The unveiling on June 3rd by the World Economic Forum of ‘‘ agenda appears on the surface to be a newly devised concept created directly in response to Covid-19. As it turns out the first soundings of a ‘‘ were actually made as far back as 2014.
Each January the WEF host their annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. In 2014, Christine Lagarde, who was then the managing director of the IMF, called for a ‘‘ of monetary policy, the financial sector regulatory environment and structural reforms of global economies.
Lagarde was adamant that a reset was required ‘‘. Fleshing this out, Lagarde cited the dangers to financial stability due to ‘‘, the over 200 million globally who were unemployed and economic growth being too slow.
Despite these concerns, Lagarde’s view was that fiscal consolidation within national economies was still necessary in order to control spending and ensure the post 2008 ‘‘.
In January 2019 I posted an article that went into detail about the monetary policy aspect of the ‘‘ promoted by Lagarde (). I raised how at the time of Lagarde’s intervention the Federal Reserve were tapering their asset purchasing scheme (quantitative easing), introduced in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.
Come the end of 2014, the Fed had called a halt entirely to QE. A year later in December 2015, they began to raise interest rates for the first time in over a decade and would later go on to introduce an asset reduction programme where the central bank began to roll off assets from its balance sheet.
For Lagarde, international cooperation would be essential for a reset to succeed. Without nations cooperating, it would likely be fraught with instability and market turbulence. , Lagarde stressed the importance of the ‘‘ when it came to achieving the reset:
Looking back, 2015 was a highly significant year that saw global planners state quite openly their ambitions for a New World Order to be implemented over the next decade and a half.
First came the unveiling of the , and with it seventeen main objectives known as the Sustainable Development Goals. Agenda 2030 was adopted by the 193 members of the UN, with adoption coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the institution’s existence.
Chief amongst the seventeen goals were to end poverty by 2030 and for there to be zero hunger. Action on climate change was also needed, as was the creation of sustainable cities and communities and good health and wellbeing (which the UN directly associate with vaccinating families).
Agenda 2030 replaced the Millennium Development Goals, which were introduced in 2000 and encompassed a series of targets to be completed by 2015. , ‘‘ had been made ‘‘.
To get a sense of what the UN means by ‘‘, when the Sustainable Development Goals were signed off Claire Melamed, who in 2015 was Director of the global think tank Overseas Development Institute, :
Melamed is now the Chief Executive Officer of Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. Amongst the organisation’s funding partner’s are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is a prominent organisation in the drive for a vaccine to immunise people against Covid-19.
In December 2015, three months after the announcement of Agenda 2030, came the founding of the Paris Climate Agreement at the COP21 conference. The agreement ties directly into the United Nations and operates within the bounds of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, and was the first ever universal and legally binding agreement adopted on the subject.
So far, 189 countries have ratified the agreement out of 197 that were present at the Paris conference. In October 2016, the required threshold was reached for the accord to enter into force.
With Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement now set in motion, the World Economic Forum (which fully endorses the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals) ran with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) as the theme for it’s annual meeting. I wrote about this in 2018 () and picked up on how the executive chairman of the WEF, Klaus Schwab, described the impact that the Fourth Industrial Revolution would have on the world.
First, it would be all encompassing and involve all stakeholders of the global polity, meaning full engagement with the public and private sectors, academia and civil society. Some aspects to the revolution include disruption to jobs and skills, business disruption, innovation and productivity, agile governance and security and conflict.
Second, connecting through these areas are a whole raft of concerns which comprise the rise of blockchain technology, global governance, the future of enterprise, workforce and employment, the future of government, the future of production, sustainable development and social protection systems.
The revolution is dubbed as a digital revolution, one where the ‘‘ embodying the physical, digital and biological spheres come together. Artificial intelligence, robotics, nano and bio technology are all part of the vision for 4IR.
Schwab made it very plain that the world can expect the revolution to be a ‘.’ One consequence of this is that human beings will no longer just be users of technology, rather they will start to converge with both the digital and biological worlds to become part of it. A second consequence is that every industry on the planet will be subjected to a degree of ‘‘ as the 4IR advances, resulting in the systems of production, management and governance being transformed.
It does not stop there. Outside of jobs, human identity, privacy, notions of ownership, consumption patterns, the time devoted to work and leisure, how we develop as individuals and how we meet people and nurture relationships will all have to change to accommodate 4IR. Since the onset of Covid-19, many of these things have already undergone significant ‘‘
Soon after the 2016 WEF meeting, the world experienced substantial geopolitical ructions with the UK voting to leave the European Union and Donald Trump being elected as the United States’ 45th President.
Three years after they signalled major technological, political and societal change was coming, the World Economic Forum were back with a new theme – ‘‘. It was a subject I covered in an article published around the time ().
Executive chairman Klaus Schwab was at it again, reiterating that ‘Included in the breadth of transformation would be blockchain and distributed ledger technology, two fundamental components in the drive towards a global digital currency network.
In talking about ‘‘, Schwab described the present day as an ‘‘, and went on to blame this environment for a rise in populism.
What Schwab did not make direct mention of is how a resurgence of protectionist tendencies was assisting the WEF in being able to push the argument for 4IR. The greater the level of global disunity, the more opportunity that groups like the WEF have in being able to cultivate the concept of a New World Order and convince people of its necessity. Globalization 4.0 is a facet of 4IR, a vision that Schwab is unreservedly committed to:
‘‘, Schwab warned, ‘‘.
Five months on from the WEF meeting, the Bank for International Settlements introduced a new concept called the ‘‘, also known as ‘‘. This is a topic I have also written about previously ().
The BIS described the Hub as a medium term strategy consisting of three main elements:
When launching the hub, BIS General Manager Agustin Carstens spoke of ‘‘ following ‘‘. According to Carstens, now was the time to set about reforming the way that the central banking community operates.
When digging down into the BIS Innovation Hub, it becomes clear that at the core of the project is the creation of central bank digital currency (CBDC). In practice, this would mean the abolition of tangible assets such as banknotes and coins and see the creation of a new form of digital money issued by central banks.
Global payment systems are in the process of being reformed to accommodate the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology, and central banks are now beginning to disseminate .