Population Ageing is thing to watch in Global Risk 2013

By Zachary Alexander on

Every year, the World Economic Forum releases a report like Global Risk 2013, which documents results from surveys conducted at its regional meetings. For those tasked with supporting sustainability, this represents the best insurance against black swan events. The reason is that the Global Risk reports turn up emerging trends, which can lead to events like the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement.

This year’s report has at least two items in the top five that make sense for those tasked with supporting sustainability. These include post-Global concerns about rising greenhouse gas emissions and fresh water supply crises. What many in the mainstream media may miss is the issue of mismanagement of population ageing, which needs to be considered as a sustainability issue.

Lesser industrialized communities (LIC) cannot survive on their own terms unless they deal with America’s ageing population. A lot of very serious people will read this as the consequence of young people leaving lesser industrialized communities for the big city. But you and your peers should interpret this more as issue of investing in amenities that will attract active seniors who can revitalize these communities.

Generally speaking, income disparity in the United States advantages baby boomers. And boomers like the quiet spaces that a lot of lesser industrialized communities can provide. They also like communities that are filled with artisans and are willing and able to pay a little more to obtain exactly what they want. For those tasked with supporting sustainability, this advantages lesser industrialized communities.

Zachary Alexander