Today we hear from Norbert Csizmadia, author of Geofusion, on Global Trends in the 21st century. His book is a geopolitical ‘guidebook’ illustrated richly provides foresight into current global processes based on geographic, economic and urban research.
“The name of Andy Weir, the author of the novel The Martian, crops up more and more in discussions among various NASA researchers and officials. This is no coincidence. Futurology and trend research is demonstrably among the activities that require the most imagination, and the United States’ global predominance in technology is partly due to the fact that it fosters and promotes the emergence and utilization of new visions.
Even among popular trend analytics, Richard Watson stands out: in five of his books, he has attempted to outline and identify the trends that will shape the development of the period ahead. In his book, Future Files, Watson presents 50 trends and points out five of these that will have a radical impact on the coming decades.
Humanity will become stronger and stronger; however, at the same time, it will gradually age. Due to technology, more and more diseases will be successfully cured, and more and more money will be connected more closely. Information and communication technology, cheap travel, and migration will change people’s behaviour, work and mindset. In 50 years, everyone will be accessible to each other worldwide. Meanwhile, localization gains momentum, tribal feelings are developed in the new city-states, local trumps global. We will experiece the rise of machines, and out of the fusion of genetics, robotics, the internet and nanotechnology, GRIN technology will be born. The shift of power from the West to the East is a huge shaping force:
China and India will be the winners of the coming decades, and Russia, Brazil and Mexico will increase their clout. Pollution, global warming and the lack of raw materials and energy sources will cause ever graver problems: countries will become submerged, while the fiercest fights will break out over fresh water.
Who will be the winners of the 21st century?
The unipolar world will once again develop into a multipolar one, and new world order will arise in the 21st century. This phenomenon can be attributed to several readily observable reasons:
- Ageing and migration have various economic and social implications in both developing and developed countries (the situation of refugees, new consumer groups, pension schemes, diseases, unemployment, poverty, radicals, terrorism).
- The fight for energy and energy independence continues both domestically and abroad, while certain raw materials become ever cheaper. Germany and Italy will become renewable energy superpowers, whereas, for example, Russia and the Middle East, a diversified economy is considered important.
- Geo-economic interests and economic warfare lie behind the struggle for markets, energy, competitiveness, and knowledge. Both an economic and an ideological (value-based) class may unfold between the East and the West.
- In the global world based on new technologies, the door is open to everyone. The knowledge flow between developed and rapidly developing economies is a dual process: it forges connections (new alliances, catalysts) and at the same time the employer country increasingly becomes a mere provider of knowledge rather than its producer.
- Global strategies are replaced by regional cooperation. Among the numerous alliances of the multipolar world, smaller countries may often be able to tip the scales.
- Peripheral countries with a flexible and knowledge-intensive economy might act as the new points of reference in the world economy. This assumes that the paramount conditions for successful growth are a highly skilled labour force, a resilience to crises, and a balance in regional cooperation.
- After the 2008 financial crisis, new value systems will develop in which maximizing short-term profits will be of secondary importance behind long-term value creation and preservation. In parallel with the transformation of responsibilities, new industries will reshape the markets.
The currencies of the localized but intricately intertwined 21st century are a unique idea, creativity, and knowledge will have no choice but to buy it, thus getting left behind in the international competition to ad pushed to the periphery of development, which leads to the solidification of their vulnerability. Therefore, every country’s long-term strategy should include a vision that puts its own local strengths in the service of sustained economic growth and employment, and improving livig standards in the global geopolitcal and geo-economic competiton.”
We are living in a unique ’geo’ age, where geography is appreciated again. The 21st century encompasses political and economic games where the multipolar world, new world order and a new value system combine to develop new actors and new industries. Business leaders are focusing more and more on global social issues, putting pressure on international political decisions such as locating the network hubs of creativity and innovation in many aspects of the world economy and culture.
The 21st century is the era of knowledge and creativity where education and innovation are the most important investments. Knowledge is the currency of the future. When drawn with knowledge, the map of the 21st century can be utilized to discover and
understand this new world. This book helps to explain how ‘Geofusion’ provides the opportunities that can give lasting value to the world.
About the author
Norbert Csizmadia is a world traveller, Hungarian geographer and expert in economic strategy, geostrategy, regional and urban development, and geopolitics. He is the former State Secretary for the Ministry for National Economy and a former Executive Director of the Central Bank of Hungary in charge of economic strategy and planning. He is President of the Board of Trustees at Pallas Athéne Innovation and Geopolitical Foundation and is Chief Editor of Hungarian Geopolitics (HUG) magazine.
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