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Jacques Attali: “The world in 2030, between altruism and individualism”
New energies 04/11/2014

Jacques Attali: “The world in 2030, between altruism and individualism”

“Can we think the world in 2030?” was the subject of a talk given by Jacques Attali at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, in February 2014. The president of A&A -an international strategy consulting firm- and PlaNet Finance –an NGO created in 1998, operating in all areas of development in the microfinance sector.

“There are altruistic technologies and individualistic technologies. Most of all, there are altruistic uses of individualistic technologies and individualistic uses of altruistic technologies.” It is indeed rational to bear in mind that other people’s happiness makes us happy, a key condition to our success. “We live in a world of interdependence.” The ideological battle, between the pursuit of an individualistic inner being, initiated in the 19th century, and the rational altruistic model currently beginning to rise, is raging. It can be felt in NGOs, social responsibility, civic service and the general interest. 

The first growth-based continent is Africa, not Asia. “The economic development potential in Africa is considerable”, explains the author of “La francophonie et la francophilie, moteurs de croissance durable” (Francophonie and francophilia, sustainable growth engines), a book published in 2014 by La Documentation Française. Scattered across 5 continents, over 220 million people speak French. This figure could reach 700 million by 2050, notably in Africa. “By the end of the 21st century there will be less Chinese people than Nigerians. In 30 years from now, there will be more French people than Germans. In 40 years, more Turkish people than Russians. 

Future promising new technologies: smart cities (as the world is becoming more and more urban), the insurance sector is developing (need for security). The same applies to web semantics (all health-care professions, education, the State, etc.), biotechnologies (commodification of the human artefact), nanotechnologies and neurosciences. Futurology is not the way to go. “Futurologists speculate over all the different possible scenarios then chose the closest to what really happens and claim they were right.” J. Attali also raises an economic issue: the market, by nature, bears no frontier, whereas democracy is local. There is a contradiction between a market becoming worldwide in all areas and the risks and fears generated by this very globalisation. As a conclusion: “we are settling in a general precariousness ideology.”

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