University of Bath

Gerald Walters Memorial Lecture - Renaissance 2.0: The Disruptive Changes Shaping Our World

With Professor Ian Goldin, University of Oxford

9 May 20185.30pm
9 May 20186.30pm

The extraordinary growth of the past thirty years is due to unprecedented globalisation and accelerating technological change. Connectivity has been associated with rising creativity and accelerating change. The speed, scale and complexity of this integration has far-reaching implications for economies and for individuals and societies.

The talk will identify the drivers of global growth, showing why emerging markets are likely to continue to grow at high levels for the coming decades, with particularly rapid growth in Asia. Rising life expectancy and collapsing fertility around the world has dramatic consequences for pensions, retirement, dependency and employment patterns. Meanwhile, advances in artificial intelligence and robotics is transforming the nature of work and has the potential to replace significant numbers of jobs and widen inequality.

Globalisation spreads not only opportunities but also creates a new form of emergent systemic risks. Pandemics, cyberattacks, climate change and financial contagion are among the systemic risks increasing uncertainty. This is associated with growing extremism and threatens to reverse integration and globalisation. The talk presents the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of globalisation. Drawing on lessons from the Renaissance, it identifies our period as a new Age of Discovery and highlights both the opportunities and the risks associated with the current period of tumultuous change in what can be viewed as a Second Renaissance.

Professor Goldin’s talk will draw on his latest books Age of Discovery: Navigating the Storms of our Second Renaissance (Bloomsbury, 2017) and Development: A Very Short Introduction (OUP).