The World in 2050
The World in 2050 (TWI2050) is designed as a partnership between science and policy that aims to develop equitable pathways to sustainable development within safe planetary boundaries. TWI2050 was launched by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the Stockholm Resilience Center (SRC) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), unanimously adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, provide an aspirational narrative for the desired future for human development with an actionable agenda. The aspiration is for a world free from hunger, injustice and absolute poverty, of universal education, health and employment with inclusive economic growth, based on transparency, dignity and equity, all achieved within the boundaries of the planet. The urgent question now is how to act on this aspirational agenda and to have a clear understanding of the full consequences and cost of inaction and the benefits of achieving SDGs in every major region of the world.
The World in 2050 (TWI2050) is an initiative designed to help answer these questions. TWI2050 aims not only to contribute to this understanding but also develop science-based transformational and equitable pathways to sustainable development that can provide much needed information and guidance for policy makers responsible for the implementation of the SDGs.
The goal of the new scientific initiative TWI2050 is to provide the fact-based knowledge to support the policy process and implementation of the 2030 Agenda. TWI2050 aims to address the full spectrum of transformational challenges related to achieving the 17 SDGs in an integrated manner so as to minimize potential conflicts among them and reap the benefits of potential synergies of achieving them in unison.
The SDGs set out very clear and ambitious global goals across social, economic and environmental areas with important interactions between and among these goals (e.g., between energy and climate, between food security and ecosystems, etc.). What is lacking, but urgently required, is an assessment of the viability of achieving these multiple social-economic-environmental-planetary goals simultaneously using integrative and systemic methodological approaches. This is necessary to answer questions such as:
- How do we meet the hunger, poverty, energy, growth goals while meeting the environmental goals?
- What are the synergies and trade-offs?
- What are the costs of pursuing social goals without meeting sustainability goals and the other way around?