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What lies ahead?

By 2032, an air of uneasy stability has begun to settle on this divided world. It is unclear, though, how long this truce can last. The forces for further breakdown are ever present. At the same time, dreams of a better way still beckon. Whereas many of the fears of the pessimists have come true, fresh opportunities for positive change have not ceased to appear. Outside the walls, small islands of calm exist and work is under way there to build links with others and with progressive elements within the fortresses, offering hope that someday, like the phoenix rising from its ashes, a better world for all might yet emerge.

Sustainability First
A new environment and development paradigm emerges in response to the challenge of sustainability, supported by new, more equitable values and institutions. A more visionary state of affairs prevails, where radical shifts in the way people interact with one another and with the world around them stimulate and support sustainable policy measures and accountable corporate behaviour. There is much fuller collaboration between governments, citizens and other stakeholder groups in decision-making on issues of close common concern. A consensus is reached on what needs to be done to satisfy basic needs and realize personal goals without beggaring others or spoiling the outlook for posterity.

In the early years of the century, there is evidence of a compelling desire and demand among people everywhere for action to address the social, economic and environmental concerns affecting many regions of the world. The terrorist attacks on the United States and subsequent retaliation lend immediacy to calls to address economic, social and environmental concerns that are seen as the root causes of such extreme actions. A reinvigorated NGO community becomes a key channel through which citizens everywhere express their demands. The Internet amplifies what has become a global dialogue, or more accurately a multitude of dialogues, on the need for action.