There are, perhaps, three fundamental questions which we believe that we have addressed:
Will the international community address what we have called "systems
issues", and if so how will they do this? By this, we mean all of those concerns that
arise when hitherto isolated populations and commercial systems come into intimate
contact with each other: issues connected with security, law and policing, with
environmental and resource balances, with public health and related issues.
What does a development path look like for the poor nations as we move
towards 2040? Is there a viable pathway, given the many obstacles that the
systems issues present?
The overused word "sustainability" has rather passive connotations: essentially, that
we meet our future by doing more with less, existing on a declining pathway as our
marginal improvements contribute less and less. We ask, therefore, how can we
transcend this pathway, and so blossom into something new? What will the most
capable communities be doing when they undertake commerce, government or
individual daily life in 2040?
There is a fourth issue, which is less easy to summarise. This is connected with how we should
think about the political blocks of 2040.