Imagine a billion African migrants

| March 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

DIPLOMAT_3-20-2016_0047As overwhelming as the European refugee crisis is, Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, predicts much worse may be ahead.
“Look how many countries in Africa, for example, depend on income from oil exports,” Schwab told Bloomberg Business ahead of the forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “Now imagine one billion inhabitants — imagine they all move north.”
The trigger in that scenario, he said, is the meltdown of commodity prices and its less-discussed effect of “social breakdown.” Schwab says past policies and technological shifts have triggered unexpected political and technological consequences. On the political side, loss of trust in decision makers and people’s loss of a sense of a secure future have fuelled anger and xenophobia.
The technological side is the subject of his just-published book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, whose innovation can wipe out 20 million jobs, decimating the crucial middle class and, along with it, the stabilizing influence this class has on democracies.
To prevent the fracture of human existence with “robotization,” and the disintegration of people’s sense of personal identity through work and family and community, he encourages a “global civilization” to carry humanity through the tumult.

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