9:30am – 10:30am 16 Tuesday
In this all encompassing talk, accompanied by stunning photographs and graphics, Laurence Smith presents a balanced, politically neutral based projection of what the world might look like in ten years' time, should current global trends in (1) population demographics, (2) resource demand, (3) economic globalization, and (4) climate change continue their current trajectories. The first part of the talk ("The Push") identifies key global pressures and trends, for example in urbanization, population aging, energy technology, water supply, immigration, and the rising economies of China, India and the developing world. The second part ("The Pull") describes the emergence of a new geographic region, which he coins the "Northern Rim", comprised of Canada, the northern United States, Greenland/Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Russian Federation (called the Northern Rim Countries or NORCs). These eight northern countries and their surrounding seas will experience profound transformation over the next 10 years, making the Northern Rim a place of rising human activity and global strategic value relative to today. A fascinating, cross-disciplinary talk, Smith gives audiences a glimpse into the future, and describes the world that we will leave to our children and grandchildren. One that is wholly different from the world we know today.