January-February 2015Announcing the January/February 2015 Issue I, Vol IX Cover Story: The Post 2015 Development Agenda Featured: Can the World End Extreme Poverty by 2030? PLUS: Speechwriting for Leaders; The Second Human Potential Movement; Interview with Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator; Interview with Akan Ismaili, Ambassador of Kosovo to the U.S.; and more! Washington, DC: In the 20th century, two books cast their shadows over the future of the human race: one, George Orwell’s novel 1984, which depicted a horrific mind-controlling totalitarian state; the other, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, which represented an engineered abundance and conformity, yet still totalitarian. The latter, seems not so distant a future. Mind boggling advances in technology have created abundance and accessibility. Yet, they have also created triviality and over-consuming and spending. On one side, we have a world of consumers that don’t want for anything. On the other, extreme poverty still reigns in parts of the world despite our best efforts to eradicate it. Although Brave New World is set in the future, it deals with contemporary issues. Although it was written in 1931, it is as relevant in its lessons today as it was then. For the past two years, the editors and writers at Diplomatic Courier, have been concerned with the World in 2050. Our series of global summits last year tackled the Future of Diplomacy; the Future of Philanthropy; the Future City; and the Future of Jobs. We don’t profess to be fortunetellers; rather, we convened some of the world’s strategic thinkers to prepare us for the world we want. Do we want a Brave New World of abundance—not exactly a utopia but a world where the advances in technology help everyone, not just those who own or invent them. Or, are we doomed to pass on a 1984-dystopian-like world to our children—one riddled with fear, horror, war, and scarcity? Reading the news headlines, it is easy to see which world we are headed for. New geostrategic struggles between Russia and the West; cyberwar; fast-spreading devastating diseases; poverty, and war reigned large on our news feeds in 2014. And with the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) up this year, many were quick to offer commentary on how we’ve failed. Last month, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, released his synthesis report on the post-2015 MDG agenda, “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet.” The report integrates the range of inputs on the post-2015 agenda from global consultations with UN member states, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and citizens. The report, in essence, frames the sustainable development agenda after the expiration of the MDGs, focusing on prosperity, justice, and partnership. I find the element of “planet” in this report most reassuring. How we treat our planet will affect our success and prosperity in the future. These goals have galvanized support like no other time in history. More than ever before, an unprecedented number of actors from the private and public sectors are collaborating, and individuals are pouring in their personal fortunes behind the actualization of these goals. And while the headlines are grim, evidence of abundance is all around us. We can and should aspire to a future where prosperity is the norm—a new, Brave New World. Ana C. Rold is Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Diplomatic Courier.  

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