Presentation to the Scenarios and possible medium and long-term trends related to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the achievement of SDGs

My presentation to the High Level Segment of ECOSOC -Scenarios and possible medium and long-term trends related to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the achievement of SDGs

We are facing three not two massive challenges for our society now and in the next ten years.  The pandemic and climate change we know well. The third issue I want to highlight is the more silent impact of the fourth industrial revolution.

President Biden in his April State of the Union address said:

“we’ll see more technological change in the next 10 years than we saw in the last 50.  That’s how rapidly artificial intelligence and so much more is changing.” –  

Ray Kurzweil proposed "The Law of Accelerating Returns", according to which the rate of change in a wide variety of evolutionary systems (including the growth of technologies) tends to increase exponentially went further in 2001 he said 

“We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).” 

Globalization, demographic changes, and the adoption of technologies significantly redefine the workplace and present huge challenges.

Its not just AI as President Biden talks about but automation, data analytics, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, 3d printing, biotechnology and so much more

With every great transformation comes great chances but also great risks. One of the hopes is it will help developing countries to jump from polluting industry to greener industries.

We are already seeing an ever-increasing inequality within countries and between them. These new technologies can either reduce that or increase.

How are we going to deal with:

  • Deepfake 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Protecting our Privacy – or is it too late?
  • AI robot police and soldiers 
  • Drone weaponization 
  • 3D printing of weapons 
  • Use of personal data for political repression. 
  • Use of social media to promote hate and racism.
  • The move to freelancing. 

It is estimated will see something like 70% of people will be employed as free lancers by 2030 are we

preparing this generation for this? What does it mean in terms of health care, social security and pensions?

To end I have four messages I would like to leave you with:

  1. The present institution we are attending the High-Level Political Forum is not fit for purpose for the challenges of the next ten years. The midterm review of the SDGs in 2023 should strengthen this body considerably.
  2. We need to identify evidence-based decision pathways that would encourage positive outcomes and minimize negative outcomes.
  3. We will need to be refocusing the private sector finance to support the delivery of the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. But this cannot be greenwash.
  4. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterized by the emergence of new technologies that are blurring the boundaries between the physical, the digital, and the biological worlds – we urgently need international and national dialogue on how to manage the transition before it is too late.

Please note: Tomorrow's People and New Technology - Changing How We Live Our Lives By Felix Dodds, Carolina Duque Chopitea, Ranger Ruffins is on pre-order from here.  20% Discount Available - enter the code FLR40 at checkout*

"I simply love Tomorrow's People and New Technology. Teasingly playful, inquisitive rather than just another turgid tome trying to be politically correct and accurate with each forecast, the authors' bandwidth is wonderfully broad, the insights incisive, and the writing welcoming. This book is a speculative triumph. It invites us into an imaginative world of endless fascination and ingenuity, at once allying suspicions that the future belongs only to the smart machines we have created and are in the process of letting loose."

Richard David Hames, Executive Director, Centre for the Future


  1. Brilliant stuff by my friend and cofounder of SUNx Malta - a legacy for our mutual friend and mentor Maurice Strong and catalyst for Climate Friendly Travel.


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