The 2020 Questions – Twenty Two Questions For A Threshold Decade

“What will this next decade be like?” We asked at a recent future-think-tank meeting. It quickly became clear we are looking at a Threshold Decade.

Why is the run up to 2020 a threshold decade? Our think-tank articulated key big questions that converge in an unprecedented way. Consider that during the coming decade, most of these will be addressed and possibly answered in one fashion or another:

  1. Energy – Are we on course to stop burning things to produce energy? Have we found elegant, ubiquitous and affordable energy-harvesting solutions (solar, ocean, algae, ammonia, thermal, wind, vibration and kinetic harvesting, and more)?
  2. Nuclear – Has a nuclear event (terrorist or state sponsored) been averted? Have we secured the world from nuclear weapons? Or are we back in a new, yet similar, mutually assured destruction balance-of-terror?
  3. Capitalism – Has Capitalism updated and renewed itself? Has it found a more sustainable and wiser path? Did market economy evolve to credibly embrace and benefit the other four Ps in addition to profit (People, Planet, Progress and Purpose)?
  4. China – What role has China taken on the world stage? How is the China experiment unfolding? Is the Party able to promote market economy and sustain its control?
  5. Middle Class – Has there been a resurgence of the Middle Class in the US and Europe? Is the Middle Class growing in China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Russia and other countries? This is likely to determine the stability of the democratic framework and how democracies evolve around the world.
  6. Currency – What is the new currency regime? Has it taken the form of a basket of currencies? Two or three universal currencies? A new dollar arrangement? Or a complete fragmentation of the system, leading to pockets of bartering economies?
  7. Islam – Are Moslem women enjoying freedom and equality? Has there been a credible moderate Islamic leadership that captured popularity and harnessed the hopes and aspirations of engagement and progress? Have younger generations chosen a moderate Islamic leadership or followed a militant path?
  8. Global Institutions – What forums serve efficaciously global and planetary needs? How effective is the China – America collaboration? How are the G2, G8, G20 and other global institutions producing results?
  9. Middle East – Has there been a Middle East resolution that gave hope to Israelis and Palestinians? Or are we entrenched in non-solutions and demographic impossibility?
  10. Health & Medicine – What is the evolving integral understanding of health? What are the new game-changers in medicine? How is personalized medicine evolving and is it delivering on its promise? What forms of integrated medicine are embraced and bring results?
  11. Obama – What has become the Obama legacy? Has he fulfilled or disappointed the young generation that brought him to the White House? How have the relationships of citizenry with the state changed, or not?
  12. Culture – How have culture and beliefs about life, wealth, wellness and what’s valued shifted and evolved, or not?
  13. Women – With the battle of the sexes over, have we moved to a new quality of leadership and creative collaboration between the genders? Have we transcended the gender equality battle and the love/hate syndrome that accompanied this struggle to mature negotiation, ready to explore anew the significance of the genders working in creative mutuality?
  14. Philosophy – What ideas and thinking can narrow the chasm between science and religion and offer relevant guidance to political and social debates? Are we able to hold a coherent integral conversation about the divisive issues of the day?
  15. Poverty – Is Muhammad Yunus’s vision of eliminating poverty (and creating a poverty museum) any closer? Can the planet’s resources support a continual population growth? Or is the trend reversed and the population is shrinking?
  16. Africa – Which countries in Africa were able to emerge and begin to escape the history of pillage and failure? What meaningful and hopeful game-changing breakthroughs are seen in Africa?
  17. Education – Modern education was first shaped by the industrial age and was then aligned to meet the technological age – what education templates best integrate and prepare the whole-person to realize their creative and spiritual potential in the age of transformation?
  18. Climate – What are the conditions at the poles? Is there global agreement about climate questions? Have there been definitive global policies enacted?
  19. Spirituality – What forms of spirituality answer the needs of the time and the calling of new generations? Are the impulses of self as source, universal consciousness and conscious evolution emerging and capturing mindshare, or not?
  20. Time – How are people using and applying increasing freedom and time? What are they doing on their fifth day?
  21. Galactic Life –How are we exploring anew nearby and distant space? Have we made contact with intelligent life outside our planet?
  22. You – How have you transformed your world?

© Aviv Shahar

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