6 future possibilities: UAE, UN report explores opportunities for the next 25 years

Highlights

  • The Report explores opportunities for the next 25 years.
  • New opportunities seen adding up to $30 trillion to the world economy.
  • It highlights six transformational trends which contribute to advancing the UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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DUBAI / NEW YORK: The Government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Nations Initiative to commemorate its 75th anniversary launched the “Future Possibilities Report 2020”, presenting six transformational trends that can add up to $30 trillion to the global economy by 2025.

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The report, commissioned by the UAE, was launched during a global dialogue on “Opportunities for the Future We Want”, co-hosted by UAE Government and the“UN75: 2020 and Beyond”, Initiative.

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Following as the six trends mentioned in the report:

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1. Exabyte Economy

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The first trend focuses on development possibilities, namely “Exabyte Economy (Big Data): Hyperconnected Devices, Data and People”, with an estimated total economic value of up to USD 8 trillion by 2025.

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As computing power and storage becomes affordable and more efficient, and as 5G technology is rolled out, future crises in connectivity will be driven more by devices than people.

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The resulting flow of data will urge governments to further improve capacities of artificial intelligence-based systems to optimize processes and services and disrupt business models across a range of sectors.

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2. Circular Economy

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The second trend focuses on “Circular Economy: Waste not, want not”, as increasing public awareness to reduce the impact on the environment will continue to open new possibilities across value chains based on optimizing usage of resources and reducing waste. This will open new market possibilities totaling up to USD 4.5 trillion.

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3. Well-being Economy

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The third trend “Wellbeing Economy: More than Health” presents future possibilities emerging from increasing interest in physical and mental wellbeing as a result of adopting new approaches to wellbeing at individual, organizational, and community levels. The combined value of wellbeing possibilities could reach USD 7 trillion within a few years.

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4. Experience Economy

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The fourth trend examines societies’ interest in providing personalized experience services that are tailored to the needs of customers within “Experience Economy: From Ownership to Usership”. New trends could build an experience-driven economy worth up to USD 6.5 trillion by 2025, due to customers’ desire to “experience” rather than to consume.

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5. Net-Zero Economy

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The fifth trend “Net Zero Economy: Scalable Low-carbon Solutions”, explores the general increase in energy demand and global efforts to reduce carbon emissions. This requires promoting the innovation of technologies, and developing in adaptable investment models and new markets. According to the report, it is expected that growing demand for renewable energy could yield over USD 2.3 trillion of possibilities by 2025.

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6. BioGrowth Economy

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The sixth trend “BioGrowth Economy: New Agriculture and BIOmaterials”, promotes new possibilities for various sectors worldwide relating to agriculture and emerging biological materials that could be worth over USD 1 trillion by 2025.

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Dialogue

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Led by Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future in the UAE, and Fabrizio Hochschild, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on UN75, and moderated by H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, the dialogue focused on global approaches to strengthening future readiness.

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This event is part of the UN75 Initiative ahead of the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting in September, which will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

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The meeting also hosted ministers, ambassadors, and officials from over 100 governments worldwide, in addition to more than 130 international experts.

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In her remarks, Ohood Al Roumi noted that “the UAE is committed to enhancing global partnerships to shape future development and promote governments’ readiness in cooperation with the United Nations. This embodies the vision of the UAE’s leadership to be proactive and innovate business models across various sectors to better anticipate future risks and secure a more resilient and prosperous future for coming generations”. H.E. Al Roumi also stressed the need for improving global and multi-sector digital cooperation to support governments as they shape more resilient, agile, and future-ready societies.

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“The Report marks a major step towards fostering global dialogue as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to push the international community to accelerate adaptable policies and programmes in various sectors,” she added. “The UAE is proud to work with the UN to make this research possible and accessible to the international community particularly at a time when governments are reevaluating how to move forward better and reinvigorating collective efforts”

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During the dialogue, Under-Secretary-General Fabrizio Hochschild said: “The UAE is a country that thinks more of the future than many others. We are pleased to partner with the UAE in launching this report which identifies key opportunities for the global community to enhance solidarity and collaboration to accelerate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as we shape our future”.

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Future priorities

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The dialogue featured ministers from Costa Rica, Sierra Leone, and Finland in addition to the European Union (EU) delegation, in a discussion on future priorities and demonstrated the growing international interest in more progressive and future-driven policymaking in government and private sectors.

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H.E. Maria del Pilar Garrido Gonzalo, Minister of National Planning and Economic Policy of Costa Rica said: “We are designing a long-term plan based on Territory 2050 as a main tool to achieve an inclusive and carbon-free economy by 2050.” She also added: “UAE Government has been one of the most important allies for us, thus, we have initiated our Memorandum of Understanding in strategic foresight.”

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H.E. David Sengeh, Minister of Education and Chief Innovation Officer of Sierra Leone stated: “Good and effective governance is about shaping future while addressing today’s challenges. As governments, we have the primary duty to ensure our citizens have tools and capabilities to imagine, shape and build that future for our global wellbeing.”

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Speaking on behalf of the 28 Member States of the (EU), H.E. Olof Skoog, Permanent Observer of the EU to the UN, said: “The report helps policy-makers make the right, innovative choices, reports like this one are indispensable. We must make sure we leave no one behind while continuing to innovate and transform, so that the promise of transformation of 2030 Agenda can become true for all.”

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Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh added that: “This report helps us interpret the seismic shifts that the world is undergoing today, translates them into six structural trends, and provides concrete entry points for governments and international organizations to leverage going forward. If ever there was a time for us to hear positive messages of hope and opportunities to shape our future, it is now.”

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