Dear readers, 2016 is slowly crawling to its finish line, and it is probably happy to come to an end. These are interesting times we live in, and they are even more interesting when you are organising an international economic forum. This year, we saw the escalation of conflicts around the world, the rise of right-wing populism in the western world and of the global refugee crisis. Meanwhile, the global economic situation is slowly shifting. The influence of the United States is dwindling ever so slowly while China is becoming the next economic superpower. And underneath this troubled surface, almost forgotten, looms the hazardous thread of the Eurozone crisis.
Meeting at an Economic Forum in Times of Uncertainty
Discussing the future in times like this is a challenging endeavour. Of course, there is no way around discussing global uncertainty and the resulting economic challenges at a forum such as ours. Accordingly, we devoted a notable part of our 2017 programme to address a global situation that makes it harder and harder to predict even the nearest future. For example, we are very happy to welcome HSBC’s Global Chief Economist Janet Henry who will provoke our thoughts with a Keynote Presentation on whether uncertainty is the “new normal”. We will also address the situation in the Middle East and take a look at the state of Latin America, as well as the development of the global financial environment.
In addition to her Global Economic Outlook, there will be an Executive Panel Discussion featuring on The Crisis of Globalisation, Rise of Populism and the Revenge against Elites featuring:
- Dr Pippa Malmgren, Author, Economist, Co-Founder, H Robotics, UK
- Lord Karan Bilimoria, Member of the House of Lords, Co-Founder and Chairman of Cobra Beer, India/UK
- Megan Beyer, Journalist, Civic Leader, Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Art and the Humanities, USA and
- Janet Henry, Global Chief Economist, HSBC, UK
Looking for Peace in Times like these
Being surrounded with headlines about ISIS, racism and financial crises, it is not always easy to focus on the positive. So let’s take a moment and remember, that doom and gloom are the business of many a media outlet. And that, in reality, humanity is not so bad. Even in 2016, together we did some noteworthy things that we can be proud of. Sometimes it is a good idea to contemplate this in order to realise there is hope for all of us yet.
Let us give you an example, so you may enter the next year with a positive outlook.
2016 was a year of tackling climate change and preserving the planet!
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change went official this year. It is a joint worldwide effort to battle global warming. The pact was made between 195 nations and is the first of its kind. The goal is to limit global warming below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and reduce global emissions. By the way, when asked about Donald Trump’s plans to “cancel” the agreement, Ségolène Royal, outgoing president of the UN talks, clarified that an exit is prohibited for three years, in addition to a year-long notice period. “There will be four stable years,” she concluded.
In India, more than 800,000 volunteers planted a world record of almost 50 Million trees in a single day, shattering the previous world record. The previous record was set by Pakistan, where in 2013 850,000 trees were planted in a similar effort. India pledged to spend six billion dollars in order to reforest 12 percent of its land until 2030.
For the first time in a hundred years, the number of wild tigers on our beautiful planet is rising again. According to the WWF, national tiger surveys predict that 3,890 tigers roam the lands of India, Russia, Nepal, and Bhutan. More than a 20 percent increase from the previous data in 2010. Then, countries with tiger populations made a pledge to double the numbers of wild tigers on earth until 2022. Also, the numbers of manatees and giant pandas were growing in 2016. These small titbits of information are by no means a consolation for all the bad things that happened this year. But they are able to show us that, no matter how dire things may seem, we are still able to achieve amazing things when we just put our minds to them and work together. We hope that you can find some peace in these thoughts and that you will go into the next year with a positive outlook.