Parag Khanna

Melting Pots of the Future: Global Cities Amidst Climate Change

The author of MOVE and The Future is Asian explains that there is not just one geography, but four closely related ones. And that their disalignment causes injustice and inequality. This is why mass migrations will be transforming our societies

Today's complex world has to be investigated through four fundamental geographies: the physical one, given by the conformation of land and seas; the political one, given by national borders and spheres of influence; the functional one, given by physical and digital infrastructures; the human one, given by peoples and their settlements.

Four closely related but fluid and increasingly disaligned maps. 

By cross-referencing demographic data and climate change forecasts, it is clear that the majority of people in the coming decades will be born in the least hospitable areas of the planet, and this can only fuel a migratory flow that will reshape human geography, rewarding the cities that are best able to attract talent. 

We have two solutions to the grand challenge of our time represented by the disalignment of the four global geographies: move human beings where the resources are or technologies where they are needed. I think we will do both. We are moving towards a world in which mobility, including digital mobility, will be a human right and immigration laws more pragmatic and focused on attracting talent.

Opening image © Mirko Cecchi

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