lørdag den 9. august 2008

Government 2020

Following the trail of Future Research it is worth noticing the report that came out of IBM’s Institute for Business Value in Washington a couple of months ago; The institute’s origin was back in the Price-Waterhouse Consulting Company, and since the acquisition IBM has continued to back the long tradition to publish in-depth studies and projections. Last year, the Institute published the Health 2015 report, which contains a number of interesting and challenging predictions on the pressure of the Health sector, but also by stipulating actions and suggestions to meet these challenges.
This year the report on the status of Government in 2020 has a somewhat surprising result, namely that the World essentially is facing 6 global challenges, which may have different manifestations in individual countries, but nevertheless belong to the same ‘class’ of challenge.
The study, which is based on interviews and studies by a large number of Government specialists in and outside IBM, concludes, that the following 6 challenges are overshadowing anything else in the next decade or more:
Changed demographics (See also UN forecasting) – In industrialized, mature countries an rapidly aging population facing the challenge that the number of persons in the productive phase of their lives are becoming few; at the same time that some/many of the developing countries are facing the opposite problem with still more and more young people. This imbalance will lead to pressure on migrations, social unrest and combined with challenge 2, this trend will be huge.
Globalization (Se also UN Report) – free movement of capital, work, migrations of highly skilled workers from developing countries to developed countries, creating even more challenges for the 3rd World, but also much greater dependencies among nations forcing the Nations to try to get on with each other.
Environmental changes – Global Warming will lead to dramatic changes, combined with lack of fossil fuels, changed climates and rising sea level will lead to growing of the deserts but also to changing agricultural possibilities. Migration because of climate changes can be expected. Floods, thunderstorms, heavy rain and forest fires are likely to occur in higher frequencies than to day.
Social relations and networking across boundaries helped by migrations, by breaking down on all isolationism tendencies and regimes partly because of increased communication facilities will create new opportunities as well as challenges;
Increased pressure on social stability (See earlier Blog on Future Research!) – because of a combination of the first 4 challenges, more social unrest is expected – particularly in underdeveloped countries, countries that suffer from the climate change and countries that can expect a high level of immigration.
Technology and the accelerated speed of innovation will provide both challenges and opportunities; while more inventions in personalized medicine, nanotechnology and biomedical research will help us to cure more diseases, this is going to put an enormous pressure on the budgets, particularly in countries with aging populations – but technology might also hold the promise of changing the dependencies on fossil fuel, lead to new energy and transportation systems .

The idea behind the study is that these challenges, the manifestations and particularly the implications of the challenges are of paramount importance for the degrees of freedom and the need for adequate political strategies, that each county will have to face.

The conclusion, if ever a global conclusion can be drawn from observations like these, seem to be that a large proportion of the experts point to the need for collaboration and new ways to exploit the know how of organizations and individuals. Collaboration across departments, sectors, borders, cultural and linguistic barriers (which already today are being helped by the development of automatic translation tools) need to be broken down, and organizational frameworks as well as technologies that help in this direction. Distance Learning, Telemedicine, Social Networking, public safety and security, automatic traffic regulation are just the beginning of what we need to develop much further.

Ingen kommentarer: