Emerging Global Challenges 2017-20

Emerging Global Challenges 2017-20

Do our Global Challenges need a New Approach?

Cyber Crime. In 2016, cyber criminals successfully used SWIFT, the banks financial transfer system, to steal US$ 101 million from the Bangladesh Central bank account with the Federal Reserve, New York. 

What are the priority concerns for the global community?

Do our Global Challenges need a New Approach?

Cyber Crime.     In 2016, cyber criminals successfully used SWIFT, the banks financial transfer system, to steal US$ 101 million from the Bangladesh Central bank account with the Federal Reserve, New York. More concerning Yahoo confirmed that personal data of 500 million users had been stolen, way back in 2014 itself. How can governments and organizations restore confidence in international financial systems, increasingly dependent on the Internet?

Robotic Revolution.    Apple manufacturer Foxconn Electronics, Taiwan announced a three-part plan to fully automate its factories by 2020; more than one million people are expected to lose their jobs. With the revolutionary advent of robotics and artificial intelligence, what will the future world of work look like?

Reversion to Nationalism.    Britain’s referendum to exit European Community, the surprise victory of President Donald Trump and the hardline yet domestically popular policies of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, suggest an increasing popularity for nationalism over globalization. How can global institutions renew people’s confidence in the fast polarizing world?

Where should India Focus Her Energies?

Employment.    By 2020, India is expected to have the world’s largest working population of 870 million. Tesla Motors, CEO Elon Musk says fully-autonomous driving vehicles shall become available in the next one to five years. With revolutions in technology will India be able to reap a demographic dividend or will we face mass-unemployment and civil unrest?

Transnational Terrorism.    In 2016, India was repeatedly subjected to terror attacks with evidence of a neighboring country’s support. How should we deal with countries which use terrorism as an instrument of state policy, with plausible deniability?

Military Power.   In 2016, India retained the distinction of being the world’s largest importer of arms but our armed forces may still be inadequately prepared to defend our Himalayan border that is neither delineated nor demarcated. With the imminent decline in US military power, do we have sufficient military deterrence against the Dragon?

Assessment

In 1648, at the end of the 30-year war, 109 delegations representing European powers, negotiated the Peace of Westphalia. The treaties, enunciated a basket of celebrated concepts including those of the nation-state, right to self-determination, sovereignty, territorial integrity and balance of power, amongst others. These principles, which formed the basis of international law and diplomacy for four centuries are now being challenged. International trade, international financial systems, information exchange, trans-national crime, climate change and global consciousness challenge the Westphalian model. Are the nations of the world ready to sacrifice sovereignty for more global regulation?

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), with associated saving on costly human labor, has the potential to release unlimited wealth. But how will wealth be shared? In worst case, it could accentuate the divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. In best case, fundamental human wants of food, clothing, shelter, security and education can become human rights, assured to every member of the human race. Human beings from being preoccupied with subsistence goals, could engage in more egalitarian pursuits like love, belonging, self-respect and self-actualization. According to management, the truth should lie somewhere between. 

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