Over the past decade, a mix of global shocks and more subtle, creeping trends has exposed the fragility of twenty-first century progress. It remains to be seen whether we are witnessing a new Great Game, a Cold War 2.0, or merely a continuation of past trends. But it is already clear that the international community will need to set some new ground rules, lest it cease being a community at all.
The Year Ahead 2022
In 2021, governments around the world united behind the exhortation to “build back better” from the COVID-19 crisis. But sloganeering will offer little respite for a world that has only just begun to reckon with the systemic challenges posed by recrudescent nationalism, rising debt levels, cyber warfare, new technologies, and other distinctly twenty-first-century challenges.
In a world that is finally waking up to the climate crisis, everyone has new summits to reach. The COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow this November will be a crucial test. Stronger decarbonization and climate-financing commitments must be made to keep the world on a sustainable path. But even then, the real work will have only just begun.
Back to Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has set back the sustainable development agenda in countless ways. Yet by shining a spotlight on issues that can no longer be ignored, and restoring science to its proper place at the center of decision-making processes, the crisis can also spur progress toward building more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive societies. In Back to Health, created with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading experts will consider what it will take to seize this opportunity and bring all communities and societies back to health.
The Year Ahead 2021
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a process of deglobalization that was already underway, exposed deep disparities in the quality of governance around the world, and cast a shadow of anxiety across all societies. Even more ominously, recovering from the crisis will require a political stability, policy coherence, and international cooperation on a scale not witnessed in years.