For anyone who cares to look, it will be obvious that the current Western model of economic growth, which has been adopted the world over, depends in no small part on excluding the majority in order to create wealth for a few. This has been the case since the colonial era. The same exclusion that was once practiced by the East India Company is now practiced on Wall Street and its excesses are accepted as part of the system by far too many governments. Developed world politicians, however, are all too happy to "include" others in the world economy by outsourcing them cheap and dirty jobs or polluting industries.
As the world struggles to recover from the global economic crisis, the unconventional monetary policies that many advanced countries adopted in its wake seem to have gained widespread acceptance. In those economies, however, where debt overhangs, policy is uncertain, or the need for structural reform constrains domestic demand, there is a legitimate question as to whether these policies' domestic benefits have offset their damaging spillovers to other economies. The disregard for spillovers could put the global economy on a dangerous path of unconventional monetary tit for tat. To ensure stable and sustainable economic growth, world leaders must re-examine the international rules of the monetary game, with advanced and emerging economies alike adopting more mutually beneficial monetary policies.
Dealing with resource scarcity will compel companies to adopt new technologies, new manufacturing processes, and new management practices -- all of which will drive innovation faster and faster. As the global middle class expands, there will be massive opportunities for entrepreneurs to create more efficient industries and more productive business ecosystems. Technologies and industries will collide in new and unexpected ways, and these entrepreneurial mashups, inspired in part by scarcity, will potentially produce greater utility and prosperity for society at large.
It is the nature of governance that determines whether people deploy their talents and energy in pursuit of innovation, production and job creation, or in rent-seeking and lobbying for political protection. The contrast is starkest in emerging countries, but differences also exist among the advanced economies.
What makes people creative and innovative is still being debated. Clearly our schools and the educational curriculum must change. But what too, about the communities where young people spend more than half their lives and where their families, friends and fellow citizens live and work. Communities, indeed whole cities, need to reinvent themselves.