Perhaps more than at any time in our history, our world is engaged in conflict. From the UK and USA engaged at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, through to insurgencies in Algeria, Burma and Columbia, civil wars in African nations, and conflict between people in China, Iran and Israel, we see that we are in a fragile landscape. Over the past century, a number of facets of humanities development have contributed to this, including:
Economics: From early colonialism to modern capitalism, our western economic growth has often been at the detriment of other nations where, for example, we have aggressively acquired assets, created trade routes, or leveraged economic scale to source products, assets, and services artificially cheaply. These processes, while creating great wealth and development in Europe and the USA, have exacerbated poverty and economic inequality in many nations, creating a great deal of tension and potential for conflict.
Agriculture and Energy: Our world is hugely dependent on agriculture and energy. Both of these asset classes are in huge demand, with their protection and development becoming serious debate. Population and economic growth also puts huge strains on these assets, as our world comes close to consuming greater than is sustainable.
Technology: While technology has been a huge enabler for global development, it has also made our injustices and inequalities more visible to external and internal participants in any situation.
Climate Change: This is now becoming a real and significant issue with millions worldwide becoming displaced by climatic effects.
Religion, Governance, and Politics: These issues, and their allied topics of human rights, justice, and so forth have historically caused many of the world’s most significant conflicts, and continue to do so as often these issues are the most fundamental in the structure of a society.