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Megachange: The World in 2050

The Journalists from The Economist on…


The World in 2050 

Edited by The Economist’s Executive Editor, Daniel Franklin

And Writer John Andrews  

What is Megachange?  It is a term used to describe change on a grand scale happening at remarkable speed.  When you look at the world around us, we are in the midst of a megachange.  Technology is spreading astonishingly fast – think of the internet, social media, and mobile devices.  The global economy is tilting towards Asia.  These and other rapid changes are having a profound effect on business, politics, and people’s lives in general.  Can we somehow predict where we’ll be in the year 2050?

Megachange:  The World in 2050 (Wiley; April 2012), written by a team of contributors who are current and former journalists from the The Economist, looks at various global trends and attempts to foresee where society and our planet will be in the year 2050.  Each chapter focuses on a different topic, from education, religion, business and ecology, tohealth care, economics and science – even predicting the real possibility of discovering alien life.  The list of contributors and the topics they write about includes:

Barbara Beck, The Economist's special-reports editor, on social change in the emerging world.  

Geoffrey Carr, The Economist's science and technology editor, on the steps China must take for its scientific community to flourish.

Philip Coggan, the Buttonwood columnist and capital-markets editor of The Economist, on the market cycles we are yet to live through.

Simon Cox, The Economist's Asia economics editor, on China’s economic growth.  Will it slow down?

Tim Cross is a science correspondent at The Economist. In his view, the discovery of alien life is a real possibility.

Kenneth Cukier, The Economist's data editor, describes a how our lives will change when there’s a computer chip in everything.

Martin Giles, The Economist's US technology correspondent, on how individual intelligence will be supplanted by collective intelligence, thanks to social media.

Anthony Gottlieb is a New York-based writer and a former executive editor of The Economist. He writes about religion’s diminishing power in the developing world.

Robert Lane Greene is The Economist's professional-services correspondent. He also edits "Johnson", The Economist's blog on language.  His essay will focus on culture and language.

Charlotte Howard, The Economist's health-care correspondent, on the dynamics of disease.

Laza Kekic is director of The Economist Intelligence Unit's Country Forecasting Service. Her essay looks at Asia’s economy, which will be more than half the world economy by 2050.  But that’s exactly where Asia’s economy was back in 1820!

Edward Lucas edits The Economist's international section, on the spread of democracy in authoritarian countries and its decline in free ones.

Zanny Minton Beddoes is The Economist's economics editor.  He covers the rise in inequality in the rich world and whether that trend will continue.

Oliver Morton, The Economist's briefings editor, John Parker, The Economist's globalization editor, on climate change and Matt Ridley, a former science and technology editor, Washington bureau chief and United States editor of The Economist, on the environment, climate change and ecological restoration.

Ludwig Siegele is The Economist's online business editor.  He wonders if physical location will still matter in the age of telecommunication.  Perhaps surprisingly, he believes it will.

Matthew Symonds is The Economist's defense and security editor. He writes about the future of war.

Paul Wallace, The Economist's European economics editor, on the rising costs of health care and pensions.

Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist's management editor and Schumpeter columnist, on the future of business.

About the Editors:

Daniel Franklin is executive editor and business-affairs editor of The Economist. He is also the editor of The Economist's annual publication on the year ahead, The World in....

John Andrews has written for The Economist for more than 30 years and is deputy editor of The World in…. He is the author of The Economist Book of Isms.


The World in 2050

By Daniel Franklin and John Andrews

From The Economist

Published by Wiley; March 2012

ISBN: 9781118180440

Also available in eBook formats