The challenges of development
To my mind, there are two major challenges that threaten the progress of mankind today and the security of future generations. The first arises from growing income inequities. The second relates to the threat of global warming and climate change.
A recent UNDP Report states that 10% of the richest adults in the world today own 85% of the world's household wealth, while the bottom 50% of adult population have only 1% of total household wealth. These numbers are alarming, but if we look at the population projections forward it is even more daunting. From a current level of around 6.7 billion people, we will move to a global population of 9 billion by 2050. Almost the entire addition of over 2 billion is likely to take place in developing nations. And a very large proportion of this will also live in conditions of acute poverty. It is obvious that global economic development will be severely burdened by such huge levels of poverty. And to compound it will be the increasing lawlessness, terrorism and unrest that is fuelled by such widespread discontent.