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Markets & Geopolitics

The big things you ought to know about the world

Martin Wolf, Financial Times associate editor and chief economics commentator speaks about the big issues facing the world.

World Built Environment Forum
12 February 2019

At the 2018 World Built Environment Summit, Martin Wolf gave us 11 key insights on the state of the world and the current market outlook. 

Take a look at his powerful and succinct commentary.

Key insights from Martin

  1. Population: according to United Nations medium-term projections, the world population will grow by 2.4 billion between 2015-2050. 56% of this increase will be in Africa and 35% in Asia. What will be the impact on the global economy?
  2. Inequality: virtually every country in the world has experienced rising inequality in the last 30 years and yet global inequality has significantly fallen. How is that possible? And what will happen in the future?
  3. Unprecedented rate of transformation of global economic power: in the last 15 years developed countries' share of global economic output has fallen significantly. How will this play out?
  4. Climate change: on current policy we're on track to hit 3.3-3.8 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels by 2050, with catastrophic consequences. Can we avoid this?
  5. Stagnation: developed countries are facing an era of productivity stagnation. What can they do about it?
  6. Demand deficiency: will the chronic deficiency in demand in the developed world continue?
  7. Populism: will populism rise to become a significant factor in all societies?
  8. Stalled globalisation: how do we re-energise globalisation?
  9. Urbanisation: more than half the world's population now lives in cities. What is the difference between push and pull urbanisation and what is their impact?
  10. The power of cities: does it matter if cities run the world?
  11. Geopolitics: how can we understand the geopolitical turmoil caused by the shift in global power to China, as Western economies experience prolonged periods of slow growth?