Climate change is getting harder to ignore, from alarming
new reports about its impacts to debates around a Green New Deal. Yet for all
this attention, individual places—from the biggest cities to the smallest
towns—are still struggling to do something about it.
An unpredictable climate should serve as a strong motivator
for every community to better maintain its manmade and natural stormwater
infrastructure to be more flexible and responsive. Increased flood risks are
among the clearest challenges, with climate change already having generated
billions of dollars in flooding costs. But as we saw in Houston during
Hurricane Harvey—and in several other places along the Gulf Coast, Mississippi
River, and beyond over the past few years—many communities currently have
failing systems of water pipes, plants, and natural wetlands. Even more
troubling is how communities cannot even handle runoff from daily rainfall, as
well as additional pollution.
Communities need a new approach to accelerate investment in infrastructure that is resilient to growing climate pressures. They should carry out proactive repairs of their aging, inefficient stormwater systems as a way to deliver fiscal savings and long-term environmental and economic benefits. They also should invest in new technologies and green infrastructure to better protect properties and improve livability. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
At first, technologists issued dystopian alarms about the power of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to destroy jobs. Then came a correction, with a wave of reassurances. Now, the discourse appears to be arriving at a more complicated understanding, suggesting that automation will bring neither apocalypse nor utopia, but instead both benefits and stress alike. Such is the ambiguous and sometimes disembodied nature of the “future of work” discussion. Hence the analysis presented here. Intended to bring often-inscrutable trends down to earth, the following report develops both backward and forward-looking analyses of the impacts of automation over the years 1980 to 2016 and 2016 to 2030 to assess past and upcoming trends as they affect both people and communities in the United States. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The past century is full of progress paradoxes, with unprecedented economic development, as evidenced by improvements in longevity, health, and literacy. At the same time, we face daunting challenges such as climate change, persistent poverty in poor and fragile states, and increasing income inequality and unhappiness in many of the richest countries. Remarkably, some of the most worrisome trends are in countries with rapid economic growth and falling poverty. Not surprisingly, there is much debate about the sustainability of our future. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The Global Innovation Sweepstakes: A Quest to Win the Future examines how emerging technologies will remake the global order and explores strategies for how the United States can retain its innovative edge. Tech-based innovation—in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, green energy, and biotechnology—will reshape the future of human civilization. Those nations that can create and adapt to cutting-edge technologies will realize enormous economic and geostrategic benefits in the decades to come. It is with this realization that the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, in partnership with Qualcomm, embarked on a global tour of technology hubs to find out which ones are at the cutting edges of innovation and which are at risk of falling behind. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The American retirement landscape is constantly in flux. American retirement went from an experience dominated by short retirements and pensions for some to one financed increasingly by 401(k)s with decades-long retirements for many.
While this evolution has advantaged some workers, it has also resulted in serious challenges that have been exacerbated by both inadequate and poorly designed saving incentives, as well as a private insurance market that is insufficient to meet the needs of millions of retirees wanting to achieve a secure retirement. Fixing this system is a complicated endeavor, requiring widespread changes across the landscape. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution offer unprecedented avenues to improve quality of life, advance society, and contribute to global economic growth. Yet along with greater prospects for human advancement and progress, advancements in these technologies have the potential to be dramatically disruptive, threatening existing assumptions around national security, rules for international cooperation, and a thriving global commerce. This report by the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) addresses emerging technologies in key areas of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and explores innovative ways by which the United States and the Republic of Korea can cooperate around advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics; biotechnology; and the Internet of Things. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
This paper extrapolates from present trends to describe plausible future crises playing out in multiple global cities within 10 years. While predicting the future is fraught with uncertainty, much of what occurs in the scenarios presented here is fully possible today and, absent a significant course change, probable in the timeframe discussed.
It is not hard to find tech evangelists touting that ubiquitous and highly interconnected digital technology will bring great advances in productivity and efficiency, as well as new capabilities we cannot foresee. This paper attempts to reveal what is possible when these technologies are applied to critical infrastructure applications en masse without adequate security in densely populated cities of the near future that are less resilient than other environments. Megacities need and will deploy these new technologies to keep up with insatiable demand for energy, communications, transportation, and other services, but it is important to recognize that they are also made more vulnerable by following this path. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
A serious military confrontation between Russia and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member state or a severe crisis in North Korea are among top international concerns for 2017 cited by a new survey of experts. The Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) ninth annual Preventive Priorities Survey identified seven top potential flashpoints for the United States in the year ahead.
The survey, conducted by CFR’s Center for Preventive Action (CPA), asked foreign policy experts to rank conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring or escalating and their potential impact on U.S. national interests. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
According to the report, the West’s postwar social welfare system is under growing threat as the global demographic structure is being turned upside down. And it is not just the West, but also China and other middle-income powers who will have to deal with an aging workforce and unsustainable health and pension costs in the next decade. For sub-Saharan African countries whose birthrates remain high, overpopulation carries big costs not only for them, but for the rest of the world, which will depend on them for a growing proportion of the world’s workforce. Burrows explores how longer life expectancies, aging workforces, and high birthrates will affect the future economic growth and development of countries around the world. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The evolving dynamics in the East Mediterranean Triangle, composed of Israel, Turkey and Greece, reveal key security and economic trends that have direct implications for the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
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