The World in 2020, the annual publication from The Economist, predicts that 2020 will be a testing year ahead, citing decisions to be made in the US election and Brexit, concerns over a faltering world economy and worries about nuclear proliferation. But there will be many events to celebrate such as large global sports events in Japan and Australia and exploration on Mars.
Now in its 34th year, The World in 2020 will be available within The Economist app, and online on Thursday, November 21st and on newsstands on Friday, November 22nd. The magazine can also be purchased at The Economist Store at shop.economist.com
Twelve themes emerged out of this year’s publication:
It’s judgment time. That’s doubly true for President Donald Trump: first in Congress with the Democrats’ drive to remove him from office (the Republican-controlled Senate will save him), then in a febrile election in November. It will be ugly; the artificial intelligence we consulted reckons Mr Trump will lose. Britons, meanwhile, probably will get a chance to pass judgment on Boris Johnson.
Economies wrestle with negativity. Banks, especially in Europe, will battle with negative interest rates. America will flirt with recession—but don’t be surprised if disaster fails to strike, and markets revive.
China highlights positivity. It will claim to have met its target of achieving “moderate prosperity” by 2020. Other countries will have to work out how to position themselves, in trade and technology, between a Chinese sphere of influence and an American one.
Sport has a jumbo year. The Tokyo Olympics will draw a huge global audience. The Euro 2020 football championship will be spread across 12 countries. Cricket hopes for a smashing success in Australia with the t20 World Cup—and in England with a new, even shorter version of the game called The Hundred.
Worries about nukes proliferate. The five-yearly review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will be a fraught affair, 75 years after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fears of a new arms race will grow as nuclear arms-control agreements fray.
Sustainability is all the rage. At least, talking about it is. In Kunming countries will discuss biodiversity. In Glasgow they will make pledges on carbon emissions. Business leaders will vow to support sustainable capitalism—as long as shareholders let them.
The Gulf welcomes the world. Dubai hopes its World Expo will have a lasting impact. More awkward, Saudi Arabia hosts the g20 summit.
Multiple missions head to Mars. America, Europe, China and the uae all plan missions.
Tech has both highs and lows. The highs include flying taxis, electric supercars and personalised medicine; the lows involve tech giants bracing themselves for more regulation, taxation and critical scrutiny. Instagram will find itself in the spotlight of controversy in this American-election cycle.
Big anniversaries resonate, especially Beethoven’s 250th. It’s also 500 years since Raphael’s death, 400 since the Mayflower sailed to America, 300 since the South Sea Bubble burst, 200 since the birth of Florence Nightingale (the World Health Organisation has designated 2020 the Year of the Nurse), 100 since Prohibition, 75 since the founding of the UN and—while their fans gently weep—50 years since the Beatles broke up.
A torrent of entertainment comes on stream. Television’s streaming wars intensify, as streaming opens new vistas for gamers, too. But James Bond fans will head to old-fashioned cinemas for the 25th film in the franchise. And a new national museum in Cairo will show that physical presence still matters.
It’s the decade of…the “yold”, or the young old, as sprightly baby-boomers hit 65. For the first time, the world will have more people aged over 30 than under. The 2020s promise to be a bad decade for African dynasties, a disruptive one for countries facing separatist pressures and an exciting one for plant geneticists, who in ten years’ time aim to be drawing down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at a global scale.
“The start of a new decade prompts bigger-than-usual thoughts about the future” and the year ahead “will not be short of drama,” says Daniel Franklin, Editor of The World in 2020, who after 17 years is stepping down to focus on his role as Diplomatic Editor. From next year Tom Standage will take over from Franklin, working on the annual issue alongside his current role as Deputy Editor of The Economist.
The magazine, which will hit a circulation of one million this year, sits alongside The Economist’s other annual supplement, The World If.., and under an editorial umbrella for the future-gazing franchise, The World Ahead. It’s complemented by a podcast of the same name, The World Ahead, a monthly series examining an assortment of what-if conjectures and provocative prophecies. It’s available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher and TuneIn.
The World in 2020 is specific, numerate and opinionated: full of predictions, and an exciting read. The Economist’s writers are joined by leaders from business, politics, science and the arts who also add their ideas for 2020: Robert F. Smith, investor and philanthropist; Juan Guaidó, interim president of Venezuela; David Malpass, president of the World Bank; Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei; Jim O’Neill, chair, Chatham House; Demis Hassabis, CEO, Google DeepMind; Guido Barilla, chairman of Barilla Group; Jane Sun, CEO of Ctrip; Adena Friedman, president and CEO, Nasdaq; Joanne Chory, professor of plant biology, Salk Institute; N’Goné Fall, curator, “Afrique 2020”; Iván Fischer, conductor.
It is this mix of contributors that makes The World in 2020 uniquely authoritative in its predictions of trends and events—and that has won the publication a loyal and growing readership around the world.
About The Economist
With a growing global audience and a reputation for insightful analysis and perspective on every aspect of world events, The Economist is one of the most widely recognised and well-read current affairs publications in the world. In addition to the weekly print and digital editions and website, The Economist publishes Espresso, a daily news app, Global Business Review, a bilingual English-Chinese product and Economist VR, a virtual-reality app. Economist Radio produces several podcasts a week and Economist Films produces short- and long-form video. The Economist maintains robust social communities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium and other social networks. A recipient of many editorial and marketing awards, The Economist was named the most trusted news source by the 2017 Trusting News Project Report.
SOURCE: The Economist