2020 Megatrends and Indonesia
    Category: Column By : Jennie S. Bev Read : 1504 Date : Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 14:19:51

    This column is the first of two parts, the second will appear in the May issue.

    Living in a modern society involves risks and some are bigger than others. In 2020, the world shall encounter an important milestone: make it or break it. According to economist Thierry Malleret, by that year the six global megatrends will be engendering worldwide instability: unfavorable demographics, resource scarcity, climate change, geopolitical rebalancing, indebtedness and fiscal issues, and rising inequalities.

    The world population is aging. In developed and certain Asian countries, the birth rate is falling. Of course, Indonesia isn't included, which is both a pro and a con. Approximately 4 million are born in Indonesia annually, which is almost the size of Singapore. Singapore itself is losing population rapidly, which it attempts to offset with encouraging immigration policies and supportive “pro baby” taxation provisions.

    Japan's labor force started to shrink in the 1980s, while South Korea and Taiwan will be losing population within 15 years. If Indonesia can manage its population well with meaningful social and vocational developments, it has an unprecedented opportunity to penetrate various job markets in Asia and, even, worldwide. The trend of elite “national plus” bilingual and trilingual K-12 schools is a good start in cultivating young leaders with an international attitude. The Philippines and India have been capitalizing on this trend. The former is now multinational corporations' favorite destination for offshore call centers, while the latter is for offshore IT desks.

    Resource scarcity is another serious issue to tackle. As more stresses are placed on the globe's megacities, resource scarcity will be more prevalent. Increased demand for food, water, energy, land and natural resources has been exponentially amplified in an unprecedented manner. Since 2002, technological advancement and human inventiveness is fighting a losing battle with the law of diminishing returns.