Use the future to build the present
Sustainable Global Trade
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

4.4.4Sustainable Global Trade

Globalisation has dramatically changed the nature of trade in the last 25 years. Ensuring this trade is sustainable and resilient towards systemic risks into the future will become a growing focus for many economies. Although globalisation is generally considered a positive force, rising tensions over some of its consequences threaten its future.16

There are many reasons for these tensions.17 One is that globalisation displaces local employment opportunities, and even entire industries, to other parts of the world. This has been a factor in the rise of nationalism, which threatens to disrupt international trade and cooperation. Anticipating the effect of global trade on local industry and preparing the local workforce accordingly may help to mitigate some of the most serious disruptions.

Another problem, highlighted by the covid crisis, is the fragility of supply chains.18 Governments and industries are developing ways to strengthen these chains in the short term; the Internet of Things is set to play an important role in monitoring where products came from and how far they travel, for example, and blockchain technology will help to secure this information, making trade more transparent.19 In the longer term, this transparency will make supply chains more sustainable too. The new focus on resilience also places greater emphasis on stress testing supply chains and on simulations that can predict — and find ways to avoid — the impact of future covid-scale events.

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

Post-covid recovery focuses on more resilient supply chains

In the aftermath of the covid-19 crisis, most high-income countries and global companies increase the resilience of their supply chains. Some governments attempt to re-shore their industries making supply chains shorter. These shorter chains are not always more sustainable, however. Blockchain and smart contracts allow global supply chains to become more resilient, despite the arresting effect of rising nationalism.

10-yearhorizon

Global agreement leads to supply chain stress tests

To ensure continuity of supply in emergencies, an international standard is agreed that measures the resilience of supply chains in a wide variety of simulated disasters. Fossil fuel use in the supply chain drops significantly, and in a sustainable manner that means it will not rise again.

25-yearhorizon

The technology of resilience makes supply chains more sustainable

The tracking technologies for monitoring resilience provide a powerful tool for measuring environmental impacts. This allows the sustainability of supply chains to be assessed reliably on a global scale. They are now powered by renewable energy for both manufacturing and transportation.

Sustainable Global Trade - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.

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