Economic advances sweeping through China, India, and other emerging-market economies dwarf the pace and scale of the Western world’s Industrial Revolution, in the 18th and 19th centuries. As three billion new middle-class consumers join the global economy over the next two decades, the impact on the world’s resource landscape will be profound—both in terms of demand and the need for new technologies to counterbalance critical shortages of food, water, and other resources. This package explores some of the implications.
“Mobilizing for a resource revolution” examines how surging demand for resources can be met through higher resource productivity and expanded supply, as well as the challenges that business leaders and policy makers face. In a trio of video interviews featured in “Voices on the resource revolution,” Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, the Americas CEO of Veolia Water (a leading water-related environmental-services company), and Boeing’s environmental chief share views on the risks and opportunities that lie ahead. Finally, “Five technologies to watch” explores five potentially revolutionary technologies that could dramatically affect how this revolution in resource productivity unfolds.