define the global landscape. In his insightful article, "Navigating The Future: 10 Global Trends That Will Define 2024," published on October 31 in Forbes, Bernard Marr offers a compelling glimpse into what lies ahead.

The world-renowned futurist foresees artificial intelligence (AI) becoming ubiquitous in our daily lives, revolutionizing industries from healthcare to space exploration. But he also highlights the fear and uncertainty it is causing. “The threat to jobs is real – although it will undoubtedly create new opportunities, just as it creates redundancies. There are also concerns that handing over control of our lives to algorithms can exacerbate divisions and inequality in society,” said the author.

Marr contends that the urgency to address climate change is reaching a crescendo in 2024. Technology, including clean energy and carbon capture, holds promise, but the willingness of individuals and organizations to take responsibility becomes paramount. “How much pain people will be willing to take on in order to reduce their environmental footprint will become an increasingly contentious issue in politics,” said Marr.

“Elections bring the opportunity for change, and 2024 will see leadership contests in a number of countries where a swing in the balance of power could have profound global implications,” the author writes in the article. He predicts that the victors, irrespective of their ideological leanings, will wield the power to enact transformative policies, influencing the trajectory of other global trends.

For economies, Marr foresees a predicted global economic slowdown in 2024 threatening widespread repercussions. “Hard economic times typically result in governments choosing to reduce spending on public services and utilities, job cuts, reductions in living standards, and a growth in civil unrest,” he mentions. This economic downturn also jeopardizes efforts to achieve carbon net zero targets.

“Changes to the way we work will continue to have an impact on many aspects of our lives and society,” Marr said. This shift enhances global mobility but raises challenges of social isolation and cohesion.

The author also discusses the generation gap and social dynamics, noting that we are witnessing a persistent wealth and property ownership gap between generations, fueling societal and political shifts. The potential consequences, including reduced social mobility and increased political polarization, create fertile ground for the rise of populist or extremist political ideologies.

According to the article, the UN predicts a substantial increase in urban populations by 2050, bringing both economic growth and challenges like overcrowding and pollution. Marr believes tackling the impact of this huge change in many people’s way of life will be a priority for governments and industries in the coming years.

“The term culture war refers to an ongoing polarization of society, often characterized by a left versus right or liberal versus conservative debate and largely conducted via social as well as what is increasingly called legacy media,” said Marr, adding that the internet, driven by algorithms, shapes public opinion and policy. Divisive issues such as immigration and social justice spill over from online discussions to influence global politics, underscoring the impact of social media on extremism and policy decisions.

Moreover, Marr suggests that education is no longer confined to the young, as the evolving work landscape demands continuous learning. Lifelong learning, facilitated by online and remote technologies, becomes crucial, with employers recognizing the need to reskill and upskill an aging workforce.

Marr concludes by predicting that the trend of people living outside their birth countries will continue to rise in 2024, highlighting the ongoing global movement of individuals.

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