The world in 50 years

Customers crowd into a department store in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

The world in 50 years

Customers crowd into a department store in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. China will continue to rise in the coming decades. Just a century ago, London was the centre of the world. Britain bestrode the world like a colossus and only those with strong nerves or weak judgment dared challenge the Pax Britannica.

That, of course, is all history, but the Pax Americana that has taken shape since is just as vulnerable to historical change. In the s, the rising power and wealth of Germany and America splintered the Pax Britannica; in the s, east Asia will do the same to the Pax Americana.

The 21st century will see technological change on an astonishing scale. It may even transform what it means to The world in 50 years human.

The world in 50 years

But in the short term — the next 20 years — the world will still be dominated by the doings of nation-states and the central issue will be the rise of the east. Bythe world will be more complicated, divided between a broad American sphere of influence in Europe, the Middle East and south Asia, and a Chinese sphere in east Asia and Africa.

Even within its own sphere, the US will face new challenges from former peripheries. Nevertheless, America will probably remain the world's major power. The critics who wrote off the US during the depression of the s and the stagflation of the s lived to see it bounce back to defeat the Nazis in the s and the Soviets in the s.

America's financial problems will surely deepen through the s, but the s could bring another Roosevelt or Reagan. A hundred years The world in 50 years, as Britain's dominance eroded, rivals, particularly Germany, were emboldened to take ever-greater risks.

The same will happen as American power erodes in the ss. Infor instance, Russia would never have dared attack a neighbour such as Georgia but in it took just such a chance. The danger of such an adventure sparking a great power war in the s is probably low; in the s, it will be much greater.

The most serious threats will arise in the vortex of instability that stretches from Africa to central Asia. Most of the world's poorest people live here; climate change is wreaking its worst damage here; nuclear weapons are proliferating fastest here; and even inthe great powers will still seek much of their energy here.

Here, the risk of Sino-American conflict will be greatest and here the balance of power will be decided. James Brittain It will be a second financial crisis in the s — probably sooner than later — that will prove to be the remaking of Britain.

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Confronted by a second trillion-pound bank bailout in less than 10 years, it will be impossible for the City and wider banking system to resist reform. The popular revolt against bankers, their current business model in which neglect of the real economy is embedded and the scale of their bonuses — all to be underwritten by bailouts from taxpayers — will become irresistible.

The consequent rebalancing of the British economy, already underway, will intensify. Britain, in thrall to finance sincewill break free — spearheading a second Industrial Revolution. Inthere is thus a good prospect that Britain will be the most populous our birth rate will be one the highest in Europedynamic and richest European country, the key state in a reconfigured EU.

Our leading universities will become powerhouses of innovation, world centres in exploiting the approaching avalanche of scientific and technological breakthroughs.

A reformed financial system will allow British entrepreneurs to get the committed financial backing they need, becoming the capitalist leaders in Europe.

And, after a century of trying, Britain will at last build itself a system for developing apprentices and technicians that is no longer the Cinderella of the education system. It will not be plain sailing.

Massive political turbulence in China and its conflict with the US will define part of the next 25 years — and there will be a period when the world trading and financial system retreats from openness.

How far beggar-my-neighbour competitive devaluations and protection will develop is hard to predict, but protectionist trends are there for all to see.

Commodity prices will go much higher and there will be shortages of key minerals, energy, water and some basic foodstuffs. The paradox is that this will be good news for Britain.

It will force the state to re-engage with the economy and to build a matrix of institutions that will support innovation and investment, rather as it did between and New Labour began this process tremulously in its last year in office; the coalition government is following through.

These will be lean years for the traditional Conservative right, but whether it will be a liberal One Nation Tory party, ongoing coalition governments or the Labour party that will be the political beneficiary is not yet sure. The key point is that those 20 years in the middle of the 20th century witnessed great industrial creativity and an unsung economic renaissance until the country fell progressively under the stultifying grip of the City of London.

My guess is that the same, against a similarly turbulent global background, is about to happen again. My caveat is if the City remains strong, in which case economic decline and social division will escalate.

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Will Hutton, executive vice-chair of the Work Foundation and an Observer columnist 3 Global development: Certainly, we will be polio-free and probably will have been for more than a decade.

The fight to eradicate polio represents one of the greatest achievements in global health to date.Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku examines what our bodies, our cities, and our world will look like 50 years into the future.

Watch trailers & learn more. Within 25 years, the world will achieve many major successes in tackling the diseases of the poor. Certainly, we will be polio-free and probably will have been for more than a decade.

was an eventful year -- a half-century ago, humans were making strides toward space travel beyond the Earth's orbit, and Tokyo hosted the 18th Summer Olympics. Around the World in 50 Years is a remarkable and meaningful tale packed with some of the most memorable, frightening, and hilarious adventure stories you have ever read/5().

The world in 50 years

Of course, the world today is much more interconnected than it was 50 years ago and we continually strive to service the need to produce the finest working tools for the apprentice through to the master musician. Within 25 years, the world will achieve many major successes in tackling the diseases of the poor.

Over the past 50 years or so, there has been growing support for nature conservation. When we.

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