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Blog 10: Global Leadership and enablers for change








Context: World War 2 provided the catalyst to establish global governing frameworks such as the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. More recently, concern regarding human induced climate change has highlighted the need for the 8 billion plus population of humans to think globally.

Wealthy countries that hold the most power continue to struggle with self-interest over global egalitarianism. The rate of change by influence and negotiation remains notoriously slow.

Most people are disappointed with their government, irrespective of the ruling parties’ credentials to rule. The movie Don’t Look Up produced by Mackay and Messick brilliantly highlights the dysfunction and self interest that affects everyone.

The ultra-rich in the private sector are often setting the pace for global change and innovation. These trailblazing individuals and companies are far less encumbered by bureaucracy. They can use social media platforms to quickly and easily communicate to billions.

Could a completely new way of providing leadership on a global scale emerge in the next 80 years?

The conditions for change today are like no other in human history.

Purpose: To explore possible triggers for change that could create a new global leadership model

Discussion:

If I have learnt anything from trying to predict even near future accurately, it is to expect the unexpected. Very few complex systems follow a smooth predictable path over a short timeframe like 80 years.

I think about some of the aspects experiencing the greatest rate of change as potential triggers for leadership change:

1. Climate/ Ecosystem: I think the term climate change is too narrow. Degradation of ecosystems due to the rampant growth in consumption by humans poses a more holistic perspective than simply replacing fossil fuel energy generation with renewables. It is clear, ecosystem degradation impacts everyone and the solution requires everyone to change. It’s an issue requiring rapid global action. Not acting fast enough is likely to result in more chaotic change from natural disasters. COP 26 resolution appears to be woefully inadequate from the rate and extent of action committed. The private sector is getting on with change faster than our governments. Still the global economic model is based on growth. Growth in consumption. Every single person aspires for more. The materials needed to switch to renewable energy will likely constrain the rate of change to renewables. Fusion energy could be a game changer? The Chinese are confident of commercial fusion scale power generation by 2040. The theory is proven. The ability to reliably sustain fusion reaction is the big challenge. Artificial intelligence may be the means of controlling the metastable fusion reaction.

2. Governance: New technology such as smart phones has transformed how people interact. People now spend more than 6 hours a day engaged with their smart phones. Global reach from a smart phone has challenged the ability of governments to control communications. Very recently have we seen the emergence of artificial intelligence in communications. Cyber-attacks, fake news, radicalism and altered reality images are just a few complexities to emerge. Can established governance models meet the demands of the highly connected populations? What might trigger a global governance change? War has often been the vehicle for major change; however, the prospect of nuclear genocide has created an awkward reluctance to use war to remove different ideologies. Maybe a common global enemy will be the driver. This global enemy could be climate change or the risk of large asteroid strike. Maybe the change will be initiated by the emergence of a major influencer who is able to rapidly rouse billions of people to act for some united cause.

3. Space colonisation: Colonisation of the moon is feasible now. China, Russia and the USA are among the front runners to establish permanent bases on the moon. This could be as early as 2024. Private companies like Space X are leading the way. Elon Musk reportedly now thinks his lifelong goal of landing people on Mars could be as close as 5 years away. Conflict in space seems inevitable, as every developed country seeks to deploy its own satellites. Space weapons able to be deployed without warning could change the balance of world power. Space colonisation will spur advances in robotics and artificial intelligence to build the infrastructure to support human colonies. Could space be the next big divergent variable that changes life on Earth?

4. Asteroids: Our understanding of our galaxy and the universe is about to receive a step change with the deployment of the James Webb telescope. We recently discovered that there is much more dark matter in the universe than previously thought. What new revelations will emerge? Perhaps increased awareness of asteroid risks and perhaps a commitment to a competent space protection network.

5. Genetic Engineering: Stem cell chemical messaging is how living organisms build the structures necessary to grow organs and whole organisms. We currently know little about chemical messaging, however, advances in this field are likely to enable the growth of new organs and even new life forms. What will be the ethical implications of such advances? Cloning may become mainstream along with other new options for reproduction. Intelligent robots and technological augmentations to improve human function are likely to challenge ethics.

The one certainty is that significant change is inevitable. See some changes from recent history below:

1890 First coal fired power station

1908 First Model T ford automobile produced

1945 United Nations formed

1973 Firsthand held mobile phone

1985 First discussion of Internet of things

2004 Facebook created

Possible future key changes:

2026 First metropolitan centrally controlled flying vehicle service established

2027 Universal Crypto established as preferred currency

2028 First Global Governance council for Ecosystem preservation

2028 First Mars manned mission

2029 First successful synthetic organ transplant

2030 First moon colony established

2035 First Chief Shepherd of Earth elected

2040 First commercial fusion power station started

2042 First Cloned human

2045 First open class augmented Olympics

2046 Space Piracy Act established

2048 Human population reaches 10 billion

2050 Global Space surveillance and defence network established

2052 Universal law of force revealed

2055 First synthetically regenerated extinct animal created

2060 Discovery of evidence of intelligent life in another galaxy

2065 Proof that Advanced Learning Algorithms can imagine

2070 Children of Earth without countries movement established

2075 Human reproduction to neonatal stage proven in lab

2080 Moon communities officially gain independence from Earth

2085 First attempts to terraform moon

2090 Independent Space network established

2095 New species of evolved homo sapiens identified

2096 Ethical treatment of intelligent synthetic creatures act passed.

2100 First manned space mission to other galaxies

Summary:

With absolute certainty, no prediction of the near future will be accurate. In all complex systems new variables emerge over time to change the trajectory of things.

Climate change will not play out as we predict, it could be much worse or much better than current predictions. This does not justify doing nothing. The current governance models around the globe are unlikely to meet humanities needs and greater care for ecosystems will become a priority.

The current economic growth model may only be sustained if humanity moves beyond Earth to colonise space.

Influence is likely to be the new differential determinant of worth in a world with universal access to food and shelter.

Fusion is likely to become the preferred energy technology along with tapping into live plant-based generation.

Robotic intelligent control of most routine manual work will be preferred.

Advanced Learning algorithms will be integral to development of new learnings and micro technological advances.

Females are likely to be preferred as leaders due to their tendency to prioritise empathy in decision making in caring for the planet.

The next 80 years will be exciting times!

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