The future redefinition of power in the world: Navigating Global Disorder

The future redefinition of power in the world: Navigating Global Disorder

Fri Sep 23 13:13:22 CEST 2016

Today, we live in a time full of challenges: big data, terrorism or migration are just a few occurrences that make our world more complex. In his philosophical guest lecture, the global affairs analyst and expert in international relations David Gosset gave an idea on how to navigate global disorder.



We are not good at making predictions. Events like Brexit were not predicted and their consequences can’t be forecasted. In a world of increasing complexity it is even harder than before to predict.


In order to understand the world’s complexity, David Gosset develops the often used acronym VUCA further to ABCD:


  • Acceleration: acceleration or the speed of change is as significant as the change itself.
  • Big Data: we are lost in tons of information that surround us.
  • Crisis: crises are not solved anymore but they accumulate.
  • Disorder: we live in a time of disorder. But trying to understand disorder is to begin to order it.


4 points worth to consider

According to Gosset, it is important to take four points into account when it comes to navigating the global disorder.


  1. Demographic change:
    Demography matters and we often forget about the basics. Only from 1945 to now, the world’s population has almost tripled to 7 billion people and in 2050 it will be 2 billion more – on a planet with limited resources. The way we are living today is not sustainable and we have to change that.
    Life expectancy increases and by 2050 it will be over 90 years in some parts of the world. So what will 70 years old people, who have 20 more years to live, do? Work relations have to be reimagined in order to face the issue of unemployment. Moreover, the life besides profession has to become more meaningful.


  1. Technology change:
    Although Google is a rather young phenomenon, it has caused disruptive changes and made the world more complex. We have been overwhelmed by the mass of information and are facing severe security problems due to the digital revolution. We have now to pay attention to the potential disruption of Quantum Computing and Artificial intelligence.


  1. Power diffusion:
    Today, the monopoly of power is no longer with the states and they are not as influential as before. Digitalization made information available for everyone and this empowers the individual. News is spread rapidly by social media and events as the Arab Spring Revolution wouldn’t have been possible without it. However, social media also creates populism and disorder as the US presidential elections or a new kind of terrorism show.


  1. Geopolitical change:
    Our world has become multipolar. Therefore, it has become more important than ever to work together with other states. If one does not deepen the European integration, our continent risks to be marginalized in a world of powerful giants.


Education and Entrepreneurship

Last but not least, Gosset summarizes his lecture by extending his ABCD acronym with the letter E, which stands for Education and Entrepreneurship. We will have to rethink how we educate people along their lifetime and allow them to be the «artists of themselves». If we succeed, we might be able to collectively order the world and live in harmony.



David Gosset is a global affairs and international relations expert. Furthermore, he is director of the Academia Sinica Europaea at CEIBS and the founder of the Euro-China Forum. Gosset contributed to the Rochester-Bern EMBA workshop in Shanghai.

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