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With the not too distant second half of 2024 ahead for all of us, digital acceleration and the global risks we still face have been on my mind. The world's population has now reached 8.1 billion people, all on an accelerated march towards greater connectivity and digitization. Nearly 70% of the world's population now has a unique mobile phone subscription; just over 67% of us are using the internet; and maybe not surprisingly, nearly 63% of all individuals living on earth have unique social media identities. 

On average, each one of us is spending 6 hours and 34 minutes per day on the internet. Note the changes in media consumption that are taking place.   


Traditional media such as television and radio continue its spiral decline. Americans are now roughly twice as likely to prefer getting their news from digital devices than television. Three-in-ten USA adults regularly get their news on Facebook with YouTube coming in second at 26%. For GenZs, one-third regularly scroll TikTok for news, up 255% since 2020. 

Are these social trends driving us towards a brighter, more cooperative future?

AI is Just Getting Started

A chart that I use regularly in my global updates on the "Disruptive Future of Retail" summarizes the growing applications of Artificial Intelligence.


Fully agree in Gartner's projections that computer vision is well on its way in the plateau of productivity as a leading AI application revolutionizing many industries including retail. Note the increased hiring of AI PhDs by industry and the top three sectors mentioning AI in their job listings.

AI will have a dramatic impact on the retail industry, where it is just getting started. 


For the skeptics, it is worth remembering that younger generations are much more likely to positively engage with AI applications. 


Note the differences between GenZ and Baby Boomers. Younger generations are more likely to trust and engage with AI content. 

The Five Global Risks for the Balance of 2024

The world is much more connected today because of increased digital innovations. News travels at the speed of your fingertips, in many languages, almost instantly and visually as it happens. 

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently highlighted five global risks for the balance of 2024 which are summarized in the below chart from my keynote presentation. 


I added the conflict in Ukraine as it is also a major potential escalation risk for 2024. The war in Ukraine accelerated public attitudes towards international politics into two major opposing blocks. According to research from the University of Cambridge, "among the 1.2 billion people who inhabit the world’s liberal democracies, three-quarters (75%) now hold a negative view of China, and 87% a negative view of Russia. Yet among the 6.3 billion who live in the world’s remaining 136 countries, the opposite is the case – with 70% of people feeling positively towards China and 66% towards Russia." Similar dynamics are present with the Israel - Hamas war. 

We are more connected, yet we are becoming more divided. This to me is the greatest risk of 2024. 

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