Discover more from Looking Forward by Stephen Johnston
LF15 | Triple Shot - Jan 19, 2023
A bonus Triple Shot this week since I'm switching the order. Weekly essay now coming out on Tuesdays .
Welcome to a bracing Triple Shot, three things of interest in healthy aging, impact and Web3, with today’s focusing on global risks, loneliness and Japan’s aging society.
1. WEF’s risk reports duly freaks everyone out
The WEF’s Annual Risks Report got more than the usual coverage this year, mostly because it included a number of references to ‘collapse’. Maybe the poor skiing in the Alps this year left many at Davos in a bad mood, or maybe it really is time to start realizing the business as normal is not an option.
The report discusses how societies are in ‘survival mode’ (both literally for those affected by the war in Ukraine, and figuratively, for those facing a cost of living crisis, growing inequality and slowing economies). As a result they’re missing out on focusing on the impending medium term catastrophes, in particular the escalating climate breakdown. Sobering reading, and suggests that the Davos crowd don’t all have bunkers in New Zealand to escape to when the world falls apart.
Here’s their take on the short term and medium term risks:
2. Growth stocks in the ‘loneliness economy’
I rather prefer the ‘longevity economy’, but the FT’s christening of the ‘loneliness economy’ is a fair one (subscription required, free access available here). It suggests there will be new opportunities opened up by aging societies and looming loneliness, with a particular focus on pets - flesh and blood as well as robotic.
3. National Geographic report on aging in Japan
A wonderful in-depth report on aging (subscription required, PDF available here) in Japan, and exploration of a world in which most of our societies will be living soon. By 2050 37.5% of Japan’s population will be over 65, and high income countries won’t be far behind, at 28%.
The report paints a bleak picture of empty schools and a society struggling to adapt, and the discomfiting images of older people cuddling robots. Similar to the FT piece, it points out opportunity areas (and Fordcastle client SOMPO features prominently) but there’s cause for concern. On the bright side, this does seem to be an untapped opportunity for Japan to go global:
Japan’s creative responses to its aging citizens may become a source of inspiration as the world grows older.
Let’s hope so!
That’s all for today’s Looking Forward Triple Shot. Feel free to let me know topics of interest and feel free to spread the word about Looking Forward to those who might benefit. Meanwhile, enjoy the weekend!
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