2030 How today's biggest trends will collide and reshape the future of everything

Mauro F. Guillén

Book - 2020

""Bold, provocative...illuminates why we're having fewer babies, the middle class is stagnating, unemployment is shifting, and new powers are rising." - Adam Grant The world you know is about to end-will you be prepared for what comes next? A groundbreaking analysis from one of the world's foremost experts on global trends. Once upon a time, the world was neatly divided into prosperous and backward economies. Babies were plentiful, workers outnumbered retirees, and people aspiring towards the middle class yearned to own homes and cars. Companies didn't need to see any further than Europe and the United States to do well. Printed money was legal tender for all debts, public and private. We grew up learning how t...o "play the game," and we expected the rules to remain the same as we took our first job, started a family, saw our children grow up, and went into retirement with our finances secure. That world-and those rules-are over. By 2030, a new reality will take hold, and before you know it: - There will be more grandparents than grandchildren - The middle-class in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa will outnumber the US and Europe combined - The global economy will be driven by the non-Western consumer for the first time in modern history - There will be more global wealth owned by women than men - There will be more robots than workers - There will be more computers than human brains - There will be more currencies than countries All these trends, currently underway, will converge in the year 2030 and change everything you know about culture, the economy, and the world. According to Mauro F. Guillen, the only way to truly understand the global transformations underway-and their impacts-is to think laterally. That is, using "peripheral vision," or approaching problems creatively and from unorthodox points of view. Rather than focusing on a single trend-climate-change or the rise of illiberal regimes, for example-Guillen encourages us to consider the dynamic inter-play between a range of forces that will converge on a single tipping point-2030-that will be, for better or worse, the point of no return. 2030 is both a remarkable guide to the coming changes and an exercise in the power of "lateral thinking," thereby revolutionizing the way you think about cataclysmic change and its consequences"--

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New York, NY : St. Martin's Press 2020.
Main Author
Mauro F. Guillén (author)
First edition
Physical Description
vi, 278 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 245-267) and index.
  • Some Facts and Figures
  • Introduction: The Clock Is Ticking
  • 1. Follow the Babies
  • Population Drought, the African Baby Boom, and the Next Industrial Revolution
  • 2. Gray Is the New Black
  • Tech-Savvy Senior Citizens, Postponing Retirement, and Rethinking "old" and "Young"
  • 3. Keeping Up with the Singhs and the Wangs
  • The Old Middle Class, The New Middle Class, and the Battle for Attention
  • 4. Second Sex No More?
  • The New Millionaires, Entrepreneurs, and Leaders of Tomorrow
  • 5. Cities Drown First
  • Global Warming, Hipsters, and the Mundanity of Survival
  • 6. More Cellphones than Toilets
  • Reinventing the Wheel, The New Cambrian Explosion, and the Future of Technology
  • 7. Imagine No Possessions
  • Riding Waves, Network Effects, and the Power of 8.5 Billion Connections
  • 8. More Currencies than Countries
  • Printing Your Own Money, The Blockchain, and the End of Modern Banking
  • Conclusion: Lateral Tips and Tricks to Survive 2030
  • PostScript
  • How a Disruptive Event like Covid-19 Impacts the Trends Discussed in 2030
  • Acknowledgments
  • Sources
  • Index
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this astute and optimistic debut, Guillén, a professor of international management at the Wharton School, examines recent economic shifts and technological advances in order to predict how the world might look a decade from now. Solving contemporary crises such as climate change and economic inequality, Guillén writes, will require "lateral thinking" that approaches a problem from multiple angles and tests numerous solutions. He explores, for example, how agricultural advances might curtail hunger in Africa, where a rising middle class will impact worldwide consumer trends. He also examines how cryptocurrencies might sabotage the banking industry, predicts an uptick in wealth for Asian countries, and offers a carefully reasoned discussion of both the positive and negative potential repercussions of increased automation. Environmentalists may disagree with Guillén's assertion that "small, ordinary adjustments to our daily behavior" can stimulate the dramatic carbon reduction necessary to mitigate climate change, and his query about the gig economy ("will monopolistic digital platforms... end up exploiting workers and consumers alike?") will strike many readers as already answered. Still, this sharp, well-informed analysis of present-day trends and future outcomes provides valuable insights to investors, business owners, and policy makers. (Aug.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

Wharton School professor Guillén examines demographic, economic, and climatic trends to project a vision of the world 10 years hence. Forecasting the future is always a project fraught with peril, as the authors of The Limits to Growth might tell you. Yet some trends of the present seem bound for a harvest of ineluctable results. The number of hungry people will grow in the next decade, but so, too, will obesity; by the author's projections, 50% of Americans will be obese in 2030. This speaks to another growing trend: inequality, a neat solution for which seems unlikely. Even so, Guillén prophesies that middle-class markets will grow in Asia at a much faster clip than in Europe and North America while Africa, which now has the world's fastest-growing populations, will be on the brink of either disaster or a renaissance that will finally bring it wealth. "For better or worse," he writes, "its fortunes will matter globally." Regarding the issue of population, the world will be older almost everywhere. Interestingly, Guillén links the success of Airbnb and other aspects of the "sharing economy" to older persons who want to remain in their homes but find them large enough to offer rooms to rent. Bearing the financial weight of this increasingly older population will be millennials and Gen Z'ers, many of whom, ventures the author, will not be able to accumulate much wealth over their working lifetimes. Some of the seemingly intractable problems of today--immigration and climate change, foremost among them--will not be fixed until the conversations surrounding them become fact-based. As Guillén notes, immigration is a net benefit to society, and "there's a great need for a calm debate about the best policies to determine the volume, timing, and composition of immigration so as to maximize the opportunities for both the origin and the destination countries and so that globalization does not leave millions of people behind as they lose jobs and their communities decline." Students of population biology, gerontology, and finance alike will find value in these pages. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.