Toward the end of 2010, The Economist published The World in 2011, its annual issue with predictions for the following year on the variety of topics it normally covers. As summarized in the introductory article From the Editor, the 2011 predictions presented a balanced view of the next year, articulating both the magnitude of the challenges we face as well as the major opportunities for progress:
“It will be a tale of two economies: a rich world struggling with a weak and jobless recovery, and an emerging world growing four times as fast. Europe will be divided between a solid centre of its euro zone and a wobbly periphery. . . Look at politics, and you will often see two clashing forces, too . . . America faces gridlock between the White House and Congress . . . A sense of division, and frustration, will also prevail in international affairs. . . For all the talk of co-operation on global issues . . . it will often seem like a zero-sum world. . . But the gloom will be overdone. The year ahead will produce striking examples of the power of technology and imagination to address fundamental problems of the age. . .”
This was the 25th edition of “The World in . . . .” To mark the occasion, The Economist also included a section on The World in 2036, peering 25 years ahead on a variety of topics, including the economy, technology, religion and collaboration.
I particularly enjoyed reading Design Takes Over, the 2036 prediction by Paola Antonelli, senior curator for architecture and design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She starts her short and elegant article, by first explaining the importance of design in our increasingly fast changing and complex world: