In 1964 the Robert Bosch Stiftung was formally established to pursue Robert Bosch s philanthropic vision to advance progress in the fields of health education and international understanding Robert Bosch had yearned for peace his whole life and long supported Franco German reconcili ation To honour his legacy the newly created Foundation placed international understanding at the core of its mission The world however looked very different in 1964 than it does today Threats to international understanding were linked to ideological differences and the overdue process of decolonization Fears abounded that the Cold War could stoke nuclear deflagration and conflict between the two superpowers 1964 marked both the Gulf of Tonkin incident that precipitated greater US involvement in Vietnam as well as the beginning of the Rhodesian Bush War The threats people and planet face today are related to a different set of challenges incipient but not yet foreseen at the time These include global warming and the destruc tion of bio diversity growing inequality xenophobia resurgent nativism and political polarization around migra tion the disruptive impact of transformative new technolo gies and the demographic trends that will lead to distortions in age distribution as well as ever greater unplanned urbanization Moreover since 1964 a world order divided between two powers gave way with the fall of the Berlin Wall to one with a single power Now many see us making an uneasy transition to a multi polar world order A former French permanent representative to the UN has referred to these developments as a new world disorder while the UN Secretary General has spoken of chaotization We need new approaches and creative thinking Common Cause We are facing a fundamental and potentially tragic paradox between an increase in global challenges and a retreat from the institutions that can pursue global solutions And yet failure to address these challenges will have far reaching consequences for the welfare of our children and grandchil dren and of our planet itself This is particularly obvious when it comes to climate change Climate change is moving much faster than we are Last autumn the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a sober warning we have just eleven years left to limit the global temperature rise to 1 5 C We are already seeing the effects around us heat waves in Europe droughts in Africa storms in the Caribbean and in the United States Last year an estimated 17 2 million people were newly displaced as a result of natural disasters exacerbated by climate change There are predictions of up to one billion climate migrants by 2050 if current global warming trends are not reversed Forced displacement of course is only one demo graphic trend we will need to manage better In many of the poorer parts of the world the proportion of youth is growing while in many OECD countries the proportion of elderly is growing and the elderly are living longer Across the globe just over half of all people live in cities today This figure will rise to at least 75 percent by 2050 These population trends will have a profound impact on our health systems on migratory pressures and needs as well as on our economies Meanwhile inequality is on the rise between and within countries and remains a significant contributor to the growing disconnect and distrust that people feel towards governments and institutions Inequality and exclusion are the single largest driver of conflict according to a 2018 UN World Bank study Pathways for Peace While wages of low income earners have stagnated or declined in real terms in the last decades the number of billionaires has risen tenfold Last year both Oxfam and Credit Suisse reported that if you filled an average sized classroom with the world s richest people their combined wealth would be equivalent to what the 3 7 billion people who make up the poorer half of humanity possess Global challenges demand one thing above all else intensive cooperation An essay by UN Under Secretary General Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond Essay8 Robert Bosch Stiftung TEXT Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond

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