The world is experiencing tectonic changes in terms of population, economy, production, services and technology. The world in the year 2050 will not any longer be as it used to be in the past decades.
The world population will grow from 6 billions in the year 2000 (one billion in the developed world and five billions in the developing world) to 9 billions in the 2050. One hundred million out of the three billions of the global increase in population will go to the developed world, while the developing countries will increase by 2.9 billions. This is a dramatic shift in world population in the coming five decades only, i.e. an increase from 6 to 9 billions.
The other consequential change is, by the year 2000, the developed world (one billion people) had 80% of the global economy while the developing world (five billion) had the remaining 20%. But, by the year 2050, the developed world will have only 35% of the world economy, while the developing countries will have 65% of the global economy. So, the 80% vs 20% of global economy of the year 2000 will be change to 35% vs 65% by the year 2050. This is just turning the world on its head in terms of the world that used to be in the past decades. This dramatic change in the structure of world economy is being driven by the development in global population and the fast transfer of modern technology to the developing countries.
You can imagine how such monumental economic shifts mean to the young generation world over. This is a change of enormous importance where India and China by the year 2050 will constitute 50% of the global GPD, this is a monumental switch in terms of economical power.
In the year 2000, one billion middle class people were in the rich countries and half billion people were in the developing countries. By the year 2030, 2 billion middle class people will be in Asia (one billion in China by 2050). Africa will grow from 850 millions people in 2000 to two billions people 2050. By the year 2050, the average income in Africa will be 2000-3000 dollar per capita, for China and India will be between 30 000 and 40 000 dollar per capita, and for the countries in the rich world (US and Europe) will be between 90 000 and 100 000 dollar per capita.
Africa is a continent that is not any longer isolated, it is not a place where people are not well informed as information is passing and moving very quickly. Much trade and business in China and India is geared towards Africa.
These tectonic changes have monumental impacts on the young generation and they have to think very carefully how to face the global transfer in economy, production, services and technology. Education figures for the year 2007, tell us that 110 000 Chinese and over 100 000 Indians were studying in the US, while only 11200 Americans were studying in China and 2800 Americans in India. But, these figures will experience dramatic changes in the future because the mentioned major shifts in economy, production, services and technology.
The western countries were able to stay ahead because of (1) manufacture and that was taken away and moved to Asia; (2) service industries that first moved into the western countries but is moving out again to Asia by their gradual dominance in the service sectors; (3) technology where the west were able to stay ahead, but now the technological advance is being shifted as well to Asia. The challenge is now what is left for the west to do??