Aotearoa New Zealand, 2023: The Facts
We demand 20% more energy Require 25% more water Consume 50% more food than we did in 2013 That’s because there are one billion more people on earth.
The World in 2023
Fewer resources globally Because of the increased population, energy, water, food and usable land are in short supply across the globe. These things all cost more than they ever have. We also experience more frequent severe flooding in some regions and more drought in others. With more people and more extreme weather, we’ve lost millions of hectares of farmable land and up to 60% of global fish stocks. Thousands of other species are now extinct. More Demands on Money in New Zealand Globally In 2013 we had 5 people to pay for pensions and healthcare for each person over 65. In 2023 we only have 3 people to pay for what each person needs. We have an ageing population, with fewer people in the workforce to meet the needs of those who aren’t working any more. At the same time, highly skilled work pays nine times more than unskilled work. In 2013, only a small proportion of New Zealand’s population could carry out highly skilled work based on science and technology. In 2023, we’ve got to a place where almost everyone is smart about science. They could do highly skilled work that would help pay for health care, education, keeping our infrastructure up to date and taking care of our environment. We just need to start using that science in our work, in our communities, in our everyday lives.
In 2023, the capacities science gives us include: Turning fish waste into ‘biofibreglass’ protective clothing Sequencing everyone’s DNA and accessing information about what it means Monitoring our own health in real-time as we walk around Measuring almost anything with cheap, smart sensors Sharing data from almost anywhere, wireless and satelite connections Monitoring whole systems, using more powerful computers that can handle the data from billions of smart sensors in millions of locations Powering things everywhere with cheap solar cells connected to smart grids Printing objects we need anywhere with personal, portable 3D printers
With the new tools generated by science and technology, imagine the possibilities! How do we treasure and build on what we have; Our land, people, knowledge and connections, to create prosperity, good health, sustainability, resilience and accessibility for all New Zealanders? We have the capacity to connect, to share, and to create new knowledge and new solutions at a scale never experienced before in human history. What problems with you solve using the science we have?
What will you create? Who will you work with? What will you invest in? What problems will you solve? What will you help to change? It’s your future. Create it!
More about the global scenario for Pounamu
In the world of Pounamu, countries with highly educated citizens and the ability to support high skill businesses are prospering. Because of their highly productive economies, they have the resources to provide high quality health care, restore and enhance their natural environments, build resilience to increasingly severe storms and drought, and reinvest in education at all ages. Some are getting close to their visions of ensuring every child arrives at adulthood with all of their potential intact and ignited. Countries without a sufficiently skilled population and economic base continue to lose their best and brightest to the places where both monetary rewards and quality of life are higher. The money they send back home is a growing contribution to these nations’ struggling economies. In these countries, with insufficient resources to manage flood, storm and drought risk, whole regions have had to be abandoned, leading to overcrowding in many towns, cities and settlements. There is simmering resentment between settled residents and displaced people which often tips over into violent incidents. There is also strong resentment towards the skilled foreign workers who do work in the few high skill businesses in these countries. This resentment is often expressed in racist terms. New Zealand in 2023 hovers in the middle of this spread of countries. We’ve built the science literacy of our population, but we haven’t started applying it to the way we live, work and look after our environment. In 2023, you’re smart about science. How will you use the capacities science gives you to create a better future for New Zealand?