Will
Europe survive?

The world is enshrouded in a fog of increasing complexity. We are seeing demographic shifts on a global scale, with quite opposite and very incompatible dynamics comparing developed and emerging markets.

There are clear divides in access to resources, information, and sanitation between northern and southern, western and eastern, urban and rural populations. A divide leading to conflicts and dynamics we won't be able to foresee in the near future.

Who would've expected the dramatic influx of migration we have been seeing in Europe in 2014 and 2015 - not only telling the story of displacement of millions by war, flight and expulsion, but increasingly by lack of resources, inability to maintain a habitable ecosystem and to survive in progressively dire environments? Not mentioning the vicious circle, as this again additionally fuels local conflicts over remaining, but dwindling resources. A trend that will likely see a sharp incline in the years to come as a result of climate change rendering whole geographical zones as uninhabitable for humans, as predicted by IPCC.

Who would've foreseen the surge of a growingly young population connected in digital networks indirectly stimulating the Arabic spring movements in 2011, questioning the political and economic status quo and sparking off some of the most unsettling civil wars of the 21st century to date?

These global dynamics will be fundamentally influenced by technology - and technology itself will be impacted as well, its development, ownership, accessibility and power to shape the future. The onset of the most disruptive, exponential technologies on the horizon will impact and shift the economic and political centers of this world.

Already now, China is coming in second with a GDP of $15.5 trillion dollars behind USA with $21.4 trillion. In 2030, estimates show China having surpassed with $26.5 vs. $23.5 trillion (1). What does this mean for Europe between two global players, two geopolitical poles - both, in the future, able to globally maintain a military presence and a dominating economic power? Will the rise of the new middle class in China turn Europe into the world's future workbench? It's time to start asking the right questions.

What are the global trends in upcoming economic, societal, and technological disruptions?

How can we navigate the complexities as well as implications of adapting new technologies, growing urban infrastructures, and globalizing economies?

What are the values and governance structures to ensure we are developing a desirable and sustainable future, for us and the generations to follow?

How do we want to use technologies to address and solve our most pressing issues?

To get meaningful answers that will hopefully provide guidance, we must not only identify and capture trends and leverage the opportunities - but also allow to reflect and understand the implications and risks. It is of utmost importance to define and foster the roles of Tech Navigators - spanning from deep tech to philosophy, from societal impact to geo-political dimensions, from problem-solving to ethical values. And to ultimately help design a sustainable future in this world of change.

Are we ready to embark on this journey?

 

(1) IMF: World Economic Outlook Database 2019 (worldpopulationreview.com/countries/countries-by-gdp/)

about the author

Growing up between cultures and looking back at a career in IT, Technology, Media, and Innovation as an Executive and strategist for Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders has given me a unique perspective. In my article series “Journey to the Future” I want to open perspectives and help develop a deeper understanding, to enable readers to become their own explorers in this flow of change and complexity.

Growing up between cultures and looking back at a career in IT, Technology, Media, and Innovation as an Executive and strategist for Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders has given me a unique perspective. In my article series “Journey to the Future” I want to open perspectives and help develop a deeper understanding, to enable readers to become their own explorers in this flow of change and complexity.