In reality, the left of the 21st century has failed to offer alternatives to a number of critical issues and doesn't seem to be adapting to a rapidly changing society and economy. Climate change, new technologies, and the development of the knowledge-based economy are challenges that don't fit the traditional, Marxist-based narrative of the left.
The SDGs are a refreshing return to the original multifaceted concept of sustainable development. Sustainability is not just about the environment, not just about community investment, or just about the economy. It is not the responsibility of just one industry or one government or one group to solve all the world's problems.
Cities are more important than ever in efforts to address climate change. By 2050 global city populations are expected to almost double in size, but urban areas already account for nearly 75 per cent of total carbon emissions. Cities all around the planet have the opportunity to transition "from grey to green."
Like it or not, we are adults who have grown up into a world which is objectively unfair. We could go into the reasons why -- like the deregulation of corporate shenanigans which crashed our economy and rapes our ecosystem, or the wild inflation of tuition that's buried us in debt. It must be a struggle, having to listen to scary words you don't like from little people you don't respect.
Despite all the technology in academic and pharmaceutical institutions, nothing can stop a microbe from figuring out how to best an antibiotic. As such, the mood is sombre at best and apocalyptic at worst. Instead of trying to develop yet another complex mousetrap, the answer lies in looking at weapons of mass microbial destruction already in use in the wild.
With "Future Day" a week away, there have been many recent articles on "What Did Back To The Future Get Right?" Rather than bore you with a typical comparison, I thought I'd take a different approach, and highlight how both the BTTF trilogy and Demolition Man made technological predictions of a more inclusive and accessible world.
More needs to be done to identify the careers of the future -- this is especially important as the demand for a more professionally trained and highly skilled workforce continues to grow. It is more essential than ever to identify the future opportunities for young people and ensure students and parents know what qualifications are required to pursue those careers.
Last week, a story appeared that seemed to come out of the pages of a science fiction novel. A team of researchers in Switzerland developed a new way to store digital data. Instead of hard drives, chips, or crystals, they used the genetic material found in all living organisms, DNA. On top of that, they were able to show the information could last for at least 2,000 years.
Given predictable increases in population and demand, for meat production to take place responsibly in the future, we will have to significantly diversify our eating habits, and with them, our production habits. In vitro meat is one alternative. We don't know enough about it yet. But we know we can make it. It is possible.
We are witnessing political, social and economic exclusion of young people in many countries around the world. Frustration and resentment are mounting. We feel the power of these young people. We fear their anger and their numbers. But we don't listen to what they are saying. We need to stop seeing young people as a threat and make them part of the solution.
Many new jobs will emerge -- such as a robot counsellor, who is someone that matches robots with humans depending on their needs. While it all sounds very sci-fi in 2014, many of our job predictions are based on technological advancements that currently exist and are just 'waiting in the wings' for commercial development. It's all very exciting.