Six global issues that will drive change

In an increasingly interconnected world, consumers and voters are linked, business and governments are sometimes aligned, and a crisis becomes opportunity.

In an increasingly interconnected world, consumers and voters are linked, business and governments are sometimes aligned, and a crisis becomes opportunity. 

Today we find PR and public affairs increasingly connected around six major issues that will be impacting everyone on the planet. These issue waves lap up against every shore. Our clients need to understand the impact and opportunity they present:

  1. Global economic realignment: By 2020, China and the US are predicted to reach rough parity in their portion of global GDP, with both nations accounting for roughly 19% of the world's GDP. Asian nations are expected to represent about 42% of global GDP.
  2. Health and nutrition: By 2025, 1 in 5 healthcare dollars worldwide are expected to be spent on obesity-related diseases and disorders. While much is made about obesity in the US, 30% of China's adult population is obese.
  3. Sustainability: An estimated $37 trillion is needed globally to solve the challenge of climate change and the race is already underway to see which nation can lead in the development of new technologies that will answer the challenge.
  4. Infrastructure: Governments worldwide are expected to spend $35 trillion to $40 trillion on infrastructure needs by 2030 (roads, bridges, trains, broadband), which required economic equalizers.
  5. Longevity: By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more people older than 60 years old in the world than less than 15 years old for the first time. The ratio of working people to those older than 65 years old will be 4 to 1. It will be 2 to 1 in the US. In China 20% of the population, around 2 billion people, will be older than 60 years old.
  6. Democratization of communications: As all of this change will be increasingly transparent, consumers will organize around the lowest price and populations will demand solutions with the same fervor – politicians and CEO's cannot escape.

Lane Bailey is president of global public affairs for GolinHarris.

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