According to UN projections, 2050 will dawn with over 9.5 billion people on the planet. The very good news about that situation is that prosperity is pulling more people out of poverty than ever before in man’s history. This means that nearly 40% of the 2050 population will be in emerging middle classes around the globe. Again, to put that into numbers, the middle classes in the world will reach nearly 4 billion people, versus 1.2 billion today.
This outcome from prosperity means that 4 billion people will have the expectation of receiving many of the same things that the middle classes of today receive: cars, smartphones, flat screen TVs, more clothes, food selections, and more. This will translate to a dramatic increase in consumption, with the greatest growth in consumption in the ASEAN countries.
Too, mankind has already reached a new “first” in its history. For the first time, more than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. In fact, the projection is that the emerging middle classes will continue to be a primary demographic of urban population, with people pouring into the cities, seeking the necessary opportunity of prosperity that the middle classes desire. Most futurists say that the cities of 2050 have not been built yet, and yet they must be built to accommodate this human flow rate, with the necessary infrastructure, support, and jobs to continue to build this burgeoning middle class.
The bad news is that many planetary-watch organizations predict that planet Earth is not capable of providing the necessary resources to meet this demand. This is what I would call a “planetary crisis.” We have already reached the capacity level for food, water, and energy and production capacity. The great cities of today, particularly in the ASEAN countries, are bulging with capacity and overburdening the infrastructure of the cities. And many companies are beginning to realize that the unlimited supplies of raw materials that existed in the last century don’t exist now, and clearly won’t exist in the future.Read More