Understanding global demographic trends is essential for government and business planners, offering insights into resolving numerous challenges. World population growth is slightly ahead of what was projected a few years ago, reports demographer Joseph Chamie. More than half the world lives in urban areas today, and that is expected to rise to 70 percent by 2050. Most population growth will continue in less developing nations while advanced economies experience population declines and greater proportions of elderly citizens due to increased life expectancy and reduced fertility rate. Chamie explains that more than 80 countries, half the world’s population, now post fertility rates below the replacement level. That leaves fewer workers available to support each individual over age 65, compelling governments and individuals to prepare for long retirements. Good planning can also prevent a variety of other hardships including food and water shortages, poverty, environmental degradation and even security crises. In 2011, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed to the value of demographics and planning. “We cannot look at one strand in isolation,” he said. “Instead, we must examine how these strands are woven together.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].
As globalization and rapid advancements in technology continue to transform civic space and the world of work, education systems have grown increasingly disconnected from the realities and needs of global economies and societies. Education models must adapt to equip children with the skills to create a more inclusive, cohesive and productive world.
“Schools of the Future: Defining New Models of Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution” outlines a new framework for defining quality education in the new economic and social context and shares key features of 16 schools, systems and programmes pioneering the future of education. These examples may serve as inspiration for driving holistic and transformative action on this important agenda. This paper is the result of a widely consultative process with educators, policy and business leaders, education technology developers and experts curated by the Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The spread of infectious disease can be deadlier than world wars — the Spanish flu, for instance, killed millions more people than World War I, one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. Yet present threats to public health, though less overt, could be considered more insidious than a deadly pandemic. In this Perspective, the authors review the current scope and operation of global health security, identify emerging threats, and assess how adequately current visions of global health security account for these threats. The authors identify two main threats to global health security: slow-burn problems — whose long-term effects are underestimated, potentially causing them to receive insufficient attention until it is too late to reverse the damage — and emerging technologies that have beneficial uses but that also can be used as weapons. The authors propose that a broader definition of global health security should be considered — one that would extend well beyond the threats of pandemics and bioweapons of mass destruction. They also maintain that global health security requires greater systematic focus on the complex interlinkages among human physical and mental health, animal health, and the environment.
Policymakers will face the challenge of balancing agility and rapid decisionmaking during times of crisis with a holistic scope that encompasses both imminent and future threats. The authors recommend that infectious disease remain a priority of global health security and that efforts to increase collaboration and trust among international leaders be fostered. In addition, the authors argue that global health security must not come at the expense of efforts to advance global public health, well-being, and human rights. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The tech landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade, both in the United States and around the world. There have been notable increases in the use of social media and online platforms (including YouTube and Facebook) and technologies (like the internet, cellphones and smartphones), in some cases leading to near-saturation levels of use among major segments of the population. But digital tech also faced significant backlash in the 2010s. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Deepfakes intended to spread misinformation are already a threat to online discourse, and there is every reason to believe this problem will become more significant in the future. So far, most ongoing research and mitigation efforts have focused on automated deepfake detection, which will aid deepfake discovery for the next few years. However, worse than cybersecurity’s perpetual cat-and-mouse game, automated deepfake detection is likely to become impossible in the relatively near future, as the approaches that generate fake digital content improve considerably. In addition to supporting the near-term creation and responsible dissemination of deepfake detection technology, policymakers should invest in discovering and developing longer-term solutions. Policymakers should take actions that:
Support ongoing deepfake detection efforts with continued funding through DARPA’s MediFor program, as well as adding new grants to support collaboration between detection efforts and training journalists and fact-checkers to use these tools.
Create an additional stream of funding awards for the development of new tools, such as reverse video search or blockchain-based verification systems, that may better persist in the face of undetectable deepfakes.
Encourage the release of large social media datasets for social science researchers to study and explore solutions to viral misinformation and disinformation campaigns. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Today’s advances in fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) promise a transformational technology that is critical to enabling the next industrial revolution. 5G will provide massive benefits for future economic development and national competitiveness, including certain military applications. 5G is far more than simply a faster iteration of 4G. The benefits include its high speed, low latency, and high throughput, which enable data flows at vastly greater speed and volume than today’s 4G networks. Future smart cities will rely on 5G, autonomous vehicles will depend on this increased connectivity, future manufacturing will leverage 5G to enable improved automation, and even agriculture could benefit from these advances. The advent of 5G could contribute trillions to the world economy over the next couple of decades, setting the stage for new advances in productivity and innovation.
The United States risks losing a critical competitive advantage if it fails to capitalize upon the opportunity and manage the challenges of 5G. Today, China seems poised to become a global leader and first mover in 5G. The United States may be situated in a position of relative disadvantage. The U.S. government has yet to commit to any funding or national initiatives in 5G that are close to comparable in scope and scale to those of China, which is dedicating hundreds of billions to 5G development and deployment. There are also reasons for serious concern about the long-term viability and diversity of global supply chains in this industry. Huawei, a Chinese company with global ambitions, seems to be on course to become dominant in 5G, establishing new pilots and partnerships worldwide. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
For many years, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) have had a broad and productive relationship exploring critical issues in the U.S.-China relationship and in global affairs. Since 2015, we have cohosted the U.S.-China Dialogue on the Global Economic Order, a track 1.5 dialogue that has sought to build mutual trust, enhance communication, identify issues, and propose solutions. The series of semiannual workshops, alternating between China and the United States, has covered a wide range of topics, including trade, investment, finance, and technology. The dialogue has drawn scholars, former policymakers, and current officials from the United States and China across a wide range of institutions and disciplines.
This volume consists of a series of parallel essays on the global economic order by U.S. and Chinese scholars who have participated in our dialogue. The value of this text is found not only in the ideas presented by the essayists but also in the opportunity to “listen” to each other as we manage our differences and seek a shared reform agenda for the global economic order. This report starts the journey.
These essays were drafted during the Spring of 2019 and reflect data that may have changed since that period. [Note: contains copyrighted material].