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.