Research and development (R&D) plays a central role in advanced economies in areas such as economic growth and job creation, industrial competitiveness, national security, energy, agriculture, transportation, public health and well-being, environmental protection, and expanding the frontiers of human knowledge understanding. Accordingly, companies, governments, universities, nonprofit organizations, and others around the world have made substantial investments in R&D. Since 2000, total global R&D expenditures have grown by 170% in current dollars, from $674 billion to more than $1.8 trillion.
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].
In 2013, Christoph Lakner and Branko Milanovic published a graph—quickly dubbed the “elephant chart”—that depicts changes in income distribution across the world between 1988 and 2008. The chart has been used to support numerous reports of rising inequality fueled by increased globalization. Every time a populist movement rises, every time the elite gather in Davos, every time Oxfam publishes a new report on inequality, the elephant chart resurfaces. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. Ensuring the full development and appropriate deployment of half of the world’s total talent pool has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide. The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks 144 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition, this year’s edition also analyses the dynamics of gender gaps across industry talent pools and occupations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke presented the following framework at a conference on Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy at the Peterson Institute on October 12-13, 2017. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
“The rise of populism in the Western world redefines the notion of political risk and teaches that risk has no permanent address,” explains Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, professor of international business and public policy at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. “Political populism, characterized by a desire to assert domestic democratic sovereignty and rejection of the ‘cult of the expert,’ owes its rise to increasing rejection of the conventional wisdom by citizens who feel left behind by globalization trends.” The backlash was inevitable as inequality swelled and citizens worry about loss of national sovereignty or local control. As a force, populism can contribute to eliminating corruption or dictatorships, and should not be ignored. Moghalu also outlines the risks of rejecting expertise and data, with attempts to substitute facts with conviction as well as threats to impartial institutions designed to safeguard the integrity of democracy. Experts and data are crucial in a complex world that prospers from well-crafted public policies. Those who disagree should argue with analysis and useful and realistic proposals. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
More babies were born to Christian mothers than to members of any other religion in recent years, reflecting Christianity’s continued status as the world’s largest religious group. But this is unlikely to be the case for much longer: Less than 20 years from now, the number of babies born to Muslims is expected to modestly exceed births to Christians, according to new Pew Research Center demographic estimates. [Note: contains copyrighted material].