The Brave New World Of 2023




The Brave New World To paraphrase Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” “Their world didn’t allow them… to be sane, virtuous, happy.” “How could they be stable when they weren’t conditioned to obey? What with all the diseases, uncertainties, and poverty?” He then elaborates on a dystopian future. In which an all-encompassing nanny state is the key to establishing lasting peace and order among its citizens.

Enter 2023. Diseases, unpredictability, and poverty are there for the taking in every nation. We’ll likely need to work together to avoid pitfalls on the road to sustainable growth, but happily, we don’t have to force everyone to act the same way.



The Brave New World Of 2023


There is a significant increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases per week in EMDEs as we enter 2023. A plateau of roughly 200,000 new cases per week for EMDEs appears to have been reached in the summer of 2020 and to have persisted for roughly four months until November. Since then, the rate of new cases per week has increased dramatically, doubling in size, and showing no indications of slowing down anytime soon.

To deliver 2 billion doses in 2023, COVAX, the international consortium making donor-funded vaccines available to developing countries, is still a long way from being financially and technically able to meet this goal. COVAX hopes to begin its first shipments in the first quarter of 2023. While many in EMDEs may finally see the light at the end of the disease tunnel in 2023, the year will almost probably be considerably worse in terms of outcomes (deaths, hospitalizations, and total cases) compared to 2020.

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Uncertainties. The Brave New World

The year 2023 presents unique challenges for futurists. Some countries and areas in EMDEs place a high priority on commodity price uncertainties. Commodity-exporting regions including Latin America, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa are expected to see the slowest economic growth recoveries in 2023. However, if commodity prices were to improve, these countries could be surprised.

Debt and capital flow volatility is a further important unknown. There were no widespread defaults on debts in 2020, contrary to fears. Some countries implemented moratoria, others drew down their reserves, while others were able to get access to capital markets by paying higher-risk premia. However, the year 2021 may bring worse conditions. 61 countries have outstanding external debt service of above $100 billion and are likely to experience severe financing challenges.

At least half of this is owed by nations that require substantial debt relief, as we showed in a previous paper. Nonetheless, there is currently no plan on the table to undertake. Real initiatives despite the lessons of history (negotiate haircuts, act swiftly, treat all creditors fairly). Currently, creditors wait for the other shoe to drop before going into lengthy discussions, with power and connections determining what each creditor can collect. However undesirable, this outcome is preferable to the concept of a global effort to mitigate the consequences of progress.

Poverty. The Brave New World

The state of global poverty has become a news story rather than an inspiration for action. Almost no one has paid attention to the astonishing shift in global poverty trends. From an annual decrease of 100 million people in poverty in 2013 to an increase of 100 million in poverty in 2020. Conflict, climate change, political persecution. And economic depressions continue to take their toll, but no new global projects have been proposed.

By the start of the twenty-first century, autocratic East Asian states were significantly more successful than individualistic and democratic regimes elsewhere in defending economic livelihoods. The aftermath of 1984 looms large.

Still, there are positive signs.

To begin, there has never been more consensus on the best next steps. The arguments of those who disagree with the value of sustainable development are losing ground. Sustainable development is the only option, as stated by representatives. From all walks of life at the World Economic Forum, the G-20, and the United Nations. It is not a coincidence that the World Food Program will receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020. And that Robert Wilson and Paul Milgrom will receive the Nobel Prize in Economics for their development of auction theory. The foundation for the design of programs to allocate rights to release greenhouse gases.


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